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The Duggars Family Update: Jill Dillard Duggar and Jessa Seewald Duggar Returning to TLC For a Series of Specials

( [email protected] ) Sep 25, 2015 10:25 AM EDT
Duggar fans can rejoice: TLC has announced it will air "two or more" TV specials following former "19 Kids and Counting" stars Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and Jill (Duggar) Dillard.
Jill Dillard (L) and Jessa Seewald (R) revealed earlier this year that they were among five girls molested by Josh Duggar. Instagram/Jill Dillard

Duggar fans can rejoice: TLC has announced it will air "two or more" TV specials following former "19 Kids and Counting" stars Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and Jill (Duggar) Dillard.

"We appreciate all the prayers for our family. God has drawn us closer to Him and to each other this summer," the Duggars wrote on their official Facebook page Thursday. "We are grateful that the new TLC specials set to air this fall will be sharing special moments with Jill, Derick and Israel on the foreign mission field and following Ben and Jessa as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby!"

The first special following Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's daughters is expected to air by the end of the year, the network says.

"What we will be following in these specials is Jessa preparing for her first child," Nancy Daniels, TLC's executive vice president and general manager, told the Associated Press, which first broke the news. "And we'll be watching Jill preparing to make a major move to Central America with her family, which we know is something our audience will be interested in."

During its run, "19 Kids and Counting" was TLC's most watched series, averaging 3.2 million viewers. However, the network cancelled the show in May after it was revealed that Josh Duggar had molested five underage girls as a young teen, including Jill and Jessa. More recently, he publicly apologized for a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife, and is currently seeking treatment at a faith-based rehab center. TLC has said Josh will not appear on any future programming.

Despite the scrutiny surrounding their family, Jessa and Jill have appeared to move on. Jessa, 22, is expecting a baby with husband Ben Seewald, whom she married in November 2014. Jill, 24, recently became a midwife and moved to Central America with her husband Derick and their son Israel as part of a long-term mission trip.

"We are looking forward to reconnecting with everyone with the new specials on TLC - many have asked about our mission work and about the challenges of taking our family to a different country, culture and learning a new language," Jill wrote on Instagram on Thursday. "We appreciate your prayers."

In addition to appearing in upcoming TLC specials, both sisters took part in a recent TLC documentary titled "Breaking the Silence" which highlighted sex abuse.

"They thought it was an important issue, and they showed an incredible amount of courage in sharing their story," Daniels said of the sisters' decision to appear in the documentary, which aired in August. "We were struck by that courage, and by how they are moving forward. Our audience continues to be engaged with what's going on in their lives."