Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald are returning to TLC in their upcoming three-part special, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, but it seems not all the Duggars are behind the family’s return to reality TV.
A source in the Duggar family tells ET that the special is “turning into a circus” and “family members are disagreeing with a lot of what they are doing.”
According to the source, one point of contention within the conservative megafamily -- who starred on their own TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, from 2008 until earlier this year -- is the decision to put Anna Duggar on camera “at a time like this.”
Anna is the wife of eldest Duggar son Josh, who’s been at the center of two major scandals within the past year. The 27-year-old former lobbyist admitted in May that he had molested five minor girls as a teen, including four of his sisters. The scandal led to Josh resigning his position as executive director of FRC Action, a non-profit lobbying arm of the conservative Family Research Council, and the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting.
Then in July, after being implicated in the Ashley Madison data hack, Duggar admitted to being “unfaithful” to his wife and having a pornography addiction, an admission he later deleted from the family’s statement.
While Anna has stood by her husband throughout the scandals, she and her sisters-in-law open up about their difficult year in the upcoming special. "It was heartbreaking to hear what had happened," an emotional Anna, 27, tells TLC cameras in a preview, the first time she has spoken publicly about the scandal.
Jessa and Jill also talk about their older brother, who checked himself into a faith-based rehab center in Illinois in August, in the upcoming special. "I cried a lot of tears," Jill admits. "My first thoughts were for Anna."
However, the source told ET that they feel “certain members of the family are more focused on ratings and a paycheck than actually focusing on the issues at hand,” adding that some members of the Duggar family have “chosen not to participate in the special out of respect to the serious ordeal the family has been going through in the last months.”
Jill and Jessa: Counting On premieres Dec. 13th at 8/7c on TLC.