After all the hype by TLC and the money spent by the Maryland-based cable company to try and buy some credibility from NBC News, Monday night's interview show with Kate Gosselin did not make much of a dent in the ratings loss that "Jon & Kate Plus 8" has suffered in recent months.
"Kate: Her Story," an hourlong interview of Kate Gosselin by NBC News correspondent Natalie Morales, drew an audience of 3.795 million viewers. That is up from 3 million the week before. But it is long way from the audience on 10 million with which the reality TV show, "Jon & Kate Plus 8," started the season in June. Last March before the tabloid explosion, the regular weekly show was averaging about 3.7 million, as I wrote at the time.
The program was promoted as a special hour of the most "intimate" conversation yet with Gosselin, who seems to have been interviewed a lot about herself in recent months. The only thing "special" about it was the peculiar arrangement of its production that saw TLC hire NBC's Peacock Productions to make the program. TLC appears to have been trying to buy some of the credibility of NBC News for its falling star, Kate Gosselin. Judging from yesterday's online reviews and blog comments, the reality-TV drenched cable channel did not seem to be so successful in that regard.
TLC is not going to be making money off Kate Gosselin with 3.8 million viewers if it has to hire outside producers like NBC News to make programs featuring her. But the cable channel is in a desperate place with the show, since Kate Gosselin's estranged husband, Jon, has gone to court to shut down production. Jon Gosselin says he had an "epiphany" recently and came to understand that being on TV is bad for the couple's eight children.
TLC literally cannot make new epsiodes of the show unless Jon Gosselin, whom it is suing, relents -- or a court rules against his efforts to keep his children off this controversial TV show.
The cable channel will try to keep "Jon & Kate Plus 8" going with clip-job productions -- shows made up of film from eisodes that previously aired. I suspect they will use Kate Gosslin is a kind of hosting role, trying to package some of the old material as her "favorite" moments.
Kate Gosselin seems as desperate as TLC to stay on the air with some version of this franchise. They have managed in the last two weeks with unusual and heavily promoted episodes featuring Kate Gosselin to halt a ratings skid that saw the show drop to a low of 1.9 million viewers.
It appears that neither TLC nor Kate Gosselin is ready to throw in the towel.