‘HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO’
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.