The Stipulations The Busbys Had Before Filming OutDaughtered Season 9

The TLC network has transformed itself from "The Learning Channel" to the "Learning About Unusual Families Channel." Many of its most popular programs involve families with different abilities ("7 Little Johnstons"), ones larger than the norm ("Doubling Down with the Derricos"), ones from unusual faith groups ("Return to Amish" and "Sister Wives"), and sometimes combinations of the above ("19 Kids & Counting" — large family and fringe ministry). 

Currently at the top of the TLC mix is "OutDaughtered," the reality series following the adventures of Adam and Danielle Busby and their large clan. Having six girls may not seem too extraordinary, but five of them just happen to be the country's only set of quintuplet girls. In April 2023, Ava, Olivia, Hazel, Riley, and Parker all turned 8, just three days after their big sister Blayke celebrated her 12th birthday. 

Season 9 of the hit show debuted in July 2023, to the delight of fans who thought they'd never see the Busbys again. In 2021, Adam and Danielle opted to take a break from filming. As they explained in a interview, being confined to home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult and draining to put Season 8 together. "So we were like, 'Man, let's take a break. Let's take a breather,'" Adam said. That time off allowed the Busbys to regroup and enjoy quality time. Eventually, they decided as a family to resume the show — but not without some important changes in procedure. 

Busby girls wanted to keep OutDaughtered going

Sadly, actual reality tends to get in the way of reality TV. The downfall of the Duggars has cast doubt on the future of mega-families on screen; it's not as much fun watching a household of 19 kids if you know their cheery smiles are a cover for some really dark secrets. Similarly, shows like "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and "Sister Wives" lost their appeal in the wake of nasty divorces. So far, however, the Busbys of "OutDaughtered" have avoided the taint of scandal, and they're taking steps to ensure the show is fun for their family as well as their fans.

In an August 2023 interview with Good Housekeeping, Adam and Danielle explained their decision to come back to the show after COVID restrictions lifted and things returned to the new normal. They were concerned about how the girls would feel about being back in the public eye again — particularly Blayke, who's entering the minefield of middle school. "We just want her to be involved, and same with the quints," Danielle told the outlet. "It was an organic conversation that we had, and it made it a little bit easier, as the girls started asking, 'Where's this person? When are the cameras coming back?'"

Before signing on for Season 9, the senior Busbys also negotiated to become executive producers. This gives them more of a say in the direction of the "OutDaughtered" narrative, and part of that control includes giving their daughters a voice, as well. 

Less of Danielle and the girls, more of Adam

As part of their new role as executive producers of "OutDaughtered," Adam and Michelle now consult with Blayke and the quints about how much of their lives they want to share on camera. The girls understand there are some events requiring their participation — such as their July trip to New York to promote Season 9 — but if, say, Ava doesn't want to join a group shot, or Blayke needs some privacy to deal with some drama at school, they can ask to be left out of a scene. 

According to Good Housekeeping, the Busbys have also decided to alter the narrative of the season. Rather than covering all the girls' milestones, Season 9 will follow Adam's struggles and successes as he takes on a more active at-home dad role. Danielle's clothing business, Graeson Bee, is taking off, meaning she has less time during the day for school chauffeuring and homework monitoring. Viewers can expect more chaos to result, but also more fun, and more insight from Adam on the challenges of being a primary caregiver.

Does this mean the fun times are over for Adam? Far from it. There are still plenty of perks to being a reality star, and Adam is taking full advantage. On Aug. 11, 2023, he posted pictures on Instagram from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he got to be a temporary part of the crew for NASCAR star Camden Murphy.