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TLC Adds to Its TV Family

Mar 8, 2009  •  Post A Comment

TLC is adding another big family to its schedule.
The network—already home to “Jon & Kate Plus 8” and “18 Kids and Counting”—will launch “Table for 12,” featuring Eric and Betty Hayes and their 10 children, on March 23.
The large-brood shows have been a strong point for TLC, which has been turning around its ratings under new President and General Manager Eileen O’Neill. She helped develop “Jon & Kate” when she was at Discovery Communications.
TLC had been registering double-digit ratings declines when Ms. O’Neill joined the network in July. In the fourth quarter, total viewers were up 12% in primetime for the channel, which ranked 12th among ad-supported cable networks in that category.
“Ultimately TLC is about extraordinary people, sometimes in ordinary circumstances, sometimes in extraordinary ones. Our supersized families cover both,” Ms. O’Neill said.
“Table for 12” represents “a program that should be right at home for our viewers,” she said. “The success of ‘Jon & Kate’ and ‘Little People, Big World,’ which continue to outdo their previous season, suggests there’s an ongoing appetite.”
TLC also is confident that “Table for 12” will work because a special called “Twins, Twins and Sextuplets,” featuring the Hayes family, held onto a big audience after the popular Hawaii episode of “Jon & Kate” last year.
“Table for 12” will launch after the season finale of “Jon & Kate,” then move into “Jon & Kate’s” Monday night timeslot the following week.
Ms. O’Neill said TLC actually found the Hayes family before locating “Jon & Kate” stars Jon and Kate Gosselin, but the Hayeses didn’t want to do TV immediately after their sextuplets were born. Some time later, Lincoln Square Productions, part of ABC News, which has done a lot of stories on big families, told TLC the Hayeses were ready for a TV show. Ms. O’Neill said to sign them up.
Lincoln Square is producing the series for TLC.
These types of shows attract interest from advertisers looking to reach people with families who aren’t always interested in other TLC programming, including some in the food and insurance categories. Ms. O’Neill said.
“Table for 12” will include a number of product integrations, including one for a food product. The network also is doing custom spots that tie the show to a particular product.
“So far in the research we have done around ‘Jon & Kate,’ there’s high interest and tolerance for integration,” Ms. O’Neill sad. “The audience has an interest in what preferences Kate and Jon have.”
Ms. O’Neill said the network definitely has room for more of this type of shows. While Monday is TLC’s family night, the network has been running “18 Kids and Counting” on Tuesdays.
“They’re all very successful, with strong ratings growth on all of them,” she said. “As programmers, we’re often looking for the next generation. In this case, it’s literal and figurative.”
With the network’s interest in the big-family area fairly clear, it receives pitches for shows from production companies that have specific families in mind, as well as notes directly from large families.
In addition to series simply about the lives of unusual families, TLC is developing shows that insert family relationships into other genres. Some of those shows might be presented to advertisers when TLC and the other Discovery Networks host ad buyers later in March and in April.
Some of those shows involve family businesses, including a TLC project about a man who runs a food business with his his four sisters and their mom. Another features twins who have chosen the same occupation. There’s also a real estate show built around a family.
“So that familial strand will move beyond the pure family genre and really resonate in our other core genres,” Ms. O’Neill said.

102 Comments

  1. My family and I are just sick about Jon Gosselin! My 13 year old was actually crying when she heard about Jon cheating on his family.Monday night is family T.V. night in our house.Now we have to make a decision to not watch this show unless you address this situation now.I am so very disappointed with Jon. A man of his age drinking with young girls. Jon should be able to go out and blow off some steam, he deserves it. But with college girls? I’m sure some of them or most of them were underage!Don’t they speak at Church’s on the week-ends? Thak-you for reading this.

  2. How original. another big family. just more of the same. zzzzz

  3. I certainly agree with Deanne. I also feel like TLC and/or Jon and Kate need to address the issue and state whats really going on. All that’s heard right now are rumors and we need something more concrete in reference to what our families watch. If Jon in fact wants a divorce, as said on In Touch magazine, then it should be said. If its all a rumors and those college girls are just taking advantage of the picture Jon took with them then that should be said as well. Viewers deserve an explanation, after all we do care about what happens. I mean haven’t we shown that, by continuously viewing and supporting the show. I understand that this may be a hard time for their family, but i believe that since they are “in the public eye” they need to understand that we the public wants know (to an extent) whats going on.

  4. I wouldnt be so quick to accuse Jon of cheating. When people are in the public eye as Jon is, other people will do anything they can to start a rumor and create controversy because they are jealous or they think that it might get them recognized in some way. Also, “flirting” is not really a clear term. What one person might think is flirting, might not be what another person thinks it is. If Jon and Kate get divorced then I’m sure we will all find out. Until then I would suggest that everybody stop discussing and spreading rumors. Because if this turns out to be nothing but a rumor, as I think it probably is, then whoever started it doesnt deserve the pleasure they are getting from seeing it being spread.

  5. I do not think that TLC needs to add another “big” family show because there are already sp many people are going to get sick of them sometime! The only on i enjoy watching is Jon and Kate and it is going to stay that way for me. I do not think Jon would cheat on Kate and like kevin said, rumors get started, and Jon has already denied the rumor!!

  6. Dianne please, Jon wasn’t cheating. And your 13 year old was crying about it? A little dramatic for purpose, don’t you think? The snarkers complain that the kids need a break from filming, that they are being exploited. But here come the Hays family doing the EXACT same thing. They saw the money the Gosselins were making and hopped right on the bus. Jon & Kate are getting a much deserved break from the spotlight. And while I’m not interested in seeing ANOTHER even BIGGER family, (who in now way could be as much fun to watch as Kate 😉 I do feel that it will be a nice break when Jon & Kate Plus 8 goes on hiatus.
    Jon doesn’t need to explain anything to anyone just because hes on TV. He made a statement. He did nothing wrong, there was no cheating. Read the Fan Site. On a good note, he’s ;earned he can’t go to a bar and snap a few photos with fans without a backlash. And I believe that he was there to visit his ill mother and letting off some steam, finally other articles have come out to support this.

  7. “Lincoln Square Productions, part of ABC News…is producing the series for TLC.”
    ““Table for 12” will include a number of product integrations, including one for a food product.”
    What is wrong with these two sentences taken together?
    How can the folks at ABC News justify making a show filled with product placements and still claim their exceptional status as broadcast journalists (instead of “entertainment” producers) and all the constitutional benefits that it? Or do their lawyers think by assigning the dirty work to a separate production entity within ABC News (“Lincoln Square Productions,” real cute) that it will provide enough legal buffer for the likes of real broadcast journalists?
    This erosion of the line between news and entertainment will only boomerang and bite the news community vital to a functioning democracy.

  8. Kate is horrible to her husband and kids. She lets the crew babysit them while she goes on “business trips” to beg for money. This family is a total scam. They make a living on freebies. Great to teach your kids how to make a honest living. And no Baby Mama, I am not jealous! I have a great house BECAUSE my husband and I WORK! I didn’t pay for my house because I begged for “love offerings”. The Gosselins gravy train is running out. Kate and Jon are truly sickening.

  9. Love the show, Hate to see something in the news about Jon. Hope it’s not true–for the kids sake.
    Happy to hear about table for 12 coming up soon in March.

  10. Kate is busy making speeches and doing book signings around the country. Jon doesn’t work anymore and is taking care of the kids while she’s away. The problem is that he hasn’t been staying home. Who’s taking care of the kids?

  11. John, if you think the Hayes’ intergration is bad: Remember a few years ago when iTunes sold its one millionth download, and ABC News did a big story about it? Well, ABC is owned by Disney, which has a business relationship with Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (he’s Disney’s largest shareholder and helps run Pixar). At the very least, the ABC News report should have explained the fact that Apple’s CEO has business interests in ABC, instead of running the story like it was objective news.
    I can understand people getting mad at these shows for product placement. What I don’t understand is how they are only angry at one such show (the Gosselins’) and not the rest!

  12. I loved Jon and Kate when it first started, but when the children got older, I began to notice that the girls are very abusive towards the boys.
    Kate is very abusive towards Jon. These children are growing up believing it is ok to hit, and that mommy is in control.
    If a divorce is in the works, then it is no ones business but Jon and Kates. If it does happen, I hope that the children live with Jon, and the whole family gets help.

  13. I worry about the kids growing up in the spot light like that. It isn’t natural. They can never just be normal kids. And fame seems to do something negative to people, like Jon for instance….

  14. This is a disaster, so what about jon? it doesnt mean they should cancel the show! stuped table for 12, i dont want to “get to know the Hayes family” if they cared about anyone but themselves they would not go on TV. i say we boycot!

  15. The Hayes family was actually offered a TLC show before the Gosselins, but didn’t want to do it while the tups were so young. The Gosselins appeared to be a nice couple when the series began, but have turned into vile, moneygrubbing, guttons- mc mansion, ski house, free trips up the wazzoo. What a sense of entitlement. I don’t know what version of Christian they consider themselves. At least the Hayes seem down to earth. The parents actually had to check the prices of sneakers before buying – not like Jon & Kate who get tons of pricey freebees sent to them.

  16. I say good riddance, It is beyond me the fascination people have with these large families, I thought when they went to Hawaii was a bit much and that was the first time I had really watched it, kids their age eating steak and lobster and the two older kids drinking grownup looking fruit drinks, they ate out several times at nice dining places, I have been to Hawaii and those restaurants aren’t cheap,But they earned the money from the show. The same thing with the duggers and what will be the same with table for 12, I don’t see TLC airing a show about people having that many kids and they all have health problems which does happen when you have that many kids at once, when they have a show with a foster family taking care of abused kids or something socially responsible, I will watch and love knowing that money is going toward this type of generosity but it won’t happen because people like to watch happy things not sad real life issues.

  17. I love the new show, “Table for 12”.A different
    family to watch wil be interesting. I can’t wait to see next weeks show.I wish the Hayes family the
    best of luck with their show.

  18. I watched Table for 12 after the Jon & Kate debacle finally ended. I happen to loathe Jon and Kate and wish they end this show for their childrens sake.
    I do hope the Hayes family will learn from Jon & Kate’s mistakes. They seem to be a lovely family and the mom is down to earth.
    While I despise the fact that Jon & Kate have exploited their kids to the max I somehow dont have a problem with Table for 12. Unless of course it goes the way of J & K. You see I dont begrudge anyone a way to get ahead, and if the Hayes family can reap a few benefits so be it. Jon & Kate is a different story, they have stayed well beyond their 15 minutes of fame. They have justified verbal abuse and exploitation. Not the things young families should aspire to. I do hope the Hayes family can remain as humble as they are now. I wish them good luck, and pray that when the going gets tough for them in business of making a tv show that they have the good sense to get out !
    They seem more mature than J & K so I have a feeling they wont overstay their 15 minutes of fame. God bless them too for taking care of a large family that consists of one that is handicapped. I will for sure be tuning in !

  19. Dear Riisey,
    I do think that Kate esp, has used the show for an inappropriate use to get money. I love watching the show and seeing the precious children, however, I just can not listen to the harsh verbal abuse she says to Jon. As for a socially responsible show? I disagree, I think people do want to see these type of shows and learn ways to help them. If you watched the Table for 12 show they are raising a child with an illness and they live on his salary as a policeman. As for the Duggers, they are the example of Christian love, independence, and social responsibility. They built their own house have rental property,are involved helping in their community and are honest in their business interactions. They take care of their family, to list them as asking or exploiting for money is so not the truth. I hope you give the new show and the Duggers a chance and not have such a negative outlook about it. I appreciated reading your comments, even when I disagreed.

  20. i dont like table for 12 because they are a very crude family especially the father – they have no discipline and apparently they have been given a house and furnishings bigger and better than they had on their first show. The sextuplets are about the same age as the gosselins but seem to be far behind in their manners and being able to help themselves as well as verbal and social skills. The pictures shown show the possibility that Tara has downs syndrome probably in a mild form If all the money that goes into making this show and showing the hoodlums that these kids and the father are would go into helping rebecca, rebecca would be able to communicate by now. i know of a young boy that has cp and has undergone some surgeries on the spine and is in a chair but has learned to communicate with a head stick/nose stick and is very smart. he was not just put in a stroller and left while everyone else was taken care of – the focus was on making him the very best that they could by giving him the chance to communicate – hope TLC changes this program and focuses on rebecca.

  21. This is the first time I have posted an opinion online. Wow, “vic” how inappropriate and judgmental of you. I work with special needs children and each one is different. Don’t judge someone till you have walked in their shoes. It may be a cliche saying but it fits. I could have used incendiary response remarks to your post but I think it would just go over your head and not register anyway. To the rest of TLC viewers a question please. Was the Hayes family ever on Extreme Makeover – Home Edition? They look familiar. Is that how they got their large house or do you think they used the money from their TV Special? Just curious not judgemental like “vic”.

  22. I feel so bad about Kate and Jon. I hope they can work things out. Maybe they should stop filming their show so they can work things out. I liked Table for 12 also. I hope their marriage stays together.

  23. I too love jon and kate, but if you think back to when the show first started we were all in love with those babes, wanting to know how two young parents could handle such a big family.
    Well I belive we “the viewers” made them this way”in part” without us they would not have gotten so popular and gained so much money. People who think money would make there lives better just look at what it done to the goslens, its ripping there family apart. I pray they will fight back and win back there family.Im glad I live a humble life!!

  24. The first 3 seasons of Jon & Kate + 8 were enjoyable to watch. The children were young and the parents were able to laugh and have fun together. Season 4 was painful viewing. Kate turned into a ‘wifezilla’ and treated Jon horribly. At the end of the season, I vowed to turn the channel.
    With allegations of infidelity appearing in the media, I gave in to my curiosity and tuned in to hear what the couple had to say in their defense. To my mind, there is no question the show is now all about, and for, Kate. She has become addicted to the fame, fortune and free everything (surgeries, vacations, etc.).
    Monday evening was the first time I saw her complaining about having to do something for the children alone (i.e. the party decorations). In the past she always chased Jon away, “I can do it better by myself.”
    Kate was also, very obviously, ‘performing’ for the cameras. She was searching for the paparazzi she claims to hate.
    Kate’s mantra has always been “Everything I do is for my kids”. Well, if this is true, why isn’t she taking better care of their father?
    I believe the TLC network, the book publishers and the viewers can play a very big role in helping this family get back on track. Pull the show off the air. Stop printing the books. Cancel future speaking engagements (how can Kate possibly talk about family values now?). Let these people have the privacy they need to raise normal, healthy children.
    They are not the first family to have sextuplets. The Dilley sextuplets just turned 16 and for the first time in as many years were seen on the Food Network Challenge when their birthday cake was a competition between professional cake decorators). They grew up to be lovely young people outside the TV spotlight. What smart parents they had.
    I for one will no longer be watching the show. Kate has become a greedy, self-serving individual and this does not make for pleasant, entertaining TV. I pray Jon will remain strong for his children and get on with his life – with or without Kate. Jon is, at this moment, too good for her. Kate’s brother was correct in a recent interview when he pleaded with Kate to, “Save your marriage and family and stop the search for fame and fortune”.

  25. I won’t watch this show. Table for Twelve can’t replace the Gosselin Children in my book. Bring the Gosselins back on please – I really miss those adorable children. Table for Twelve does not hold my interest at all!!

  26. Love table for twelve. Nice to see a down to earth family…so sick of Jon and Kate plus eight …not just because of all problems but it was not cute anymore and I think they have gotten more than they need. GO TABLE FOR TWELVE

  27. where is table for 12 love the show it is so real

  28. Give me a break! You can’t begin to compare the Hayes family with with the Gosselin’s. This is a realy family working together and they aren’t robots jumping to the mother’s commands. It’s so nice to see children not whinning and crying in every scene.

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  32. The famous people get almost everything made available to them so simply nonetheless they do not look at the folks who are out here experiencing financial distress, people young and old getting murdered evicted arrested whereas they got the whole world in they hands but i suppose people dont always strive for a a lot better tomorrow where i reside at a tomorrow isnt always assured . And their boys and girls get it so god damn not hard and now ungrateful man i’d Murder for benefit.

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