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TLC readies 'Sister Wives,' a reality show about a polygamist family

Get ready for the reality version of "Big Love."

TLC, the cable network behind hits " Jon & Kate Plus 8" and "19 Kids and Counting," is hoping to strike ratings gold again with "Sister Wives" -- a show about another unusual family.

This time, TLC is zooming in on a polygamist family in Utah. The show will premiere on Sept. 26.

Much like the HBO drama "Big Love," which follows a man and his three wives, "Sister Wives" is about Kody and his wives Meri, Janelle and Christine and their 13 kids.

Unlike "Big Love's" Bill Henrickson though, Kody is looking to add to his family by taking on a fourth wife, Robyn, who is several years younger than his current wives and has three children of her own.

For TLC, "Sister Wives" will probably generate some controversy, but the network is no stranger to that. Besides its shows about the now-divorced Jon and Kate Gosselin, TLC has been getting some heat for "Sarah Palin's Alaska," a documentary series featuring the former vice presidential candidate that is expected to premiere later this year.

"We've never shrunk from a unique opportunity," said TLC President Eileen O'Neill. TLC has ordered seven episodes of the series and has an option to produce more if the ratings merit it.

Although the show features several young children, O'Neill said the kids were brought into discussions with Kody and his wives and that going forward with a show was a "thoughtful decision considered over time."

As for the motivations of the family in "Sister Wives," O'Neill said they are seeking to change the secrecy of their situation and are "looking for understanding."

"Sister Wives" is being produced by Figure 8 Films, the same company behind "Jon & Kate Plus 8." O'Neill said the network had not necessarily been in the market for a show about polygamy but once they saw footage of Kody and his clan, the network jumped.

TLC gets the most attention for its shows about unusual families, but it also has a strong roster of programs about cooking, including "Cake Boss" and the brand new "DC Cupcakes." The fading interest in Kate Gosselin and her kids has not hurt TLC yet, as its overall ratings this year are up in viewers and among women, its primary demographic.

-- Joe Flint

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Comments () | Archives (15)

If this airs. The family, who would most likely be doing this for $Money. Deserves the punishment for coming out of the closet. While all their hard work and lies could not stop prop 8 from repeal, polygamy is still a crime. Unfair? It doesn't matter.
The show, in reality, not "Hollywood Reality"; would revolve around all the sister wives and husband in jail and their children living with foster families. At least after the first couple of episodes.
This along with Sarah Palin's Alaska would reveal, there is no learning to be had from watching TLC. Sarah Palin is a self-made delusion. Her Alaska? She abandoned it to become a celebrity. (for all of her supporters who donated their time and money to get her elected, Frack You, she quit). Hunting wild game from a helicopter, only to leave their rotting corpses behind for sport. Reality check.
How about a show detailing the lives of several same-sex parents. Soccer-parents and normal same sex couples who finally have the recognition granted them by the U.S. Constitution.

Very nicely put Craig. I agree on every point!

I'm not certain I would agree with that due to one specific point. and that is that the people that lobbied so hard against prop 8 were the mainstreamers. the polygamists are the ones that stayed true to their religion rather than deciding that God was okay with them changing their religion due to political pressure. In my book that gives them more integrity... even if I don't relate to their lifestyle choice.

Read it and weep Craig! People ARE interested in polygamy... for whatever reason, I don't care! Polygamists have a history that needs to be told! Thousands have been killed and their property stolen and wives raped... not only here in the U.S., but perpetrated by the government itself in most cases! Check out Governor Boggs' of Illinois and his "extermination order! He made it legal to walk up to a Mormon and tell him to leave his home and property, and if he didn't, it gave you the legal "privilege" to kill him! And I am extremely pleased to see the general public finding some interest in our way of life.

You will find that MOST polygamists did not support, and actually fought against, Prop. 8!!! Due to their legal circumstance, they realize how important it is to have the legal right to live your life in the way you seem fit!

LOL... yeah it doesn't matter that it is unfair... you are all for "unfairness" it appears.

So just stick it... don't watch the show... and we will see what happens!

You might learn something by watching though, as your post shows you to be supremely ignorant.


I think what you meant to say is that it was the mainstream church that fought and paid millions to get Prop 8 passed... it was the excommunicated, fundamentalist, polygamists that fought AGAINST Prop 8!

Most polygamists have been excommunicated from the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because of their beliefs in the early accepted doctrine of Plural marriage as well as other beliefs that the mainstream dropped for political and financial reasons...

I simply cannot fathom the thinking that Craig displays. It almost sounds as if he is happy to see loving families torn apart through law enforcement or government mandate. He is likely a mainstream church member that doesn't know his own history. Of course he also could be a gay man that resents the "Mormons" for their political and financial involvement in the Prop. 8 passing... but too ignorant to realize that the vast majority of polygamists were very much against Prop. 8... and that there is a HUGE difference between the mainstream church and fundamentalist polygamists.

Well said Craig. I doubt the show will last long - sounds like a total bore.

And Polyg...people are not interested in polygamy, knuckledraggers are, as well as the mindless, barefoot women they impregnate. But then again, I suppose ignorant American women with no self esteem need love too. And I'm sure there's plenty of incompetent men with frail egos who think they can actually please more than one women.

Don't get your panties in a bunch, and don't get overly enthusiast.
Polygamy will never be legalized in your lifetime.

You can even handle the fact that others don't agree with the concept.
Haha, what a loser.

Why not we have gay marriage. At least they are able to procreate unlike the other. Polygamy and gay marriage both should be legal. They all need equal treatment right. I do also because I love my dog and i want her to have the same healthcare as i do. A bunch of weirdos on bothside of the fence. You all make me sick.

"Polygamists have a history that needs to be told! Thousands have been killed and their property stolen and wives raped... "
Polyg - for a second there, I thought you were referring to the American Indians. Way to make them sound like victims. What crock.

I suppose illegal immigrants who break the law are victims as well. Amazing how twisted people become when they believe their own BS.

I think TLC wasted their money.

Question for those of you saying this is wrong – If all of the Adults in this relationship CONSENT to being in a polygamist marriage, then how is it wrong ? They are Adults. And they consent to it. Today we are seeing Gay marriage being legalized in many states and a huge push to legalize it nationwide…So if Gay adults, who are both of the same sex are allowed to marry [which is in no way a traditional marriage], then what is so wrong with a Polygamist marriage.

There is nothing wrong with it at all if other forms of marriage are allowed. If the standard is to be Marriage between 1 man and 1 woman ONLY, then sure, Polygamy is out. But if Gay marriage is allowed then I see no grounds to stand on to discriminate Polygamists on.

Where polygamists are, child sexual abuse is RAMPANT. End of story.

Where women and girls have no choices and are BRED to WED, child sexual abuse, and misogyny and ABUSE rein, anyone promoting or arguing the concept is nothing but a PERVERT child molester or WANNABE child molester who gets off on controlling women and girls.

If TLC thinks America will stand for this kind of sick twisted crap as entertainment, their advertisers might want to take stock of THIS: there's a BOYCOTT coming that will financial hurt anyone who associates themselves with this show.

I sometimes think if TLC could have put a camera in Phillip Garrido's backyard compound where he kept abducted child Jaycee Duggard chained like a dog, they WOULD!

For a paper such as the LA Times to just post this as a newswire story and not comment on the sheer heinousness, tells me our culture is most thoroughly destroyed. Your little aside, that 'oh, tee-hee, it's like the REALITY version of HBO's 'Big LOVE' -- well, Einsteins, have you forgotten that Big Love is centered around murder, child rape, child sexual abuse, and brain washed minions of a perverted leader?? WTF is wrong with you??!!

Yet you gleefully tell readers 'oh it's the reality VERSION of your fav HBO show' -- well if that IS true, then the FBI should be called in STAT, since Big Love was full of criminal activity.

What is wrong with you namby pamby pseudo-journalists today? You can't state an opinion, you can't give an editorial, you just 'report,' on what some other entity (who seeks ratings/hits/circulation) tells you. You're a mouthpiece a conduit for corporations. TLC has a show coming out about misogyny and the degradation of women and girls -- and we (LA TImes) are just PASSING that along to our readers.

I'm done with this paper.

Listen Joe, I honestly don't give a rat's fanny who sleeps with whom or how often they do it. Hiding behind the guise of marriage is a crock of BS and we all know it. Watch your TLC, but don't expect anyone but your small minority of YAHOOS to buy into it.

These clowns want everyone to think their intentions are all clean and pure because they're married. What a bunch of spineless woosies! Gag me. WHY GET MARRIED??? To make yourself feel good about having multiple partners??? It makes a mockery out of the sanctity of marriage!

Just have sex with as many women as you want, as many times as you need without placing the self-inflicted guilt on yourselves. Guilt is for church.

Thank you Craig, I appreciate your words of bringing the reality of humanity to the table..
I may watch this show for my own personal entertainment (that's all it is right?) but I will ALWAYS support Human Rights (and by that, I mean the GLBT COMMUNITY!)

I absolutely am blown away by the love that the sister wives share, its absolutely eye opening to the realities, and feel blessed to finally see this from the inside. Too many people find it so easy to judge, but the idea now actually is very appealing to me. Im thinking, how absolutely awesome it must be to commit to a relationship with someone, and you get an enormous family benefit, wow. Your showing this, is a great risk to yourselves, i do understand, however it shouldnt be. It is ok to be gay, to drink, to have premaritial sex , cheat, and multiple other things, but committing to one another in the eyes of God, is considered bizarre. We need to review the books on this one. I wish I had the opportunity to do this, I lost my entire family, and it would be absolutely awesome to have this type of support system. You are terrific, all of you. Thanks for the reality check...

oh and to the one that made the comment about child sexual abuse being rampant in these situations, go blow, thats the same mentality that caused a public pool to be emptied and sterilized after little ryan white the little boy who had aids had swam in it, stuff it buddy. You are living in the stone age, like saying all gays are pedophiles, go slay a dinosaur......

If a handsome, intelligent man offer you marriage, be his one and only wife, but do not join an organization. The one man is the manager instructor, and the women are being advised and directed how to organize and control the organization. The more they cooperate the more the one man appreciate their sacrifices and their weaknesses.
Taken care of an organization, have made these women slaves. These marriages are not based on love and the one man will always misused marriages to have or abuse sex with a younger woman.


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