Kate Gosselin began co-starring with her husband Jon and eight children on the cable TV series Jon & Kate Plus 8 in 2007. Gosselin is a nurse by training, but the success of her “reality” show has given her a new career as a TV star, a touring speaker and the author of the books Multiple Blessings (2008) and Eight Little Faces (2009). Kate and Jon married in 1999 and used modern fertility enhancement methods to have twin girls in 2000 (Cara and Madelyn, born 8 October). Three years later Kate’s fertility treatments were again successful and she delivered sextuplets (Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel, born 10 May 2004). The Gosselin family appeared in a 2006 TV special, Surviving Sextuplets and Twins, then returned to TV a year later with Twins and Sextuplets, which in turn led to Jon & Kate Plus 8, a weekly show that follows the family’s ups and downs. Prior to the 2009 season the Gosselins’ public lives became perhaps too public, as rumors of infidelity caused a wave of tabloid speculation. Their marriage was strained and their show became a talking point for finger-wagging social commentators, but ratings shot up and Kate continued to tour and promote her books. They announced their plans to divorce in an episode that aired 22 June 2009, and for the next season the name of the show became Kate Plus Eight, with a focus on Kate’s role as a single mother.
Kate’s brother and his wife, Kevin and Jodi Krieder, appeared in early seasons of Jon & Kate Plus 8; as the 2009 season began they made headlines themselves for being openly critical of Kate and Jon as parents.