It's safe to say that 2015 was not the greatest year for the Duggar family, who saw their TLC reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," canceled after eldest son Josh Duggar admitted to molesting five underage girls as a teenager.
The network, who took two full months to officially cancel the series after Josh's confession, hasn't said much about the scandal. But on Thursday, TLC's executive vice president and general manager Nancy Daniels finally addressed the Duggar situation during the network’s Television Critics Association panel, admitting TLC has had their "challenges."
“Every decision we’ve made has been done very thoughtfully and very carefully about what is in the best interests of the people involved and the network,” Daniels said. “Our first priority is making sure that there’s a health and well-being of our families first and foremost. We feature stories of different families with real people and real things happen.”
The cancellation of "19 Kids and Counting" marked the second time in two years that TLC canceled a reality series due to a sex abuse scandal. In 2014, the network axed "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" after it was reported that Mama June Shannon was dating the man convicted of molesting her 8-year-old daughter Anna more than a decade ago.
When asked how the network reacted to learning of Josh's past and if it raised concerns about their screening process during casting, Daniels cited a documentary on child abuse, which aired in August, and the three-part special that focused on sisters Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, whom were both molested by their brother, as the network's response.
"These are people who had something happening in their lives a long time ago,” she said. “We took the show off the air and immediately connected with two well-respected agencies to figure out the appropriate response. And one of those responses was the documentary to put the word out about a situation that doesn't really get talked about."
The network already copped to the fact the decision to cancel "19 Kids and Counting" cost them about 19 million during its second quarter. Because of that kind of loss, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the network hasn't cut ties with the family and is apparently considering to work with them again.
The three-part special focusing on the Duggar sisters was watched by more than three million people.
"The audience clearly cares about these girls," she said, before going on to say that they are "still talking and considering" more episodes focused on the sisters, but haven't made any decisions yet.
Since confessing to molesting underage girls as a teen, Josh Duggar checked into rehab after admitting to cheating on his wife. He's also being sued for assault and battery by an adult actress, who claims he "manhandled" her to the point that she "felt as if she were being raped."
Also on HuffPost: