First Kate Gosselin dumped husband Jon in real life. Now she is doing the same in reel life as their hit TLC show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" is revamped to "Kate Plus 8" starting Nov. 2. In a statement, TLC President Eileen O'Neill explained, "Given the recent changes in the family dynamics, it only makes sense for us to refresh and recalibrate the program to keep pace with the family. The family has evolved and we are attempting to evolve with it; we feel that Kate's journey really resonates with our viewers."
Whether this revised version of reality resonates with Emmy voters is another matter. Last summer, "Jon & Kate Plus 8" failed to make the final cut for best reality program at the Emmy Awards. On the surface that snub seemed a surprise as it was the top-rated show in the category, drawing more than 10 million viewers to the fifth-season premiere in May. However, popular-ballot voters opted for "Antiques Roadshow," "Dirty Jobs," "Dog Whisperer," "Intervention," "Mythbusters" and two-time past champ "My Life on the D-List" in that race. The gritty "Intervention" ended up winning the Emmy Award.
The Emmy fate of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" underscored something we already knew about Emmy voters — they're snobs. Consider this: "Frasier" -- the TV series that's won the most Emmys ever with 37 -- is about two snooty brothers, Frasier and Niles Crane, obsessed with wine, women and song. Sure, voters love series about dysfunctional families such as the Cranes, but "Jon & Kate Plus 8" crossed the line, offending academy members exactly at the wrong time.
Voting on Emmy nominations occurred from June 5 to June 26. During that time, Jon and Kate faced sleazy charges that they'd been cheating on each other, an episode aired showing Jon skipping Kate's 34th birthday so he could go snowboarding with pals in Utah, Kate was caught throwing a hissy fit and spanking one of the girls in public, then Kate threw in the towel and filed for divorce.
"Jon & Kate Plus 8" became the ultimate reality-TV program, showing the uglier side of life. And that's where Emmy elitism came into play. When chasing after toddlers and bickering between themselves, the Gosselins looked like average middle-class Americans. But during those three weeks of popular ballot voting for Emmy nominations, they suddenly looked like trailer-park trash. Now that Kate is a single mom juggling eight kids on her own, will she be more sympathetic to Emmy Awards voters?
Photo credit: TLC