Word that Jon & Kate of TLC fame had initiated divorce proceedings leaked late Mon, a few hours before the hyped on-air reveal. On a day when DC’s Metro public transit system suffered its worst fatal accident ever, it was the Gosselin train wreck that seemed to dominate social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

There were the haters, some that despite all the signs were shocked and even some prayers. While sites like http://gosselinswithoutpity.blogspot.com/ have mocked the show and called for an end to the children “being forced to live in a fishbowl,” a man in the DC area has launched his own site to try and refocus the public’s attention on praying for the couple and their children.

On Tues, TLC said the show would be on hiatus until Aug 3. "TLC 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," read a network statement. "… During this time the family will take some time off to regroup and then a modified schedule will be in place to support the family’s transition." A retrospective of the couple’s first 10 years will air next Mon.

The show broke new records, notching a 7.7 HH rating/10.6mln viewers. It was the highest delivery ever for TLC or any Discovery net for HHs (7.5mln) and women 25-54 (4.1mln). Given the high numbers, the Maine company that builds the Kids Crooked Houses featured so prominently on last night’s show should probably send TLC a thank you note—or enough free Crooked Houses for Discovery Communications’ on-site daycare center!

For those who abstained from watching, the summary: Jon and Kate announced they are separating, and will take turns living/filming in the house with their 8 children. A black screen announced that the 2 had filed papers Mon to initiate divorce proceedings.

The big question for TLC now is will viewers continue to tune in. There is already backlash from fans of the series. “I will never watch ‘Jon&Kate’ again. Priorities are screwed up. You love your kids best by loving each other first,” one Twitterer wrote. But given the spike in sales tabloids like US magazine have seen for J&K+8 covers, a new viewership seems to be emerging for the show. “How long ’til Urban Outfitters is selling TEAM JON and TEAM KATE shirts?” read another Tweet. We don’t know. But you can pick up some now at Café Press for both Jon and Kate.

 

 

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