Category: TLC

TLC’s 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' spin-off of 'Toddlers & Tiaras'

Alana Thompson

Couldn't get enough of Alana Thompson, the outspoken 6-year-old beauty queen from TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras"? Or did you see her on TV and hoped she would quietly go away? It doesn't matter how you feel because TLC just ordered up six episodes of the little girl's own reality series anyway. Of course, she may be better known by her other name: Honey Boo Boo.

The TLC series "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," debuting in August, will follow the Go-Go Juice-swilling pageant champ to her family home in rural Georgia, where the Thompson clan indulges in their favorite pastimes, such as free-wheeling through mud pits and picking up road kill for grilling.

The Thompson family includes Alana's stay-at-home mom, June, chalk-miner dad Sugar Bear, and her sisters: 12-year-old Lauryn "Pumpkin," 15-year-old Jessica "Chubbs" and 17-year-old Anna "Chickadee" (who's pregnant).

Honey Boo Boo isn't the first "Toddlers & Tiaras" break-out star. Earlier this year, 7-year-old Eden Wood got her own reality show on Logo, titled "Eden's World." The series followed Eden and her mother as they went from home in Arkansas to New York City. Eden also has a budding singing career, with her first single, "Cutie Patootie," debuting on "The Talk" in 2010.

Luckily, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" looks to keep the country girl in the country. For better or worse.

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TLC renews 'Long Island Medium'

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Michelle Duggar of '19 Kids' strolls into primary-season firestorm

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Alana Thompson. Credit: TLC

TLC renews 'Long Island Medium'

Long Island Medium

Viewers have decided they like Theresa Caputo, the "Long Island Medium," and TLC is giving them what they want. The reality show about the mom with the ability to speak to the dead is getting a third season.

The network has ordered 16 episodes for Season 3, set to begin in September. The show has been averaging 1.9 million viewers in its second season, up from 1.3 million viewers on average during its first season.

Caputo is a New York housewife with an outsize personality and Paula Deen-style hair who gets messages from beyond the grave all the time, including while she's in line at the local drive-through market. It seems the dead of Long Island can be as pushy as the living.

Not everyone is convinced of Caputo's supernatural gifts. Last month, respected skeptic group the James Randi Educational Foundation awarded Caputo one of its 2012 Pigasus Awards, "bestowed on the most deserving charlatans, swindlers, psychics, pseudo-scientists, and faith healers" and gave a media Pigasus to TLC for airing her show, which Randi called "utter nonsense."

But the foundation's criticism doesn't seem to be slowing Caputo down. According to TLC, the medium now has a two-year waiting list of clients who want consultations.

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TLC cancels underperforming 'All-American Muslim'

'19 Kids and Counting': Duggars talk miscarriage, new season

Michelle Duggar of '19 Kids' strolls into primary-season firestorm

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Theresa Caputo, the "Long Island Medium." Credit: TLC

Michelle Duggar of '19 Kids' strolls into primary-season firestorm

Michelle Duggar

TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" is one of the very few shows on TV that can make laundry day seem epic. But lately the brood's activities are getting some unusual attention -- from the Beltway.

Michelle Duggar, the busy matriarch raising 19 kids (she recently miscarried the 20th), is now raising eyebrows by saying that the notion of overpopulation is "a lie."

"Because really, the entire population of the world, if they were stood shoulder to shoulder, could fit in the city limits of Jacksonville," Duggar told the Christian Broadcasting Network. "So if you realize that aspect of it, you realize that we're nowhere near being overpopulated." The comments have sparked both derision and support online, thanks in no small part to a recent firestorm over government-funded contraception.

Meanwhile, this week the Duggar clan's tireless efforts on behalf of the fiery Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum were profiled by Politico, a major online news source for political junkies.

"Members of the clan follow Santorum from stop-to-stop, collecting donations from supporters and talking up the former Pennsylvania senator’s values and policy stances," Politico wrote. "The Duggars themselves often serve as a second attraction to the candidate, signing family autographs with Bible verses." 

At this point, the Duggar clan might be big enough to constitute a political movement all by itself. But in a sharply divided partisan landscape where most TV stars try to avoid making overt political appeals, the Duggars' stance is striking.

What do you think of their advocacy?

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-- Scott Collins

twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, with daughter Josie, have waded into political debates. Credit: Scott Enlow / TLC

 

TLC cancels underperforming 'All-American Muslim'

"All-American Muslim"

The reality show ride of the five Dearborn, Mich., families who starred in TLC's controversial series "All-American Muslim" has ended. TLC did not pick up the series for a second season.

The series premiered late last year and swiftly came under fire from the Florida Family Assn., which convinced some advertisers to drop their sponsorship of the show. The conservative group argued the program amounted to Muslim propaganda and threatened American values.

Building supply chain Lowe's was the most prominent sponsor to pull its ads, stating that "we did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or emails of any one group. It is never our intent to alienate anyone. Lowe's values diversity of thought in everyone, including our employees and prospective customers."

Many celebrities spoke out against the move, including Russell Simmons and Mia Farrow, who both encouraged a boycott of the chain. Several Arab American and Muslim American groups, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services also weighed in against Lowe's decision.

In the end, the series aired all eight episodes of its first season. The Florida Family Assn. claimed 65 total sponsors dropped the show, however several of those sponsors, including Bank of America, Campbell's Soup and Sears, contested the FFA's claims.

Despite the controversy, which can often be a boost for ratings, the show never attracted much of an audience. The series averaged just under 1 million viewers per episode.

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Lowe's hit by furor in 'All-American Muslim' ad flap

Late Night: Jon Stewart on 'All-American Muslim' controversy

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Suehaila Amen in "All-American Muslim." Credit: Adam Rose / TLC

'19 Kids and Counting': Duggars talk miscarriage, new season

Michell and Jim Bob Duggar

The Duggars of "19 Kids and Counting" made their first public appearance following the miscarriage of their 20th child Tuesday morning on "Today."

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar appeared -- without their 19 children -- to promote the season premiere of "19 Kids," which airs Tuesday night on TLC. The premiere episode of the show's ninth season will deal with Michelle's December miscarriage of their 20th child, Jubiliee Shalom, and the aftermath -- a tough subject for a show that usually dwells on the joys of parenting.

Despite the miscarriage, Michelle told "Today" in the green room that "I would do it again."

Ann Curry, ever the hard newswoman, couldn't let the whole interview go by without bringing up a recent case in which a woman allegedly attempted to extort money from Discovery, TLC's parent company, claiming she had scandalous photographs of the Duggars' niece, Amy, with a much older man. The woman has since been arrested.

Jim Bob addressed the question, saying, "It ended up she just had some picture of this guy that Amy knows -- it's a family friend. They're standing beside each other. The pictures were of no substance at all. I guess she had some mental issues. We pray she can get her life straightened out."

As Curry noted, the Duggars left their kids at home for this trip to New York and planned a romantic Valentine's Day in the city. Will this trip result in another addition to the Duggar clan? Stay tuned.

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'19 Kids and Counting': Duggars name unborn girl Jubilee Shalom

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar pose with their 19th child, Josie. Scott Enlow / TLC

Late Night: Jon Stewart on 'All-American Muslim' controversy

The decision by home-improvement chain Lowe's to cave to a Christian fundamentalist group and withdraw its advertising from the TLC series "All-American Muslim" has ignited a firestorm of controversy -- the very thing the retail giant was supposedly trying to avoid in the first place.

On Tuesday's episode of "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart weighed in on issue. He began with an observation about the sensationalistic, sideshow nature of much of the programming on TLC, a network once known as The Learning Channel. As Stewart pointed out, the only thing a viewer is likely to learn on TLC these days is "what it might be like to have eight children, 17 children or 19 children."

"Sometimes the Learning Channel slips up and creates programming that not only isn't educational, but is downright offensive," Stewart said, cutting to a clip of Fox's Megyn Kelly explaining the supposed controversy over "All-American Muslim."

Stewart reasoned that, based on the outrage, the show must be "jihadi propaganda." But the clip he played, in which a young Muslim father-to-be discusses his wife's pregnancy, was more than benign; it was banal.

"Seriously, that wouldn't have been interesting to hear even if that guy was building a bomb as he was talking," Stewart joked. "That's the most boring reality show imaginable. It seems to just show Muslims living our lives like the rest of us ... idiots."

So why did the Florida Family Assn. have such a problem with the show?

As the organization's executive director, David Caton, explained, "It's the absence of the radical side of the imam's proposition of sharia law that is most concerning."

Stewart was baffled. "Why would you be upset to learn that there are non-jihadi Muslims?" Caton claimed that the show was an affront to his "belief system," but Stewart argued that's what educational programming is meant to do. "I don't like the show 'Nova' because it is harmful to my belief structure that the ocean tides are controlled by monsters," he joked.

Caton's real objection to the show, Stewart claimed, was that it challenged his false stereotype about Muslim Americans. But "All-American Muslim" isn't the only TLC show to challenge negative stereotypes. "I am also troubled that no one on your show 'Little People, Big World' whistles while they work, or makes candy for Willy Wonka," he said.

 

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'All-American Muslim' review

Lowe's hit by furor in 'All-American Muslim' ad flap

Lowe's faces backlash over pulling ads from 'All-American Muslim'

Lowe's hit by furor in 'All-American Muslim' ad flap

Muslim
Lowe's, the home improvement giant, may have painted itself into a corner over "All-American Muslim."

The company decided to yank its ads from the TLC reality series after a Florida evangelical group complained that "All-American Muslim" — which examines the ordinary lives and travails of Islamic families in the U.S. — promotes the "Islamic agenda."

After it caught flak for the decision, Lowe's issued a can't-we-all-get-along apology over the weekend. "Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod [sic] for many of those views," the company wrote on its Facebook page Saturday. "As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance."

Translation: We are allergic to anything controversial! Please keep buying nails and paint from us!

Actually, Lowe's eagerness not to offend anyone, anywhere, in any way, is a time-honored position for TV advertisers, whose mantels tend to be clear of any awards for moral courage or intestinal fortitude. And the ad move was purely symbolic, given that big companies like Lowe's buy commercial time in bulk through middlemen and are often unaware of exactly where the ads end up until someone complains — as in this case.

That's all moot now, though, because Lowe's has stepped in a manure pile. To critics, the company has become a symbol of corporate America caving in to an anti-Islamic pressure group. Lowe's drew nearly 15,000 comments to its Facebook post, many (but by no means all) of them derogatory. Variety's Brian Lowry criticized Lowe's for cowardice and urged consumers to boycott the company.

If Lowe's executives are really contrite, they should consider pulling all ads from "Jersey Shore." It's a safe bet no one would complain about that.

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— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Nawal Aoude and her husband, Nader, in the TLC series "All-American Muslim," which was hit by a Lowe's ad boycott. Credit: Adam Rose / Associated Press. 

 

 

TLC's latest reality venture: Drivers under the influence

TLC's latest reality series looks at drunk driving
TLC's latest reality subjects are drivers under the influence in "D.U.I."

The network that has capitalized on multiple births, wedding dresses and coupon clipping is taking viewers behind the wheel in the series, which is set to premiere on Thursday, Dec. 1.

According to the news release, cameras capture some of Oklahoma's "most dangerous drivers" as they undergo field sobriety tests. And a lot more than that will be shown: the process of interrogation, searches, lockup and the attempt to post bail.

The network has ordered 12 episodes of the series; six episodes (shot in Pontotoc, Cleveland, Sequoyam, Tulsa and Oklahoma counties) will premiere in December with an additional six scheduled to air in 2012.

— Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

TV This Week for August 28th - September 3rd

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 in PDF format

TV listings for the week of Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 in PDF format (from latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv)

Weekly TV Listings and more can be found at: www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv

This week's TV Movies


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SUNDAY

In the special “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” the 43rd president shares his moment-by-moment recollections – illustrated with previously unreleased archival footage – of that darkest of days in 2001. (National Geographic, 7 and 10 p.m.)

Adore Adele? Gaga over Lady Gaga? Like a little Lil Wayne? The soulful British songstress, the fashion-forward dance-pop diva and the tatted-up rapper are just some of the many performers slated for the “2011 MTV Video Music Awards.” (MTV, VH1, 9 p.m.)

MONDAY

Serious foodies will journey far and wide for the tastes they “Crave,” and host Troy Johnson does likewise, visiting New York, Chicago and San Francisco in search of that perfect slice of pizza in the debut installment of this culinary travelogue. (Food, 8:30 p.m.)

TUESDAY

Ahead of the curves: The new reality series “Big Sexy” follows Nikki, Heather, Audrey, Leslie and Tiffany (above, from left), five shapely young women looking to reshape society's notions of beauty while pursuing their own fashion-biz dreams. (TLC, 10 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY

Hit movies like “The Hangover” often provide fresh plotlines that sitcom writers can then steal … um, borrow, rather… for their own shows, like when Elka (Betty White) goes MIA after her bachelorette party on a new “Hot in Cleveland.” (TV Land, 10 p.m.)

THURSDAY

With the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 bringing a flood of disturbing images back to televisions in the coming weeks, “Nick News With Linda Ellerbee” seeks to explain that national tragedy to its audience of young children, many of whom were not yet born on that fateful day. (Nickelodeon, 9 p.m.)

FRIDAY

Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to ancient Britain and hid it in a mystical place, near the spot where some of today's legendary pop-music acts – including U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé – can be seen performing in the new concert special “Glastonbury 2011.” (11 p.m. VH1)

SATURDAY

Look at that big brain on “Megamind.” Will Ferrell provides the voice of the blue-hued super-villain (below), with Brad Pitt as his superhero archrival, Metro Man, and Tina Fey as a plucky girl reporter in this computer-animated 2010 send-up. (HBO, 8 p.m.)

Photo: "Big Sexy"; credit: James Hercule / TLC

Kat Von D's 'L.A. Ink' is canceled by TLC [Updated]

Kat Von D LAInk cancelled
Kat Von D, the tattoo artist who recently ended her engagement to fellow tattoo enthusiast Jesse James, has more heartbreak to deal with. Her TLC reality series "L.A. Ink" has been canceled.

"TLC has decided that the current season of 'L.A. Ink' will be its last," TLC executives said in a statement Thursday. "The network is proud of what the series has accomplished in its four seasons, following Kat Von D's journey as an artist from Miami to Los Angeles."

The series finale will air Sept. 15.

TLC's yanking of "L.A. Ink" comes on the heels of the cancellation of another high-profile TLC reality series, "Kate + 8."

[Updated at 4 p.m.: Kat Von D has responded to the news about the cancellation of her series, declaring that she made the decision to end the show.

"I love how me deciding to not continue doing LA Ink turns into being 'cancelled,' " she said via Twitter. "Thanks @ TLC. Regardless of everything I remain grateful."

And in an interview with People, Von D said, "In an effort to capitalize on my recent breakup, the network has decided to focus their energy on re-editing events that didn't happen during filming. I have no regrets and am very proud of the original footage. In my opinion, any attempt to compromise the honesty of that would be an insult to my fans and my viewers."

She added, "As grateful as I am to have been a part of a show like 'LA Ink,' I'm ready to end this chapter and want to focus on other projects now."]

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TLC cancels 'Kate + 8"

Kat Von D Storms off "Good Day L.A." set after Jesse James clip

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Kat Von D applies the ink at High Voltage Tattoo, her West Hollywood shop. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

TLC cancels 'Kate + 8'

TLC cancels Kate Gosselin's reality series 'Kate + 8'

TLC's fascination with Kate Gosselin and her bountiful brood has come to an end: The network has canceled "Kate + 8."

"TLC has decided not to renew another season of Kate + 8," the network said Monday in a statement. 

Kate, her ex-husband Jon Gosselin and their eight children spearheaded the multiples-movement on TV back in 2007 and helped solidify the Discovery-owned cable network in the ratings with "Jon & Kate + 8," and its follow-up "Kate + 8," the name it took on in its sixth season.

By the end of this season "Kate + 8" will have hit the 150 episode mark (including "Jon & Kate + 8"), characterized by the network as an "exceptional milestone."

The final episode of "Kate + 8" will air Sept. 12.The network says it hopes to check in with Kate and the family periodically for future specials. 

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Gosselin kids OK'd to appear in 'Kate Plus 8' TV specials

Kate Gosselin offers lust-laden cupcake to a complete stranger

-- Yvonne Villarreal
twitter.com/villarrealy

Photos: Kate Gosselin; Kate Gosselin with her eight children. Credits: Darron Cummings / AP; TLC

TLC's latest reality show will look at Muslim families in America

MuslimsCall it “Muslim Modern Family.”

Cable channel TLC is hoping to do for Muslims what it did for polygamists and Sarah Palin -– put a new spin on controversial subjects that people often make judgments about without knowing the whole story.

The reality show “All-American Muslim” will follow the lives of five Muslim American families, some of whom are related, who reside in Dearborn, Mich., a suburb of Detroit that has a large Muslim population. The show will debut in late November.

The people participating in "All-American Muslim" seem to run the gamut from very religious to more casual, and all struggle to find a balance between their American home and their Muslim background.  One cast member is a football coach and another is in law enforcement. There are even splits in the level of devotion in some of the individual families. One family features two sisters –- one of whom wears a traditional head scarf and another who has tattoos and piercings and married an Irish Catholic.

"I don’t have a camel parked in my backyard," said one cast member, Suehaila, in an early episode. Another cast member, Nawal, quipped, "I buy Burberry, I buy Louis Vuitton, I buy Fendi."

"We wanted to show there was diversity even within the Muslim community," said TLC General Manager Amy Winter. "These are families that might have beliefs that are different than yours, but we are all living similar daily lives and hopefully we will bring that to light."

“All-American Muslim” is the latest TLC show that is certain to generate strong reactions. Its show “Sister Wives” about a man who has made a family with four women became a hit for the cable channel as did its series on Sarah Palin and her family called "Sarah Palin's Alaska."

Asked if TLC expects a backlash from viewers and advertisers, Winter said, "We usually find with TLC that the backlash occurs as soon as we start marketing something and once viewers experience the show, we get a far different response."

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'The Taqwacores' follows Muslim punks whose piousness doesn't preclude their right to party

-- Joe Flint

Photo: "All-American Muslim" cast members Suehaila and Nawal. Credit: TLC.

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