Jon Gosselin Dropped from Jon & Kate Plus 8
09/29/2009 AT 11:25 AM EDT
"Given Jon's recent antics, there was no way the show could continue to portray him as a doting Dad, not while all this other crap was going on," a source close to the show tells PEOPLE.
The series first debuted on April 16, 2007, and experienced a ratings spike once the Gosselin marriage became troubled earlier this year. This past season the couple announced they would divorce.
The fifth season premiere attracted a record 9.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched show of that evening including those on broadcast TV.
But after a six-week hiatus from new episodes, only 4.2 million viewers tuned in to see Jon & Kate on Aug. 3, and only 1.7 million reportedly watched last Monday.
Kate Gosselin recently completed a stint as a guest host of The View, sitting in for Elisabeth Hasselbeck during her maternity leave.
Gosselin has also reportedly taped a pilot for a talk show costarring Food Network star Paula Deen.