The father of the hit TLC reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo will reportedly not be leaving the show before the final two seasons wrap up, despite his recent split from the show’s matriarch, Mama June. A rep for TLC gave a statement shortly following the two’s breakup detailing their plans for the show’s future.
In the statement, the representative explained how the network viewed father Sugar Bear, real name Mike Thompson, as a concrete part of the show’s existence due to him being the father of the show’s star (Alana Thompson, A.K.A Honey Boo Boo.) Although the parents are no longer together, producers feel as though the Honey Boo Boo audience became attached to them as a family and therefore they must stay as much of a family as they can despite the circumstances. The representative also admitted that although the breakup itself is unfortunate, the network feels as though it has potential to bring the show out of its recent ratings lull, as it switches things up a bit and can lead to new directions for the cast involved.
Mama June (June Shannon) will reportedly not be portraying herself as a heartbroken single mother in the upcoming season of Honey Boo Boo, but will rather remain the rock of the family, continuing to keep them all together and keeping the best interests of the children at heart. In terms of the children’s filmed reactions to their parent’s recent split, producers reportedly have no intentions of allowing them to be filmed while expressing emotions of devastation or grief at the news. Instead, the Honey Boo Boo crew is said to have made the children’s welfare their main priority when it comes to the filming of the show’s final two seasons.
One of the main reasons for the high level of damage control the network is attempting to put on the situation is reportedly related to the demise of fellow family based TLC show Jon & Kate Plus 8, which quickly fell apart following Jon and Kate Gosselin’s highly publicized divorce. Not only did the split interfere with the integrity of the show’s filming, the emotional toll it took on the couple’s children was heavily shown on camera, a fact which many viewers felt was distasteful and harmful to the children themselves. After the split was finalized, producers renamed the show to simply Kate Plus 8, in which Kate Gosselin’s journey into single parenting and moving on with her life was documented.
The series continued on for another two seasons before wrapping up production, although it was recently revealed that Kate Plus 8 will be airing an eighth season in September. The reason for the show’s comeback was reportedly linked to the success of the show’s reunion special, which aired in June of this year. Even though the show’s popularity is starting to grow again, producers still feel as though the end of Jon Gosselin’s involvement in the series could have been more professionally handled, and that making the divorce such a focus on the last few seasons was not the best direction in which to take a show that had once centered on family values and the importance of sticking together.
It remains to be seen how dedicated fans of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo will feel about the direction producers have decided to take the show. A premiere date for the upcoming fifth season has yet to be announced.
by Rebecca Grace