NEW YORK - Celebrity parents Jon and Kate Gosselin say they plan to divorce . . . but not end their series.
The co-stars of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," who are parents of sextuplets and twins, made their announcement on last night's episode of the TLC reality series.
The network had promised a major on-air decision from the couple, whose increasingly troubled 10-year marriage has dominated the series in recent weeks as well as fueling a firestorm of tabloid coverage. Published accounts have alleged infidelity by both partners, accusations they both deny.
The Gosselins' announcement raises new questions about the future of "Jon & Kate," which, now in its fifth season, is TLC's most popular series.
But both Gosselins say that the show will continue, with their segments of the show filmed separately.
Rumors of trouble in the marriage had been festering for weeks in the tabloids and were moved along by reports from People, among others, that divorce papers had been filed in Pennsylvania. The family lives in Wernersville, in Berks County.
Last week, TLC began airing a promotion for last night's edition of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," and it was ominous: Recently, Kate Gosselin explains, she and her husband, Jon, have made "some life-changing decisions that will affect every member of our family."
To fans, noted Verne Gay of Newsday, it was no surprise. "Their onscreen relationship this season has been arctic, and they are rarely seen together. And not surprisingly, ratings have crumbled since the season opener, which was seen by nearly 10 million viewers." *