NEW YORK – Reality TV mom Kate Gosselin says she feels a sense of peace after making the decision to separate from her husband, Jon.
So should fans of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," who may have fretted that this family-oriented reality show would be jeopardized by the co-stars' estrangement. For better or worse, the TLC series is as warm and fuzzy as ever, if two new episodes that aired Monday are any indication.
The episodes marked the end of a hiatus that began in June, when the Gosselins revealed to a huge audience of 10.6 million viewers their decision to split. The TLC network said then the couple needed time to "regroup," an odd word choice for a broken marriage.
But the revamped show's focus on "separately parenting" (another TLC term) is still focused on everyday family activities with the couple's eight kids — 5-year-old sextuplets and 8-year-old twins.
With a kitchen renovation project under way at the Gosselins' Pennsylvania home, Kate fled the chaos with the kids for a beach in North Carolina. Jon stayed home to oversee the construction.
Then, with Kate and the youngsters back home, Jon had taken his leave.
"This was my first official turn with the kids," Kate said. "It didn't feel very much different. It just felt more like the future."
Kate supervised a camp-out for the kids in the yard.
"This is a very, very difficult time right now," she told the camera from her interview chair, a change from the couch she and Jon had shared on the series in the past. "But my main goal is to make this transition as easy and painless ... for the kids as possible."
As co-stars of TLC's biggest hit, Jon and Kate also have been a magnet for the tabloid press since their marriage began to crumble.
But "Jon & Kate" fans (and TLC) needn't worry about the scandalmongering. The show still tells a different, squeaky-clean story — almost as if nothing had changed.