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TLC pulls plug on ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ after TMZ report

TLC has axed its divisive reality series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” after its Georgia family matriarch allegedly began dating a convicted child molester.

The website TMZ reported Thursday that June Shannon, Honey Boo Boo’s mother, had taken up with Mark McDaniel, 53, a registered sex offender who was convicted in 2004 of molesting an 8-year-old child. That child, according to TMZ, is one of Shannon’s relatives. (TMZ declined to the name child, which is certainly the right move.)

The cable network on Friday morning released this statement to the press: “TLC has cancelled the series HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately.  Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”

June Shannon (a k a Mama June) posted a video on Alana’s (Honey Boo Boo) Facebook page denying that she is dating a sex offender, thanking fans for their support and confirming that production has stopped on the show.

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Debuting in 2012 as a surprise hit, the series was an outgrowth of another TLC show, “Toddlers & Tiaras,” a kids’ beauty pageant series where viewers first met go-go-juice-drinking Honey Boo Boo and her mom.

Mama June shows off one of her birthday gifts on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." | Photo courtesy TLC

Mama June shows off one of her birthday gifts on “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” | Photo courtesy TLC

“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” exposed America to the rest of Alana’s clan, including her father, “Sugar Bear” Thompson. He and June announced their split last month.

The series’ ratings had been sliding. “Honey Boo Boo” ended its fourth season this summer, averaging roughly half the audience it used to get in its heyday, when the season 2 finale pulled in 3.2 million viewers.