After months of unfavorable tabloid coverage and speculation about the state of their marriage, Jon and Kate Gosselin are set to make an announcement tonight on their popular reality series, "Jon and Kate Plus 8," about their family's future.
"Recently, we've made some life-changing decisions, decisions that will affect every member of our family, ones that we hope will bring each of us some peace," Kate Gosselin said in the episode airing tonight. A promotion for the hour-long special episode, which airs on TLC, has captions like "a family in turmoil," "a relationship at a crossroads," and "Where do they go from here?" while showing images of a once happy Gosselin clan.
"If you're a betting, man, you're betting there is either going to be a divorce or at least a separation," said Entertainment Weekly television critic Ken Tucker.
The statement comes just 10 days after the couple's 10-year wedding anniversary. The Gosselins, who are parents to a set of twins and sextuplets, have become the country's most discussed couple after allegations of extramarital affairs arose.
"Doesn't matter where Jon and I are in our relationship. My kids still matter the most to me. We haven't really known where we were going, but we've been dealing with this for a long time. A slow progression that has not popped up one day, it's not been like a secret," Kate Gosselin said.
Even before the reality show's fifth season premiere, which netted 10 million viewers, the Gosselins had become tabloid fodder. Kate Gosselin and her gang of eight were trailed constantly by the paparazzi in and around their Pennsylvania hometown.
Each spoke out about the difficulties in their marriage to People magazine and both have vehemently denied any extramarital affairs.
But the denials weren't enough to squelch the increasing gossip that the Gosselins were headed for an imminent breakup.
Paparazzi photos showed the pair seemingly living separate lives.
Kate Gosselin was shown hitting the beach with her children during a recent vacation to North Carolina, sans husband. Jon Gosselin was spotted reportedly shopping for an apartment in New York City.
The ever-increasing tabloid coverage has had an adverse effect on the Gosselin marriage.
"It just got worse and worse and worse, and with all the tabloids and all that, it just made it even worse. People think I've changed, and I have changed, but I'm now the person I know I am," Jon Gosselin said in the episode that airs tonight.
And while initially the couple's drama has fueled their show's ratings rise, lately it seems public sentiment may be against them because of the cracks that have appeared in the once happy family.
"The whole point of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" is to show a happy family living in harmony," Tucker said. "This could get messy."
But the end of the Gosselin marriage wouldn't necessarily mean the end of their reality show.
"Kate could turn this into a career and she could very easily position the show as the portrait of a single mother raising eight children now," Tucker said. "One possible scenario for an upcoming season would just be "Kate Plus 8." The show still rhymes. It still works."