Jon Gosselin to Make Reality TV Comeback Tonight

See our January profile, “Jon Gosselin in the Wilderness.”

Tonight, recovering reality TV star Jon Gosselin falls back off the wagon. At 9 p.m., he’ll make his possibly triumphant return to cable for Episode 1, Season 4 of Vh1’s “Couples Therapy.” He’ll be appearing not with Kate, his ex-wife, but with girlfriend Liz Jannetta.

Photography by Chris Crisman, Prop Styling by Lauren Payne, Styling by Kara Bettie Speckhals, All Wardrobe Provided by Sugarcube and Barbour.

Photography by Chris Crisman, Prop Styling by Lauren Payne, Styling by Kara Bettie Speckhals, All Wardrobe Provided by Sugarcube and Barbour.

I profiled Gosselin, who lives not far from Reading, for Philly Mag’s January issue. When I started the assignment, he had no (active) plans to return to TV. I assumed the story would end up serving as some sort of a cautionary tale about our old fleeting friend fame, about what happens when the money runs out and the gigs stop coming, about a guy who used to be big, living in a cabin, waiting tables. And it was–until he got a call from a producer one day in October.

His presence on the show was an indication that he was still somewhat relevant (Flava Flav is a Season 3 veteran). But it wasn’t good for the folksy, redemptive narrative he had been spinning about himself that fall. From the story:

Before the VH1 news broke last November, I spoke to Jon’s former manager, Mike Heller, who shepherded him through that treacherous fall of 2009, and whose father, Mark, was Jon’s divorce lawyer. Heller insisted that Jon is happier now than he was during Jon & Kate Plus 8. “He’s not the one who wanted to do the TV show from the beginning,” he told me. When he added that reality television was “the biggest addiction,” he was making the point that Jon had kicked the habit, not that he had succumbed to it.

Jon and I eventually discuss the VH1 show, and he quickly gets defensive. “I didn’t put out an open bid—this is something that just popped up,” he says. Plus, he did it for his relationship with Liz, a single mom of three who DJs and tends bar. “We needed the therapy for our relationship. We really couldn’t afford therapy. And it’s free therapy.”

So is he just a humble guy, serving up wienerschnitzel on weekends? Or is his whole Waiter-and-Cabin Dweller persona just artifice, just a way for him to get back into the game? Answers within.

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  • Breaking chains

    He and Liz look healthy and natural, genuine people. Hope they make it and hope this pays for his latest round of legal fees..until his ex drums up another bootleg lawsuit.
    His ex continues to search for someone perfect to demasculate.

  • teresa darienzo

    This guy has been so vilified since his split with Kate that no matter what he does he will always be the bad guy. I say good for Jon for doing what ever the hell he feels like doing. He was under that witch’s thumb for so long and he is now finally free to make decisions for himself be they good or bad. I wish him nothing but the best.

  • acg

    As long as he and Kate don’t bring the kids into these shows, I don’t
    care what they do on tv. Bring the kids in or do something that can
    hurt them and all bets are off for both of them. My fingers are crossed
    that Jon managed to keep the kids out of it.

  • Truth Seeker

    The reality is this is not a “humble” return, or needing therapy. It’s a pay day. He tried to be accepted on DWS and was rejected, his “team” developed this opportunity for him. And BTW, the “girlfriend” of X years isn’t true either. He spent the summer of 2013 LIVING with another woman. This is disgusting. It’s a lie, I wish he would finally come out and say what he wants. To be relevant again and make money.

  • Incognita

    Kate Gosselin is a pig!