10 Things You Didn’t Know About TLC’s “The Little Couple”
There is no doubt that TLC has thrived off of the reality TV genre, but unlike many of its series, The Little Couple‘s success has come from fans watching Jen Arnold and Bill Klein’s happy life. Instead of relationship drama, or over-the-top scandals that plague many reality shows, the best part about The Little Couple is that it actually depicts the pair’s real life, real marriage and real family, and for many viewers, they have become more than two people on TV, they have become people they know. Despite being reality stars, the stay down-to-earth and focused on raising their family, so get to know them even better with 10 things you didn’t know about the popular series and its stars!
10. Celebrating Special Occasions
While the pair don’t mind being reality TV stars and sharing their lives with millions of fans, they revealed to the Huffington Post that they have devised a way to still keep things private. “We try to remind each other that dinners out with the cameras don’t really count and that we still need to have a separate celebratory dinner for us, for birthdays and anniversaries. Even though we celebrate on camera, we do something separate as well,” Jen Arnold explained about celebrating special occasions twice.
9. Dealing With Depression
Bill and Jen may seem like two of the happiest couples on reality TV, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t had their struggles. After the release of their book Life Is Short (No Pun Intended): Love, Laughter, and Learning to Enjoy Every Moment, Bill Klein opened up about his past struggle with depression and the fact he had contemplated suicide. While studying at New York University, Klein revealed he was extensively bullied by others because of his stature, and after turning to drinking, he eventually thought of taking his own life. “In college, I had reached the deepest pit of depression and that brought me to the brink,” he admitted. In the book, Klein says he stepped out onto the ledge of his sky rise dorm, “I stood up and leaned against the wall next to the window,” he writes. “I looked down to the place where I might die.” Fortunately, Klein thought of his family and stepped away, and said, “things got better after that night on the ledge.”
8. Net Worth
Bill Klein and Jen Arnold each had their own money before becoming reality stars thanks to the series The Little Couple. Arnold is a neonataologist while Klein works in medical supplies and telemarketing which help the two get the funds to adopt two children. Reality stardom and a successful series has also helped greatly with their income, especially as they dealt with launching their own business, and Jen’s battle with cancer. The pair now have an estimated net worth of $3.5 million.
7. Getting Moments
Jen Arnold and Bill Klein landed their own series on TLC due to living their lives with skeletal dysplasia. The show first aired in May 2009 and has since featured eight seasons as fans just can’t get enough of the charming and hilarious pair and their life together, and the two revealed that they have found a way to sneak moments away from the cameras that have now followed them for seven years of their lives. The two revealed to Huffington Post that they “steal” romantic moments in the car, “Normally, that’s our moment in between the cameras,” Klein said of keeping the romance alive away from prying eyes.
6. First Meeting
Jen Arnold and Bill Klein first began dating through an online site for little people, but they actually had met way before that. When they were only 10 years old, the pair were on the same hospital wards receiving surgery for their skeletal dysplasia. Their encounter in the hospital was less than a minute, and Jen doesn’t even remember it because she was post-op. “It wasn’t much more than a few seconds […] I used to do laps around the hallways, and I was happy as could be. I was cut out of my cast, I was sitting up, listening to my Walkman, my parents were 200 miles away, so I couldn’t get in trouble by them…so I cruised into her room,” Bill recalled to Glamour. Years late the pair did reconnect through online dating, and while Jen made the first move, Bill made the first big gesture by getting on a plane to get to her to take her out on their first date!
5. Mr. Arnold
In an interview, Bill revealed that instead of Jen getting called Jen Klein, he actually gets called by her last name, Arnold. Whether people think that his last name is Arnold and she took his name or not, it seems to happen quite often. “I was at Restoration Hardware and the lady came up and said, ‘Oh my god. I was hoping I’d meet you guys, it’s very nice to meet you Bill Arnold.’ It’s actually a running joke now it’s happened so often that people just presume that my last name is Arnold. It’s perfectly fine by me, there’s no ego or harm done,” Bill explained.
4. Writing A Book
Despite serious careers, a TV show, raising two kids and their own health problems, Jen and Bill still found time to write their book which gave fans even more insight into their lives. In an interview, the pair explained that they did it for the fans and for their kids. “A lot of people have a good idea of our present life [from the show] and how we handle situations today. The idea was to connect the dots for people that knew us, and obviously we wanted the viewership [of our show] to read the book to explain why we are the way we are today. We wanted to illustrate that in the best way possible and thought that the book would do it. That was part of it. The other part from a legacy perspective, I would like for my kids to take a couple of notes from our pages and maybe say, ‘You know what? My dad got bullied too. And my mom got bullied also. We saw obstacles in their lives and they turned out to be fine.’ Chances are, by the time they’re old enough to appreciate that, we’ll be too old to recall it otherwise.”
Since season eight of The Little Couple came to an end in March 2016, fans and the stars have been left in limbo over whether or not season nine is on the way. While the series has not been officially canceled, it has run into a stoppage of production. As it turns out, the show was stopped because of a legal case between Discovery Communications which runs TLC and independent production company LMNO. LMNO filed a $7 million breach-of-contract and copyright infringement lawsuit against Discovery, which affected six shows, including The Little Couple. The suit states that Discovery’s claim of “bad faith” is in reality “a smokescreen for what Discovery was really after: the ability to steal The Little Couple and produce the show behind LMNO’s back. Without telling LMNO, per the lawsuit Discovery secretly began shooting new episodes of The Little Couple on its own more than a month ago as part of its scheme to take the show.” Due to this messy lawsuit, there is no return in site for the beloved TLC series.
2. Difficult Pasts
While Bill opened up about his struggles with suicide and depression, Jen admitted that most were much kinder to her in school, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have other difficulties. During her childhood with skeletal dysplasia, Arnold underwent countless surgeries as only a child at Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “I would be out of school for two to three weeks for the surgery, then up to three months to heal in the cast at home, and then six to eight more weeks for inpatient physical therapy at the hospital,” she recalled. By the time Jen was only 18 years old she had already gone through 22 surgical procedures.
1. Kids on Camera
While the series started with just Bill and Jen, they have since grown their family to include Will and Zoey. It is clear they make sure to make their upbringing as normal as possible, despite having cameras around a lot of the time, but according to the couple, their kids aren’t all that concerned about the cameras or being on TV yet. “The large majority of what we do is off-camera because we want them to grow up in a normal, comfortable environment and experience what they want to experience without it being something that they have to do in front of an audience,” Bill said. Jen added, “I haven’t heard from their teachers that they event talk about it at school, partially because I don’t think they’re self-aware.