TLC says it’s mulling its options after a report surfaced that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June has restarted a relationship with a man recently released from prison after serving 10 years on a child molestation conviction. The man, Mark McDaniel, was released from prison in March.
“TLC is not currently in production on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. We are very concerned about this new information and are reassessing the future of the series,” a network rep said in a statement to Deadline. Season 4 of Honey Boo Boo wrapped in August. June also was dating McDaniel at the time the molestation was committed, according to the report from cop-whisperer TMZ.
Here Comes Honey Boo features June and her daughter, former child beauty pageant contestant Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, who shot to fame on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. The show is primarily filmed in and around the family’s hometown of McIntyre, GA, where McDaniel is now a registered sex offender.
Reality TV series stars making breathtakingly bad judgment calls isn’t exactly new — it kind of comes with the turf and is the reason we hope network reps for those shows are well compensated. But this report comes at a particularly awkward time for TLC — two days after the network said it had snagged an uplifting series about miracles from in-demand couple Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, in which GM Nancy Daniels said, “TLC is always looking for remarkable, heart-warming, and eye-opening stories,” and Downey said she and Burnett feel passionately about making TV and film projects that “show people’s lives in positive and uplifting ways.”
If TLC cuts bait on Honey Boo Boo, it would not come as a total surprise. The series ratings are on the wane, with Season 4 never cracking 2 million viewers which it did routinely earlier in its run/ Season 2 wrapped with 3.21 million tuned in.
Last month, Mama June and “Sugar Bear” Thompson, aka father of Honey Boo Boo, announced they were splitting; the show previously had documented their “commitment ceremony.”