The Little Couple is an American reality television series on TLC that debuted May 26, 2009. The series features Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold, who both have skeletal dysplasia. Arnold is 96.5 cm (3’2″) and Klein 122 cm (4 feet) tall. They moved from New York, after Jen completed her pediatric residency and masters of medical education at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The Little Couple
The world is a big place, and for some it’s even bigger and more challenging. For husbands and wife daily wife Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold – who both have dwarfism – daily life is just that little bit trickier to navigate. The stars of the TLC reality television show The Little Couple (which first premiered May 26th 2009) are just 96.5cm (Jen) and 122cm (Bill) tall, and together they are forced to contend with both the normal highs and lows of married life, and raising two children, as well as the not so normal challenges of their condition. The show has enjoyed continued success, with its 11-th season airing on Tuesday, January 5th 2016. The couple were originally introduced to audiences on a one-hour TLC special, Little People: Just Married and were so popular they were given their own spin-off show. The Little Couple has so far aired 11 seasons, comprising of 134, 30-minute episodes and is produced by LMNO Productions, with Adrian Herrera (Unusual Suspects) Paul Yates (Top Secret Swimming Holes) Ryan Ely (Kitchen Nightmares) and Scott Reynolds (Murder Book), acting as executive producers.
So what sort of elements does the show incorporate? Well, apart from the struggles that are involved with being little people, it shows the progression of the couples’ lives over the years. When season one began the pair had just moved to Houston, Texas, and the show followed them as they attempted to have their home built, as well as trying to have a child. When we meet them, Bill has taken a job as a medical supplies and telemarketing businessman, and Jen has become a neonatologist working at the Texas Children’s Hospital. Around the fourth season, Bill opened Rocky&Maggie – a pet salon and organic pet food store – in Rice Village Houston, named after their two dogs, which is managed by Arnold’s mother, Judy. In season 5, the audience gets to see the couple move into their custom-built dream home, and launch an all-new business, as well as adopt a son named Will from China – who also has dwarfism. Not long afterwards they also adopted a daughter, Zoey from India, who like Will has dwarfism. Towards the end of the fifth season it was revealed that Jen was suffering from a rare form of cancer, a stage 4 choriocarcinoma, due to a bad pregnancy she had suffered in 2013. The pair kindly allowed the show to document them dealing with the struggle of her illness. During season 6, the show features Jen’s cancer treatment (which thankfully she makes a full recovery from) as well as Will’s 4th birthday, and Jen’s 40th. So, the couple have dealt with more than their fair share of ups and downs, just like most people, and also had to contend with the struggles of being smaller than most.
So whilst we can see that the show has resonated with audiences, has it managed to stay in their hearts, or is popularity for Bill and Jen starting to wane? The show has been very popular for TLC, with the latest premier attracting over 2.6 million viewers – making it one of the network’s most successful shows. The Little Couple has also had great review feedback, with a respectable 7 out of 10 score on IMDB, and an amazing 5 out of 5 stars on content streaming website, Amazon Instant Video. So it was of little surprise that this gem of a show was given the green light for a new season by TLC on April 3rd of this year. However, the horizon might not be as bright as it would seem, as shortly after the announcement of the renewal, the production company LMNO filed a lawsuit against TLC, putting the future of the series in doubt. The suit (specifically against parent company Discovery), noted a breach of contract and copyright infringement, accusing the “giant media company of conspiring with a criminal extortionist” to seize control of 6 of the production companies shows, including The Little Couple. This came after LMNO fell into financial difficulty, and apparently Discovery used this to take advantage of their troubled situation to wrest control. As a result LMNO ordered termination notices of the six shows in question, leaving The Little Couple hanging in the balance. Whether or not this means that the show will return again or be left to fall into oblivion remains to be seen.
There are currently no Blu-Ray copies of The Little Couple available to buy, but you can get hold of the 1st season DVD (for the jaw-dropping price of $86, suggesting it is out of print), and season 6 for a far more reasonable $19.95. If you would rather get hold of the show at a normal price, then you can do so online via content streaming service, Amazon Instant Video, (but only season 5 onwards, which is probably due to the lawsuit). Each episode will set you back $2.99, or you can pick up each of the latter five seasons in their entirety for $24.99, $14.99, $19.99, $24.99, $9.99, and $14.99 respectively. The reason for this odd pricing is that Amazon have split some of the seasons in half, and changed the back episodes to later seasons, which is somewhat confusing, but not uncommon for shows that have had multiple seasons. Additionally, If you live within the US, you can also try and catch reruns on Dish Network: 183 (HD/SD), 4DTVDigital: AMC-10-604, DirecTV 280 (HD/SD), Verizon FiOS: 639(HD)/139(SD), AT&T U-verse: 1250(HD)/250(SD). Unfortunately, if you are outside of the US, then YouTube is going to be your only chance at watching some episodes.
Do you think a show about little people is a great way to introduce people to the condition, or do you think it is exploiting those with struggles for viewing numbers? How do you feel about the fact that the show might not return due to outside influence – are you sad that Bill and Jen might not return to the screen, or after 10 seasons do you think this is a fitting farewell to the couple? Are you a fan of the show and have a particular season that stands out in your eyes – what was it that made it the best for you? As always, we want to hear what our users have to say, so if you have some spare time feel free to pop your thoughts and musings down in the comments section below, and connect with other readers on the site. Plus if you want to know instantly whether your favourite shows will be around to binge on next season then just click the subscribe button! You’ll receive news and updates on whether your selected television shows have been renewed or cancelled, and you’ll receive an automatic email when the exact release date for the eleventh season of The Little Couple when it is officially announced by TLC.