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Nate Carlisle
Reporter Nate Carlisle and photographer Trent Nelson cover polygamy for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow the Polygamy Blog on Twitter at @tribunepolygamy. Follow Nate Carlisle on Twitter at @natecarlisle. Follow Trent Nelson on Twitter at @trenthead.

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New TLC show to feature “progressive” polygamous family

The polygamy front has been relatively quiet lately, at least as far as major hard news goes, so thankfully TLC has decided to air another special on plural marriage to keep us all entertained.

According to entertainment website The Wrap, the network that brought us "Sister Wives" plans to air "My Five Wives" on Sept. 18. Though my gut reaction is that this is a knock off of the network’s already successful show about the Brown family — who are still waiting for a ruling in their court case, by the way — the article promises that viewers will be "pleasantly surprised by the show’s twist on polygamist values."

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Apparently, that means this family believes in "all kinds of progressive ideas they don’t share with the Mormon Church." I have no idea what that means — the author doesn’t include specifics — and I’m equally confused when the article says the family left the "Mormon church in protest of its conservative beliefs."

What does that mean? What group was this family actually a part of? Obviously, the mainstream Mormon church — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — no longer practices polygamy, so it seems unlikely this family was originally a part of that organization — at least while they were practicing polygamy. And unfortunately, the author seems not to know that there are various groups with different beliefs practicing polygamy, or that the mainstream Mormon church tries to distance itself from those groups.

In any case, the show will follow the lives of the Williams family, which includes Brady Williams and his five wives, Paulie, Robyn, Rosemary, Nonie and Rhonda. The family has 24 children. Brady apparently was part of the "Mormon church" as a child but didn’t hear about polygamy until his parents embraced the lifestyle when he was 16-years-old.

The nuance in this article, or lack thereof, does not give me a lot of hope for this series. On the other hand, it was written by a third-party site that may not have all the facts. Either way, if you’re a fan of reality TV or "Sister Wives," you’re in luck because it now seems that polygamists aren’t leaving the airwaves anytime soon.

My colleague Scott Piece also wrote up a few lines on the show and included the bio info for the Williams family, so feel free to click over and read his take.

— Jim Dalrymple

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