Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN -


Au­gust 2012 to Au­gust 2014

Con­tro­versy: View­ers fell in love with quirky and funny “Tod­dlers & Tiaras” young pageant com­peti­tor Alana (Honey Boo Boo) Thomp­son and her mother, “Mama June” Shan­non. So when TLC made a spinoff show star­ring the fam­ily, it be­came an in­stant hit, se­cur­ing high rat­ings and a place in pop cul­ture his­tory. But af­ter its fourth sea­son fin­ished air­ing in Au­gust, re­ports sur­faced Shan­non was dat­ing a con­victed child mo­lester.

The busi­ness stakes: Now avail­able in about 94 mil­lion homes in the U.S., TLC is the sec­ond most widely viewed chan­nel owned by Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, be­hind the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel. Even be­fore the Mama June news, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” had gar­nered back­lash from var­i­ous crit­ics, who con­tended that the se­ries ex­ploited chil­dren. Still, the lat­est batch of episodes that aired in Au­gust ranked No. 1 among ad-sup­ported ca­ble pro­grams with 18- to 34-year-old women and No. 2 with 25- to 54-yearold women. Both groups are highly de­sired by ad­ver­tis­ers.

Af­ter­math: In Oc­to­ber, TLC pulled the plug on the se­ries.

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