With the latest Kate Plus 8 episode -- "Alaska, Here We Come!" -- set to air on Sunday (TLC, 9 p.m. E.T.), it's worth asking an obvious question: Has America lost interest in this over-hyped family, fascinating as their story is? Jon and Kate Gosselin's dirty laundry first became a national obsession over a year and a half ago, when Jon's affair was first reported. Every weepy interview Kate gave was covered from all angles by the press. Every juvenile move Jon made was critiqued in tabloids and devoured by readers in hair salons and supermarket checkout aisles, nationwide. Some wondered, "Will it ever end?"
Well, maybe it has. The fact is, we haven't seen quite as much of Kate since her brave-but-sad stint on ABC's Dancing With the Stars and her subsequent, self-deprecating spoof of it at this year's Emmys. And, at least in recent months, the media hasn't jumped on every single little statement that Jon has made (though, granted, they did report on his latest trip to Taco Bell).
With the startling success of Sister Wives and the imminent debut of Sarah Palin's Alaska, even TLC seems to have shifted focus away from the Gosselins.
TLC execs would probably point out that this isn't true, because Kate and the kids are going to be featured in an upcoming episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska. But there was a time when the network was promoting new episodes of the Gosselin show like once-in-a-lifetime events. Now, if you go to the Kate Plus 8 page of the TLC website, you'll find only a small mention of "Alaska, Here We Come!" You have to go to YouTube to find a clip of the episode's promo, where you'll see the kids watching whales and going dog sledding.
For all those who wondered when the Gosselin craze would end, right now might be your answer. It wasn't a sudden flameout, but a gradual waning of interest. For now, the obsession seems close to over. Will it stay over? Maybe -- at least until Kate finds a new man or the kids get older and write tell-alls or they get caught behaving badly by the paparazzi. And let's face it: That's all too possible.
Do you think America has lost interest in the Gosselins? Chime in below!