Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Speak Out After TLC Cancels Counting On: 'Difficult and Painful Moments'
TLC canceled Counting On after 11 seasons on Tuesday
The Duggar family is speaking out after their hit reality series Counting On was canceled.
Less than a week after TLC confirmed that the show had ended after 11 seasons on air, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released a statement on Saturday on behalf of the entire family, in which they addressed the cancellation news.
"It is hard to believe that more than 17 years have passed since we were first contacted by a production company wanting to do a one-hour documentary about the logistics of raising 14 children," their statement began. "Our family has grown (and grown up!) before our eyes and on national television, and the journey has been miraculous—following God is an exciting adventure!"
They continued, "Over the years, some of our most treasured moments have been those when we met children across the country who are alive today because of our testimony that children are a blessing—a special gift from God—and that the only real hope for individuals and families is a close relationship with Jesus Christ."
In their statement, Jim Bob, 55, and Michelle, 54, referenced filming "difficult and painful moments" over the years.
"Since we began filming so long ago, we've had the amazing honor to share our lives, our faith, and our story with you—including some of the most difficult and painful moments our family has ever faced," they said. "We are full of deep gratitude for the love shown to us and the prayers of so many who have sustained us both now and through the years."
"We look forward to all the new adventures and endeavors that may come our way, and with so many grown children and wonderful grandchildren, we know our love will only continue to multiply!" the statement concluded. "We are forever grateful for our film crew and so many others behind the scenes who have become like family to us over the years. The wonderful experiences that filming has provided us will be treasured always, and we look forward to discovering what's next for our family and sharing more with you along the way!"
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Addressing the series coming to an end, stars Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and her husband Jeremy Vuolo said in a statement on Tuesday that they "wholeheartedly agree with TLC's decision not to renew Counting On and are excited for the next chapter in our lives," going on to "thank our fans, friends, and the amazing film crew who have shown us love and support. We look forward to continuing our creative journey in Los Angeles and seeing what the future holds."
Similarly, Amy (Duggar) King said she also supported the network's choice to end the series, writing on Instagram: "@TLC- thank you for the ride🎢 I'll treasure the memories, always . Also, I stand with the network in this decision!"
On Tuesday, TLC confirmed that it "will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On," adding that the network "feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately."
The "situation" referenced in the statement alludes to recent public scandals involving Jim Bob and Michelle's oldest child, Josh Duggar.
Counting On premiered on TLC in 2015 and served as a spinoff series to 19 Kids and Counting, which ran from 2008 to 2015. The spinoff was created amid the previous molestation controversy surrounding Josh, 33.
That same year, news broke about Josh allegedly molesting five underage girls when he was a teenager. Two of his sisters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald later came forward as two of the victims, insisting they had already "moved on" and forgiven their brother when the news became public.
Also in 2015, amid Josh's first public scandal, 19 Kids and Counting was canceled after nine seasons. Then, a month later in August 2015, Josh confessed to having a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife Anna Duggar in an apologetic statement after Gawker reported that he appeared to have had active accounts on Ashley Madison, a website created to facilitate cheating on your spouse.
Most recently, Josh made headlines this April when he pleaded not guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography and was released from jail one week after he was arrested. Prosecutors believe Josh had more than 200 images of children on his computer.
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If convicted of the alleged crimes, he could receive up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines on each of the two counts, amounting to a total possible sentence of 40 years.
News of Counting On's cancellation came the same day that a federal judge pushed Josh's criminal trial to Nov. 30, according to federal court records. It was originally set to begin on July 6.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday, Josh's attorney Justin Gelfand said: "We are pleased with the Court's decision and we look forward to continuing to litigate this case."