19 Kids & Counting: Lost Footage Reveals Failed Courtships, College Dropouts, Duggar Drama Galore

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When Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges back in April of 2021, it was widely assumed that TLC would immediately cut ties with the predator's family.

But that didn't happen.

Eventually, the network canceled Counting On, but only weeks later, in response to intense pressure from the public and threats of a boycott.

Of course, this hesitancy shouldn't have come as much of a surprise.

Josh Duggar's Post-Conviction Mug Shot

After all, network execs had already demonstrated that in their dealings with the Duggars, they're much more concerned with the bottom line than with basic human decency.

TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting after the world learned that Josh had molested five young girls, but shockingly, the network brought the Duggars back with a different reality show just months later.

The timeline is shocking:

19 Kids was canceled in December of 2015, and Counting On premiered in May of that same year.

The Duggars In 2015

You would think with one show following so quickly on the heels of the other, producers would just use footage they shot for 19 Kids for the first episode of Counting On ... but they didn't.

Part of the problem was that they couldn't use footage of Josh on the new show, but there were other issues, as well.

You see, the Duggars are such a consistently scandal-plagued family that the surfacing of the Josh allegations was far from the only upheaval they experienced in those months.

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar Throwback Picture

Now, the folks at the always-amusing r/DuggarSnark subreddit have unearthed a trailer for an episode of Counting On that never made it to air.

And it reminds us of the many #DuggarFails that Jim Bob and company swept under the carpet around the same time as the original Josh scandal. 

The most memorable of these embarrassments was the failed courtship of Josiah Duggar and Marjorie Jackson.

Marjorie Jackson Pic

A simple breakup might not sound like a big deal, but the Duggars pride themselves on their success rate with regard to courtships leading to marriage, and Josiah and Marjorie screwed up the family's 1.000 batting average.

That only applies to the courtships that were announced to the public, mind you.

There have been other, more secretive truncated romances, such as the rumored Joseph Duggar and Carlin Bates relationship, which also petered out under mysterious circumstances.

Joe Duggar Holds Baby Addison Among the Lights

"Marjorie [Jackson] is a wonderful girl. I always told you if you find someone like your mama, you better snatch them up," Jim Bob told Josiah in the preview clip.

"I don't know for sure what she's gonna say, but I think this is the direction we should head," Josiah later said in a voice-over as he arrived at Marjorie's house.

"With 19 kids and four grandkids, and one more on the way, our family just keeps growing," Michelle boasted at the beginning of the trailer.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on Camera

But as more Duggars entered the world, at least one was leaving the nest.

"Joseph is actually our first to go away to college," Jim Bob proudly noted.

"I said I wasn't gonna cry," said a tearful Michelle.

Michelle Duggar Video Still

Of course, Joseph dropped out of college not long after this episode was filmed which is another reason why the Duggars -- who had a tremendous amount of creative control over both of their TLC projects -- would have considered this footage unusable.

And then, of course, there was the inevitable cameo from Josh and Anna.

"It can be a challenge keeping up with three kids and I know we're about to add a fourth one, so it's just like, 'Oh boy!'" Anna exclaimed at one point.

Anna and Josh in 2015

Anna welcomed her seventh child not long before her husband was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography, so we think it's safe to say a lot has changed on that front, as well.

"They must have been relieved that we didn't see all those failed courtships, Siah and Marjorie, and Joe and Carlin," one Reddit user remarked.

"God I would have loved to see a Duggar trying to follow college classes, even at Clown college. Once again, it's Pest's fault."

Jana and Jill and Jessa and Jinger

"They must have been relieved that we didn't see all those failed courtships, Siah and Marjorie, and Joe and Carlin [Bates]," another added.

A third user summed the situation up thoroughly, writing:

"At first I thought, why didn't they just shoehorn it into 'Jill & Jessa: Counting' and then I watched and realized that footage aged like milk.

Counting On Promo Image

"Joseph had probably already dropped out of Crown College by the time Counting On debuted, we know what happened with Josiah & Marjorie, I remember Jill and Derick changed their missionary plans a bit, and their announcement might have change (not sure about that though), and the Josh/Anna footage wasn't usable."

Needless to say, there are a lot of indications that the Duggar family is corrupt beyond repair.

But the footage provides an useful real of thumb for other fundie clans who might be headed down a similar path:

Duggar Family

If footage of your life shot just a few months ago is unusable for a variety reasons, you might want to reverse course before it's too late.

Just something to think about for all you aspiring evangelical celebrities out there!

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