Before 2015, the family-themed reality television was dominated by the Duggars and their "19 Kids and Counting" program. But now, there's a new big family that reality television fans are looking out for.
Since January of last year, William and Kelly Jo Bates, and their 19 children have been showing television viewers how they go about their daily lives as one big family. But, according to the producers of the show, viewers should not immediately conclude that the Bates are similar to the Duggars.
Sure, both families are about the same size. But for executive producer Matthew Hightower, despite this similarity, the how the Bates interact with one another and deal with their daily issues are very different from how the Duggars go about in their daily lives.
"Yes, there are similarities between the families, but you really can't compare them to each other just as you can't compare any two other families," he said according to Observer. "They're very different from each other in many, many ways, and I think that's all that needs to be said about this."
Another similarity that fans of both "Bringing up Bates" and "19 Kids and Counting" point out is that both families have strong religious backgrounds.
But as noted by Timothy Kuryak, UP TV's senior vice president of Unscripted Programming, despite being a conservative Christian family, the show doesn't revolve solely around the Bates' religion. Although their practices and traditions are portrayed from time to time, the focus is still on the interactions between members of the family.
In other words, the show portrays the Bates like any other family. Which means fans don't have to share the same spiritual background to enjoy watching the show, Christian Today reported.
"It's an important part of who they are but we don't dwell on it," Kuryak said. "There is praying on the show but not a lot of it. We weren't going to not show that aspect. That would be cutting out a very important part if the family's daily life."
"If people do that I think they're missing out on a bigger message," he added. "You don't have to be religious to see the benefits of how this family treats each other and we're a society that can learn a lot from that."