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Bringing Up Bates

Bringing Up Bates

  • Premiered: 
    January 1, 2015
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: UP
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Continuation of the series United Bates of America 
  • Subject Matter: Family
  • Tags: large family

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Plot Synopsis

BRINGING UP BATES is a half-hour reality series that follows the Bates family. 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 2 to 25, they are the definition of a "big, happy family." But lately, their simple rural lifestyle in Tennessee is in a flurry of transitions and is continually challenged by the modern world. This series explores new, ever-changing family dynamics as the Bates celebrate the birth of the 1st grandchild with son Zach (25) and his wife Whitney; foster the courtship of Michaella (24) and Brandon Keilen by allowing him to share an extended visit with the family during the holiday season; support Erin (23) and her husband Chad Paine as they face a health issue that challenges their hope of starting a family; check in on newlywed Alyssa (19) as she finds her way in Florida with new husband, John Webster, the son of a U.S. Congressman and makes a surprise announcement; encourage Tori (18) to bring order to the family schedule and step up to meet the challenges of child training as her parents have become more lax in their later years. To support his supersized family, Gil runs a tree service, and relies on sons Lawson (22), Nathan (21), and Trace (17) to help him. Meanwhile, Kelly Jo navigates all the meals, laundry, home schooling, cut knees, birthdays and more as the holidays approach. With the next generation of Bates couples building lives outside their parents' nest and responsibilities shifting to the younger kids -- who may not be ready to handle the pressure.

On Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT, UP premiered the 14-episode second season of BRINGING UP BATES. In the one-hour season opener, "All Together Again," the family celebrates their special tradition, "I Love You Day," with surprise gifts (and surprise guests) for the whole family. Gil, Kelly Jo and the couples go out on a quintuple date and everyone joins together to prepare for Alyssa's baby shower. Other highlights this season include Brandon's romantic engagement to Michaella in Washington, D.C. and the couple's plans leading into their August 15th wedding in Knoxville, TN; dramatic milestones in Erin's challenging first pregnancy and joyful birth of baby Carson; the birth of Alyssa & John's first child, Allie Jane, in Orlando, FL; a fun-filled annual family trip to the lake; Addee and Ellie's joint birthday pool party; and a joyful season finale, featuring the family's singing debut at Dolly Parton's Dollywood!

Season 3 of BRINGING UP BATES premiered on Thursday, January 7, 2016 from 9-10pm ET/PT on UP. The 13-episode new season picks up with a bevy of excitement and a bit of a scare as the entire family prepares for Michaella and Brandon's charming rustic wedding in Knoxville, Tennessee. From choosing her dream wedding gown, to getting in shape to look their best on the big day, to attempted pranks and a bachelor outing that goes awry, the family joins together to make the special day eventful and memorable. When the big day finally arrives, viewers will get a front-row seat at the huge but warm wedding with over 800 guests, including some very special friends that share in the beautiful ceremony. With laughter and tears, it's a bittersweet moment for the entire family knowing that they must say goodbye to Michaella as she leaves the family nest and moves to her new home in Chicago. With such a big family filled with talented, precocious and uniquely different children and married couples -- all sharing a close, loving bond - there's bound to be more big excitement. Accomplished pianist Erin prepares for a trip to Nashville to promote her music career and country gospel music singer Lawson continues to pursue his dream with a big performance. Eldest son Zach takes the next step in his law enforcement career as he completes a rigorous training program and graduates from the Police Academy. Also, he and his wife Whitney plan for the first birthday of their son Bradley, the Bates' first grandchild. There's also vacation time and the family packs up for a fun-filled, family trip to sunny Florida. As always, there is organized chaos as mother Kelly Jo navigates all of the home schooling and various chores for the family, while dealing with individual opinions and bigger-than-life personalities of the ever-expanding group. Doting father Gil prepares both his heart and his wallet for all of the new challenges and changes.

UP premiered the fourth season of BRINGING UP BATES on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT. It's a season of change for the Bates family with new loves, new careers, and a new grandbaby on the way! But when Gil undergoes a serious medical procedure, it forces everyone to contemplate what the future holds for them all in the season opener, "Big Family, Big Changes."

The 13-episode fifth season of BRINGING UP BATES premiered on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT on U, with a one-hour season opener, "Summer Lovin', Guitar Strummin' and a Surprise a Comin'!" It's a season of new beginnings for the Bates family. The family travels to North Carolina to pick up Warden, Jackson, and Isaiah from sleepaway camp but not without getting a VIP tour from camp counselor and Tori's boyfriend, Bobby. Could a future courtship be on the horizon for Bobby and Tori? While at camp, the Bates have no idea what they're in for when they they're met with a giant scream-inducing swing and some wild water activities! Meanwhile, Lawson's focused on his music career. He heads back to the studio to record a duet with country artist, Emily Ann. Later, the whole family gathers together for a special dinner and an unexpected guest stops by to surprise the family with a very big announcement!

On Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT, UP premiered the sixth season of BRINGING UP BATES. In the season opener, "Summer of Love," love is blooming for the Bates, with Carlin finding a special friend in Evan and Tori and Bobby deepening their bond; the married couples have big news, especially Erin and Chad.

Season 7 of BRINGING UP BATES premiered on Thursday, January 4, 2018 from 9-10pm ET/PT on UP. In the one-hour season opener, "The 4 C's: Carat, Clarity, Carlin & Courtship," love is in the air for the Bates Girls! But which daughter is next in line to tie the knot? And will Gil be able to "let go" of his not so little girls? Now that Evan has the green light to officially court Carlin, he puts his "courtship proposal" plan in motion. Will Carlin get "clued in" to Evan's big surprise for her? And before Bobby moves to TN, he makes a pitstop at a jewelry store in Florida. Meanwhile, it's a milestone Birthday for Josie. She's turning 18 and the entire Bates family, including Alyssa and Michaella, are in TN for her surprise party! Will suitor Kelton be on hand when she makes a wish? And later, the Bates have their first official church service in their new congregation space!

Season 8 of BRINGING UP BATES premiered on Thursday, January 3, 2018 from 9-10pm ET/PT on UP. In the one-hour season opener, "Ultrasounds, Wedding Vows & a Bride to Be?," the love keeps growing in the Bates Family! Newly engaged Josie is planning her fall wedding, Tori and Bobby are expecting their first child, happily married couple Zach and Whitney are renewing their vows, and Carlin's still head over heels for Evan! Meanwhile, Gil and Kelly Jo spend some time with Tori and Bobby in Nashville and experience a 4D ultrasound for Baby Kade. And unbeknownst to Carlin, Evan meets up with Gil and Kelly Jo for dinner to ask for her hand in marriage, but is Gil ready to let go another one of his daughters? And later, it's a joyous and emotional time for Whitney and Zach, when her parents and the Bates family join together for their vow renewal. On Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT, UP debuted the mid-season premiere of BRINGING UP BATES. In the fall premiere, "A Very Medieval I Love You Day!," I Love You Day is here again and the whole Bates crew gathers for an elaborate "Chivalry" themed party with food, games and amazing costumes. Before the big event, Kelly Jo and the girls decorate for the party and get caught up on all the biggest family news like Carlin and Evan's wedding plans, Trace's romantic prospect, and the exciting news that Michaella and Brandon might be moving to Tennessee! Meanwhile, the Bates boys hit the slopes for the day in a "Battle of the Brothers" as snowboarder Lawson and skier Nathan compete for the fastest speeds. Later, the love fest continues when Josie and Kelton invite their family over for a gender reveal party. When the balloon pops, will it be baby boy or baby girl!?

BRINGING UP BATES returned for its ninth season on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT on UP. In the season opener, "A First Time for Everything," Carlin and Evan head off on their honeymoon with a stop in romantic Charleston, SC, after their fairy-tale wedding. The newlyweds experience the romance of the city and try their hand at crabbing. But will Carlin show her claws when Evan dares her to pick up a crustacean? Trace's friend, Chaney, is in town and he introduces her family to the Bates. Will Trace win her family over or lose his cool during a competitive game of bocce ball? The countdown to Josie and Kelton's first baby is on and final prep with a doula bolsters their confidence, but no one could truly anticipate the difficult labor in store. With much perseverance, Josie gives birth to baby Willow and the family comes together to celebrate.
Season 10 of BRINGING UP BATES debuted on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9pm ET/PT on UP. In the one-hour season opener, "He or She, What Will the Baby Be?," a new year brings a renewed sense of hope; the Bates Sisters Boutique reveal their plans to move into a storefront space; Josie's beauty business is thriving, but she and Kelton are dealing with heartbreak; Kelly Jo leans on her daughter for advice.


  • - Lake City, Tennessee USA