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'Jon & Kate' is running late

May 11, 2009 | 11:04 am

With just two weeks to go before its season premiere, the first episode of cable channel TLC's reality hit "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" still isn't in the can. It's not a salary dispute with stars Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight kids, that would be an easy one to solve.

Gosselin No, the challenge for producers is how to incorporate Jon Gosselin's extracurricular activities and the fallout that has ensued into the show. For those fortunate enough not to be following the travails of Jon and Kate, here's the skinny. Gosselin was photographed with a young woman leaving a bar in central Pennsylvania and the woman's brother hinted to US Weekly that the two were having an affair. US' newsstand sales have skyrocketed because of its Jon and Kate coverage and a feeding frenzy has ensued. Kate went on NBC's "Today" and CNN's "Larry King" last week to both promote her new book and defend her husband, who she told Entertainment Weekly, "exercised poor judgment."

This will all probably spell ratings gold for TLC when "Jon & Kate" returns on May 25. The season finale drew 4.6 million viewers, a huge number for a cable show. But the producers are in an awkward position of having to address the scandal in the show, deal with a tabloid invasion of central Pennsylvania where the Gosselins live, and appear to not be exploiting the situation for commercial gain. Somehow we think they'll manage to get two out of three right.

-- Joe Flint

Photo credit: Jon Gosselin by Bradley C. Bower/Associated Press