It's done: TLC and Discovery Communications have pulled the trigger on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," less than 24 hours after a report was posted on TMZ that said show matriarch, June Shannon, had taken up with a convicted child molester.
"TLC has canceled the series 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately. Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children's ongoing comfort and well-being."
The report, which first surfaced on TMZ earlier Thursday, said that Shannon -- mother of the show's namesake and child beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson -- was dating a Georgia man who was released from prison in March after serving a 10 year sentence for aggravated child molestation. It identified the man as Mark McDaniel, whom the report noted had started seeing Shannon during production of the fourth season, and had known her when the assault had first taken place.
"Boo Boo," which arrived in 2012, instantly repelled critics (Hollywood Reporter: "horrifying ...") and, of course, had the opposite effect on fans. More than two million tuned in for the premiere, although that may have been more of a rubbernecking phenomenon than genuine viewer enthusiasm. Nevertheless, “Boo Boo” has remained -- lurking mostly around the edges of pop culture these days, although still reflexively referred to by anyone seeking evidence for the decline and fall of American civilization. The audience had dwindled by the fourth season, which ended in August, but it still remains a draw for TLC.
Nevertheless, this represents a considerable problem for cable programming giant, Discovery Communications and TLC which also canceled another reality series, "Sons of Guns" in August, after the arrest of series’ cast member, Will Hayden, on charges of child rape.