Kate Plus 8 has been cancelled – if only there were other reality shows on the air to take its place!
But seriously… Kate Gosselin and her “plus 8” kids (and throw in ex-husband Jon for good measure) hold a certain place in television and pop culture lore that seemed to crest around the same time that the word “Octomom” entered the English language lexicon. Its fifth season premiere reached 9.8 million viewers in January 2010, which equates to a major earth-shattering smash hit in cable TV land.
Now, 150 episodes in, the energy has clearly gone out of the franchise, with new TLC powerhouses such as Sister Wives and Toddlers & Tiaras taking its place. As TVGA Senior Correspondent Tara Bennett notes:
Kate Plus 8, “…has devolved into something about as fun as watching a stranger’s boring home movies. Back when the Gosselins were together, the show was a fun peek inside the world of endless bottles, sibling growth and bonding and the joys of a family evolving together. Now, Kate Plus 8 as a show has been reduced to weekly synergy field trips to fellow TLC reality show cousins or visits that serve as thinly veiled PR plugs for the location of choice.”
When you take the overall direction of basic cable reality shows, you’d have to almost think that the concept of (Jon and) Kate Plus 8 is downright pedestrian by 2011 standards – a parent/parents taking care of a bunch of kids, even if a horde.
Map that against Toddlers & Tiaras and its screechingly train wreck-y insights into moms obsessed with trotting their very young ‘uns out on the runway, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and its fascinating (and yes, bizarre) look at gypsy culture in the United Kingdom, and Sister Wives and its spotlight on a modern polygamist family right here in the good old US of A.
And that’s all without getting outside of the relatively small footprint of TLC. Broaden out to the rest of the television spectrum for kicks, and you have shows like Ancient Aliens on the History Channel (or, well, anything on History Channel these days), Jersey Shore on MTV, and the broadcast nets desperately trying to recapture market share during the summer (see: Take the Money and Run, Expedition: Impossible, Bachelor Pad 2, and so on).
So, Kate and Jon and your eight, your time has come and past. We wish you well, but we’re not sure that most folks will remember you much.
And now, I return to my mega-marathon of The Millionaire Matchmaker as I get AMPED for tonight’s Season Five premiere.