Without getting into any of my usual/trademark ad hominem invective against Jon Gosselin (I mean, really what do I know about that man other than what I see in gossip magazines?) I must confess that when I read today that TLC is re-branding the hit reality show from Jon and Kate to Kate Plus 8 (effectively removing Jon from a starring role in the show), I was relieved.
While I still haven’t seen a single episode of the show, I have been keeping up with the press reports and I did hear that the ratings have been consistently dropping last few weeks since they announced their divorce and he went off romping in the South of France with his new girlfriend. At the time, I did think to myself, “Wow. Way to alienate their viewers who are likely to be family oriented. What does he think he is doing?” And I don’t think I am stretching it too much by saying that lately he seems to have become this press-hungry varmint, which would then make him more of a liability than an asset on the show.
And maybe I was right. Cause TLC, recognizing they had a problem, decided to go in a different direction and market Kate as this single mom of eight kids and rename the show from Jon and Kate Plus 8 to just Kate plus 8. This hegira away from the chaos of “Jon and Kate” and focusing strictly on Kate will stop the bleeding of viewers, and restore the show’s ratings in no time, more than likely.
I think that was a brilliant move myself. Kate, in my opinion, has emerged looking more like a responsible parent, and looking more like someone mothers (single or not) would want to emulate; as opposed to Jon who, in my opinion, makes dads like him look distasteful to say the least. Emphasis of course being on “my opinion.”
But then, the lawyer in me started to rethink the whole thing. And I thought to myself: wait a minute. Might this new twist set Jon on the defensive? Could he give Kate trouble in the custody arena? I did not hear whether they are divorced as yet. I don’t think they are actually. I think that is still being worked out. So we do not yet know if they are sharing joint custody, or if they will split the kids, or if one parent will have custody while the other has visitation.
But I can tell you this: if they share joint legal custody, Jon could pretty much challenge Kate’s right to keep the kids in this show. I don’t think it will be a successful challenge, necessarily. I mean, he was okay with it when he was in the show and so it would seem disingenuous that all of a sudden, he had concerns that the custodial parent kept the kids in the show. But I have done some posts about the fact that Jon and Kate were being investigated for violation of child labor laws (don’t know what became of that) and I did another post where Kate was photographed spanking one of the kids. And who knows what else is going on behind the scenes. And so it is not inconceivable that Jon could now decide to challenge Kate for legal custody and physical custody too.
If it turns out that Kate does not get custody, or she does get physical custody but not legal custody, this show could be a problem if Jon mounts a challenge.
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