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TCA Press Tour: Big 'Jon & Kate' news -- the 'iconic couch' is gone

July 30, 2009 |  1:28 pm

Jon-and-kate "Jon & Kate Plus 8" returns from hiatus Monday night, and TLC wants you to know that the network has taken "great care and thoughtfulness" as they shoot the couple in the middle of a highly publicized divorce.

"It's a subject many many Americans are familiar with," said President and General Manager of TLC, Eileen O'Neill. "And we're dealing with it in a respectful and sensitive way."

Many of the episodes remain "works in progress," she continued.

As for the big changes you can expect?

The "iconic couch" has been replaced by separate interview chairs for Jon and Kate. And instead of the couple rearing children together, viewers will see what it's like for a single parent to watch eight on his or her own. Kate will attempt for the first time to put up a tent for the kids in her backyard, while Jon will struggle in the kitchen trying to make pizza for the family.

But let's be real, what about Jon's new girlfriend? (Or girlfriends?)

O'Neill said that new people coming in and out of the show would be handled "on a case-by-case basis. This is real life. And it's important to remember our cameras are there for limited amounts of time."

-- Denise Martin

Photo credit: TLC