Twenty-seven years ago Gil and Kelly Jo Bates tied the knot with no plans to have kids. Fast forward 19 kids later and this tight-knit family, seemingly too good to be true, has a tremendous bond but are far from perfect. As you will see, when you have a house full of 19 children, from ages two to 25, daily chaos is multiplied exponentially, but so are the joyful and poignant moments that life can bring.Led by devoted father Gil (49) and his loving wife Kelly Jo (47), the Bates do everything in bulk while staying true to their values and rules for the family -- which means everyone has chores, little to no TV, only dresses for girls (though pajamas are worn in private), strictly side-hugs until marriage (except for front hugs on special occasions), and more. With a grand total of 19 children ranging in age from two to 25, they are the definition of a "big, happy family." But lately -- as viewers will see -- their simple rural lifestyle in Tennessee is in a flurry of transitions, see it all on Bringing Up Bates.
Add to my shows
A Sweet Shower & A Surprise Switch! 08x04
A Birthday to Remember 01x13
Gil is turning 50 and the kids want to surprise him with a huge party! Kelly Jo whisks Gil away for a romantic overnight stay while the kids get to work planning the festivities. When the big surprise is revealed, a teary-eyed Gil basks in the warm glow of being surrounded by so many family and friends.
All About the Bates 01x12
Find out everything you want to know (and then some!) about the Bates as they answer viewer questions and show some hilarious never-before-seen footage.
The Bates Go to Florida 01x11
The family hits the road to visit Alyssa and John in Florida.
A Big Bates Thanksgiving 01x10
Get ready to give thanks... Bates style! The whole family heads to Gil's parents' farm for a super-sized family dinner. The family joins hands to say what they're thankful for. Someone reveals a surprise.
Michaella and Brandon 01x09
Brandon comes for an extended stay. Could his visit could mean bigger things for Michaella and him?
The Purity Ring 01x08
Carlin gets a night out alone with her parents and they have a special surprise for her. Later, the Bates family visits Zach and Whitney as they adjust to being first-time parents. Then, Lawson sings the National Anthem in front of 15,000 people.
Welcome Grandbaby Bates 01x07
Zach and Whitney's baby is due in less than 2 weeks, but the nursery is nowhere near ready! Lucky for them, there are plenty of Bates to lend a hand. As Whitney's due-date nears (and passes!) the whole family gets anxious to meet the newest addition to the ever-growing clan. Later, Erin shares surprising news with her parents.
Organized Chaos 01x06
How does a family of 21 find enough clothes to last through the winter? Get ready for the Bates seasonal clothing switchover, where nothing goes to waste! In the midst of the chaos, the family is asked to sing at a bluegrass music festival... but can they all learn their parts in time?
Nashville Son 01x05
Budding country singer/songwriter Lawson Bates heads to Nashville to meet with a record label executive and a vocal coach, while Kelly, Gil and the younger kids start planting a fall garden. But with so many people offering their opinions, the task doesn't go as seamlessly as Kelly thinks so she calls for back up.
Training Up Bates 01x04
The younger kids get a lesson on "Train Up," Gil and Kelly's method for discipline, and take 11 of them shopping for the ultimate test! Erin takes a trip to the doctor hoping for some good news.
Bates Gone Wild 01x03
The whole Bates clan packs up and heads to the great outdoors! If you think packing for your family is hard...try packing for 21! Not everyone loves being in the wild and the entire family has different ideas about what "roughing it" really means.
Courtship & Marriage 01x02
Erin invites her siblings over for a sleepover to help ease the transition from a full house to living with only her new husband, Chad. Zach and Whitney get real about becoming parents. Michaella wants to surprise visit her beau, Brandon, in Texas, but will it go against the family's strict rules of courtship?
Meet the Bates 01x01
Gil and Kelly Bates, and their 19 kids, are buzzing about the latest addition to their family; the first Bates grandchild! As the girls prepare to throw a huge baby shower to celebrate, Alyssa gives the family some surprising news of her own and an accident leaves the family shaken.