NEW YORK – While Jon and Kate Gosselin begin to sort out the pieces of their broken marriage, “Jon&Kate Plus 8” is merely taking a break.
A day after the couple revealed their impending divorce and won the biggest ratings coup ever for TLC’s prized reality show, the network announced the program would go on hiatus until Aug. 3. The purpose: To give the Gosselin family time to “regroup, and then a modified schedule will be in place to support the family’s transition,” TLC said.
On Monday night’s show, the couple couldn’t even see eye-to-eye on where to install their children’s new playhouses. Kate got her way in the end – an outcome viewers have often witnessed.
The next stop for their worsening dynamic will be a Pennsylvania court.
Divorce papers Kate Gosselin filed in Montgomery County Court outside Philadelphia, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, said her marriage to Jon was “irretrievably broken.” She said in the filing that she’s willing to “negotiate a fair and reasonable” settlement with her husband of 10 years; her lawyer, Cheryl Young, said the couple has already started working on terms.
Key among their shared assets will be the reality series that has made them stars – along with plaguing their family with tabloid scrutiny and scandalmongering. TLC president Eileen O’Neill said the network “continues to support the Gosselin family and will work closely with them to determine the best way to continue to tell their story as they navigate through this difficult time.”
The network announced that a retrospective of Jon and Kate’s 10-year marriage would air next Monday, followed by a hiatus until Aug. 3. The long break comes on the heels of a 10.6 million-viewer night, beating the huge “Jon&Kate” season premiere a month ago by 800,000 viewers.
In separate on-camera segments, the Gosselins said the show had been a good thing for both them and their kids. And while retaining their expansive home in southeastern Pennsylvania, the estranged couple seemed reconciled to a future of taking turns living there with their children.
“We interview separately, we’ll film different things,” Jon explained on Monday’s episode. “Me and the kids, her and the kids.”
Attorneys for both Jon and Kate Gosselin said Tuesday that the couple lived together on their Berks County compound until recently.
“They have been living ‘separate and apart’ just within the last week or two,” said Jon’s attorney, Charles Meyer, using a term from the divorce petition, which contained boilerplate language common to all no-fault divorce petitions filed in Pennsylvania.
Among that language was a provision that The Associated Press misinterpreted to mean the couple had been living apart for the past two years. The AP’s report, which incorrectly gave the impression that the show’s two-year run was filmed under false pretences, was corrected later Tuesday.
The court document does not explain what led to the split. But in a statement released to the media, Kate asserted that “Jon’s activities” over the weekend had left her “no choice but to file legal procedures in order to protect myself and our children.” She did not elaborate. Both Jon and Kate deny tabloid accusations that they cheated on each other.
“To be honest, I was hurt by Kate’s statement about the divorce,” Jon countered Tuesday in his own release. “I have always done everything I can to protect our family. This weekend, I was home with the kids for four days, just being a dad. No nannies, just the kids and me.”
He added that while “emotions are running high for both of us right now,” he hopes to “resolve things amicably.”
In an emailed response to questions posed Tuesday, Jon elaborated on the family’s preliminary plans to keep the show going.
“On days when I am with them, Kate will make arrangements to stay elsewhere,” he wrote. “And when Kate is with the kids, I will make other arrangements. We know that this is the right decision. The kids love our home, and I am happy that they will be staying there.”
Yet to be determined: Whether the show’s growing fan base will be staying, too, following a six-week cooling-off period.
Associated Press Writer Michael Rubinkam in Allentown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.
TLC is owned by Discovery Communications, LLC.
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