The Real Reasons These TLC Shows Were Canceled

TLC is known for its unique and sometimes controversial programming, which has entertained audiences for decades. TLC has produced pop culture phenomena like reality TV starlet Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Shannon — who's grown up quite a bit — the entire Duggar clan, mothers of multiple children, and husbands of multiple wives. 

While TLC sure knows how to engage an audience, some of its programs have pitfalls that have gone down as some of the most memorable in the network's history. Some of the shows have portrayed families in their most vulnerable moments, as well as exposed mental health issues like strange addictions and obsessive hoarding. 

With programming that shows viewers unknowns in human behavior and abnormal lifestyles, it's no surprise that some TLC series have featured controversial figures; they've also televised polarizing moments that garnered critiques from audiences over the years, leading to the network's decision to end the show altogether. Here are some of the real reasons these TLC shows were canceled.

TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting for this disturbing reason

The TLC hit show 19 Kids and Counting premiered in 2008. Originally named 17 Kids and Counting, the popular reality television show followed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their unusually large family in Arkansas. After Michelle and Jim Bob welcomed two more children, the show was aptly renamed, and remained on the air until scandal plagued the tight-knit evangelical Christian family.

InTouch obtained a police report in 2015 that revealed the Duggar's oldest son, Josh Duggar, was accused of sexual abuse in 2002 and 2003. According to the report, Josh had inappropriately touched several minor girls when he was 14 years old — and the Duggar family didn't report him to authorities after he admitted guilt for over a year.

After news of these allegations broke years later, TLC faced pressure from viewers and sponsors alike, and decided to cancel the show for this reason: "After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air. The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection."

What's the real reason TLC canceled All American Muslim?

All American Muslim was mired in controversy from premiere to its cancelation. The show aired in 2011, and featured the daily lives and challenges of Lebanese-American Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan. While the series received mostly positive reviews from viewers, it received unprecedented backlash from the Florida Family Association — which claimed the show was "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."

According to The New Yorker, the association was so adamant about the show's "risk" to America that it went as far as petitioning for Lowe's retail store to pull advertising from TLC. Lowe's backed the association, releasing a statement that said All American Muslim didn't align with their regulations for advertising, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Shockingly, TLC pulled the program after one season, which lead to boycotts against Lowe's from celebrities and Christian and Muslim groups. While TLC never commented on their real reasons for cancelation, the end of the series was a controversial decision that has left a long-lasting impression on audiences.

TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo thanks to this scandalous reason

Pageant competition show Toddlers & Tiara was an unexpected hit on TLC, and spawned the subsequent spin-off show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The hugely successful series followed 6-year-old, fan favorite Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Shannon and her quirky family — including her controversial mother, June Shannon, also known as Mama June, who's undergone a stunning transformation.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo premiered in 2012, and only lasted two seasons before a scandalous headline rocked the Georgia family: TMZ reported that TLC canceled the show after they broke the story that Mama June was dating Mark McDaniel, a convicted sex offender — who was reportedly charged with aggravated sexual assault against a minor who was reportedly a member of Mama June's own family.

While multiple members of the family, including June herself, have denied that there was any contact with McDaniel since his release from a 10-year prison sentence, TLC still went ahead and gave the show the ax; a spokesperson from the network said the real reason was as follows: "Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority."

This is the real reason TLC canceled What Not to Wear

What Not To Wear was a TLC fan favorite when it premiered in 2003. The series starred fashion gurus Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, as they made over unsuspecting, fashion-challenged individuals. And while Kelly and London seemed like a dynamic duo on-screen, behind-the-scenes tension between the two flared over the long-running show's 12 seasons.

Although Kelly and London had issues off-camera, What Not to Wear remained on air for ten years — and the feud wasn't the real reason the series ended in 2013. According to statements obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, TLC executive Amy Winter revealed the cancelation was simply due to timing. "After 10 incredible seasons, we felt that it was the right time to end the series," she shared. 

Kelly even said he was surprised the show lasted as long as it did. "When I got the job, I told everyone I knew that we'd probably do ten episodes, get canceled, and I'd go crawling back to my old job in magazine publishing," he explained. What ever happened to Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear, anyway?

Although the father of The Willis Family was arrested, this is the real reason TLC canceled the show

The Willis Family first came to the small screen on Season 9 of America's Got Talent, where they impressed both judges and viewers with their musical talents. The large family consisted of 12 kids, all under the eye of parents Toby and Brenda Willis. 

While the family only made it to the quarter-finals on the competition show, TLC swooped up the clan, adding another large family to their catalog. The Willis Family followed the Christian clan in Nashville from 2015 to 2016 — but when disturbing news about Toby broke, the seemingly picture-perfect family fell apart. On September 9, 2016, Toby was arrested, according to The Daily Beast; he was reportedly charged with sexually assaulting his four daughters from a young age, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2017.

However, TLC canceled the show in April of 2016, and released the following statement obtained by The Wrap: "TLC canceled The Willis Family well before learning of the charges brought against Toby Willis." They went on to state the real reason the show was canceled was low ratings.

This is the real reason TLC canceled Cheer Perfection

In 2012, TLC debuted the reality show Cheer Perfection, which followed members of Cheer Time Revolution, a competitive, all-kids cheerleading squad helmed by abrasive coach Alisha Dunlap. The show only lasted one season, but it was riddled with scandals during its short time on the air.

Within a week of each other, two former stars of Cheer Perfection were arrested for various charges. For one, Andrea Clevenger, mother to Kylie Clevenger on the squad, was arrested after turning herself in to authorities. The arrest came after police reportedly issued felony warrants, on the suspicion that Andrea had sexually assaulted a minor. According to TMZ, the boy was only 13 years old when the alleged assault happened, and Clevenger was later sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Cheer Perfection also faced more controversy when co-owner of Cheer Time Revolution, Ronald Dunlap, was arrested for possession of marijuana, according to TMZ. However, these incidents aren't the real reason TLC canceled the show, according to a statement (via Nicki Swift). Instead, the network claims the show was already canceled before the allegations came to the forefront.

Kat Von D claims the real reason TLC canceled LA Ink was this

TLC spin-off LA Ink premiered in 2007, and followed famed tattoo artist Kat Von D, who's undergone a major transformation. Von D left her spot on Miami Ink in order to open High Voltage in LA, the set for the series that catapulted Von D into megastardom.

Although LA Ink soared to great heights in ratings, Von D was linked to controversies that plagued the starlet and subsequently the series — including accusations of antisemitism, spawning from her fallout with Ami James. Eventually, Von D and TLC had falling out, with both sides claiming they were the ones to pull the plug on the series in 2011 (via the New York Daily News).

TLC released a statement announcing the real reason they canceled LA Ink, but Von D gave her own side of the story. The artist issued a statement on Twitter, saying, "I love how me deciding to not continue doing LA Ink, turns into being 'cancelled.'" She followed up her claims in an interview with People, accusing TLC of "re-editing" moments on the show in order to capitalize on Von D's breakup with Jesse James.

What's the real reason TLC canceled Gypsy Sisters?

Gypsy Sisters was another successful spin-off show for TLC, coming off the heels of the controversial hit show My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding; the latter showcased weddings of the Romanichel and Roma gypsies in the United States. 

Gypsy Sisters followed members of the Stanley family in West Virginia over three seasons from 2013 to 2015. The show gave viewers a more in-depth look inside the lives of four women from the family, headed by the outspoken matriarch Nettie Stanley. While the series garnered criticism for its stereotypical and controversial portrayal of the Romani lifestyle, the real reason TLC canceled the show in 2015 was low ratings, according to TMZ

Low ratings aside, Gypsy Sisters was not without additional controversy, especially it came to light that Mellie Stanley's ex-husband was arrested for allegedly killing her puppy. While the news of the animal cruelty charges broke right before the cancelation, TMZ reported that show was headed for the chopping block before the horrifying allegations went public.

This is the real reason TLC canceled Sarah Palin's Alaska

Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin found herself with her very own reality show in 2010, Sarah Palin's Alaska, which ran for one season on TLC. The oft-criticized series followed Palin's "real" life in her home state, along with members of her family, with the natural wonder of Alaska as a backdrop. Reviews panned the show for being "not quite a reality show," saying it instead allowed viewers to "observe Ms. Palin observing nature," according to The New York Times.

Sarah Palin's Alaska only broadcast eight episodes before it was canceled, with reports that Palin herself opted out. The real reason? Palin feared that it would impact her 2012 political campaign, according to Entertainment Weekly. The Republican candidate was concerned the show would give airtime to her political opponents, which led to her and her family's decision to quit the show ahead of the campaign.

Why did TLC cancel My Five Wives?

TLC clearly can't get enough of polygamous families, as they've green-lit several shows featuring the controversial practice of plural marriage. That includes the show My Five Wives, which aired in 2013. Brady Williams, his five wives, and 24 children were the stars of the series, which showcased their self-proclaimed "progressive polygamy," which deviates from fundamentalist Mormon practices.

My Five Wives wasn't the only TLC series to feature a polygamous family, as it also has Sister Wives; the wildly popular, albeit controversial show has been on the air for 14 seasons and counting. However, the Williams family didn't find the same success as the Brown family, and was canceled after two seasons in 2014. The real reason for the cancelation was reportedly low ratings and strong competition with the network's similar programming (via Starcasm). 

The Williams family released their own statement on the cancellation, saying on YouTube, "It turns out TLC, as great as they've been, has decided not to keep going with My Five Wives."

TLC canceled Toddlers & Tiaras for this controversial reason

TLC arguably walks the line when it comes to questionable programming choices, and that came to the forefront with the critically-panned show Toddlers & Tiaras. The series, which premiered in 2009, followed child beauty pageant contestants and their overbearing mothers, all competing for coveted crowns and titles.

Not surprisingly, Toddlers & Tiaras had a slew of controversial moments, from the mother who dressed her daughter up as Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman to the young girl holding a candy cigarette on stage. These and other moments sparked outrage amongst viewers and critics alike, with one review from The Daily Beast calling the show "a horrifying parade of freakishly made up, sometimes bratty children being paraded around in hypersexualized outfits by their controlling mothers."

Thanks to the controversy, Toddlers & Tiaras was pulled from TLC in 2013. A source close to the network told Radar Online the real reason was that, "They aren't using the word 'canceled,' but I can tell you that the show is over." After a return in 2016 three years later, TLC finally canceled the show after its seventh season.

Too Close To Home faced backlash, and this is the real reason TLC canceled it

The TLC network mostly broadcasts non-scripted reality shows, but it ventured outside of its comfort zone with its first scripted series in 2016, Too Close To Home. The show was created by famed director Tyler Perry, and chronicled the life of a low-income Alabama native who found her way into the elite world of Washington, D.C. politics.

While it was TLC's first attempt to add a new genre to their repertoire, the show faced backlash from critics and viewers following its debut. According to Page Six, Perry received criticism for casting all white actors, which deviates from the director's usual casting protocol of casting primarily Black actors. Perry released a statement responding to the backlash stating, "That's totally reverse racism, because it was coming from African-American people."

Whether or not that backlash was the real reason TLC canceled Too Close to Home, the network pulled the plug on the series after two seasons.

What's the real reason TLC canceled Jon & Kate Plus 8?

Jon & Kate Plus 8 was another TLC show that showcased a unique family, as Jon and Kate Gosselin had eight children, including sextuplets. The reality series debuted in 2007, and documented the frequent bickering between Jon and Kate. Eventually, the show found turmoil after Jon was accused of having an affair, prompting Kate to file for divorce in 2009.

Unfortunately, the split led to a custody battle when the patriarch of the Gosselin clan attempted to keep TLC from filming his children. Eventually, TLC cut ties with Jon, and renamed the show Kate Plus 8 in 2010. While the new show focused on Kate raising her kids as a single mother, it wasn't long before controversy found its way back to the Gosselin family. 

In 2019, Jon filed a petition against Kate for an episode that featured several of the minor children, alleging they were filmed without first notifying him, as noted by The SunAccording to Radar Online, Kate was fined $1,500 for the mishap. Shortly after, Kate claimed the real reason why Kate Plus 8 was canceled was due to the chaos of the court proceedings.

This is the real reason TLC canceled Leah Remini: It's All Relative

Leah Remini is known for her role on hit sitcom The King of Queens, where fans fell in love with her no-nonsense persona. That led to her reality show on TLC, Leah Remini: It's All Relative. The series featured Remini and her likable family as they invited audiences into their quirky, day-to-day happenings in Los Angeles. 

Leah Remini: It's All Relative premiered in 2014, but only lasted two seasons before it was canceled in 2015. While TLC never officially gave a statement on the real reason it axed the show, Inquisitr speculated it was due to both low ratings and the fact that many fans of Remini were unaware she had a show on the network. 

Remini released a statement on the cancelation on Facebook, stating, "We will not be returning for season 3; it just didn't work out; we had 2 great seasons though."

There was no option to continue Counting On anymore

There are many different reasons why shows get canceled, but you'd be hard pressed to find one more headline-grabbing than the explanation for the untimely axing of "Counting On." Eleven seasons strong and by all means a runaway success, TLC's spinoff of "19 Kids and Counting" got the chop in June 2021, as the network confirmed in a statement to People. "TLC will not be producing additional seasons," they noted in part, adding somewhat cryptically, "TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately." 

The situation in question revolves around a trial against Josh Duggar, eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. In April 2021, he pleaded not guilty to both receiving and possessing inappropriate images of children. If convicted of his crimes, Josh could receive a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. While originally scheduled for July 2021, his trial was pushed to November 2021 (via Fox News).

Josh had previously faced highly-publicized allegations of child molestation, which formed the impetus for why "Counting On" was launched in the first place, back in 2015. His sisters Jill and Jessa even confirmed they were victims. Josh has also made headlines for admitting to being addicted to pornography and to cheating on wife Anna.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).