"Jon & Kate Plus 8" has turned into must-see TV this season as the couple faces marital troubles. The ratings for this reality show starring Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight children are through the roof. And the reviews for this surprisingly revealing look at life for a couple confronted with two sets of multiple births are equally stellar.
The recently ended fourth season of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" boasted a staggering 41 episodes. The fifth season began May 25, just six days before the end of the latest Emmy eligibility period.
Almost 10 million people tuned into the season premiere of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" last week. The parents came together to throw a fifth birthday party for their sextuplets. In a statement issued after the first episode aired, they said, "As many couples do, we are navigating a very difficult time. Our current situation brings us together around the children and some times sets us apart. We keep our faith that we will make the right decisions for our family."
The Learning Channel sent a DVD of "Jon & Kate" to Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members as part of the Discovery network's Emmy campaign box shipped out a few weeks ago. Two episodes were on the disc — "Korean Dinner" and "Backyard Campout" — but neither will be the one Emmy judges view if "Jon and Kate" makes it onto the list of the final five nominees. Producers submitted last week's Season 5 premiere, "Turning Five & the Future," which was shot just days before airing, so it reflects much of the latest turmoil between the duo. If it scores with Emmy voters like it did with TV viewers, it will result in the show's first big Emmy nomination.
Last year, "Jon & Kate" competed for best reality program, but the Learning Channel has asked the TV academy to move it to the race for best nonfiction series. That's still undecided, but unlikely to happen at this late date since the final ballot gets posted at the academy's website and voting commences this Friday.
Assuming the show remains in reality, "Jon & Kate" will compete against two-time champ Kathy Griffin and her series "My Life on the D List." In the past, fearless diva Griffin beat back such competition as the genteel "Antiques Roadshow," the heart-tugging "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and the newly clean and sober on "Intervention." Could the Gosselin 10 be the ones to keep Kathy Griffin from making it three in a row at the Emmys? Just let them try!
Photo: Tom O'Neil