19 Kids And Counting

Quick, which one is more terrifying: being attacked by a great white shark in the open ocean with no one but the paleolithic killing machine itself to hear your tortured cries, or one woman popping out 19 babies? Variety reports that TLC is banking on the latter, as the cable network plans to counter its sister network Discovery Channel’s Shark Week with its own motherhood-themed week of programming.

Called “The Mother Of All Weeks,” the theme week will run from May 3-10 and is built around a special two-hour episode of the fascinating nature documentary series 19 Kids And Counting, where viewers can observe evangelical Christians and their hairstyling habits in the wild. The theme week will also include the series premieres of two typically family-friendly TLC series: The Willis Family, a reality series about a 14-member family band that, statistically, has to go to Branson at some point, and the “motherhood-centric” comedy showcase What She Said, where female stand-ups will presumably tell jokes about PTA bake sales instead of airline food.


The theme week will also include motherhood-themed episodes of Long Island Medium and My Big Fat Fabulous Life, plus an episode of Kate Plus Eight and two new episodes of I Still Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant to show what responsible parenting and good prenatal care look like. But perhaps most pregnant with possibility—and potential punnery—TLC will air a sneak preview of the new quiz show Labor Games, where women in active labor are surprised in the delivery room and asked to answer trivia questions in order to win money for their baby’s college fund. (We thought it sounded fake too, but a recent casting call seems to prove the show’s existence, reminding pregnant potential participants that ”you’re basically just sitting there for a few hours until the baby comes out so you might as well win some stuff!”)

Shark Week, of course, is not until July, but keeping the man-eating sharks and the tender newborn babies separate is probably for the best.