TLC’s Sister Wives to follow polygamist family from Lehi, Utah

TLC has announced the upcoming premiere of a new polygamy themed reality show called Sister Wives that will follow the Brown family of Lehi, Utah. (UPDATE: The Browns have since all moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.) Kody Brown is legally married to his first wife Meri and is also in a committed relationship with additional sister wives Janelle and Christine.  Kody hasn’t stopped there as he is looking to bring a fourth sister wife into the family, Robyn.

For fans of the mega-hit HBO drama Big Love some of this may seem familiar but this show will in fact be the real-deal daily life of a polygamist family struggling to cope with their lifestyle choice and the cultural bias of those in their community.  In researching the Brown’s I was able to find out some interesting information on a family that will certainly make headlines when the show debuts on September 26th.

First off lets try to get the family unit straight.  Here is a breakdown of each wife and their children.  They are listed as they appear in the above promotional photo from L to R:

Meri is Kody’s first wife and is 39-years-old.  She has one 14-year-old-daughter.

Christine is Kody’s 3rd wife and is 37-years-old.  She has five children ages 6-14 years-old.

Janelle is Kody’s 2nd wife and is 40-years-old.  She has six children that range in age from 5-15 years-old.

Robyn’s age hasn’t been disclosed, Kody is looking to make her his 4th sister wife.  She has three children from a previous marriage that range in age from 5-10 years-old.

When you add all that up Mr. Kody Brown has three sister wives, 13 children, one possible future 4th sister wife and 3 additional children.  If Robyn and her kids become an official addition that would make this a family of 21!

The Brown’s live in the town of Lehi, Utah.  Through a public records search I was able to locate the following photo of the Brown’s house via the Utah County Assessor’s Office:

Unlike the fictitious Hendrickson family from Big Love the Brown’s haven’t been as desperate in keeping their polygamist lifestyle a secret.  This doesn’t mean they’re not cautious about who they share their information with.  In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune Kody Brown stated:

“In the past, polygamists have had to be secret due to the threat of indictment or expulsion from work. Our civil rights got thrown out a long time ago.  Even though society has evolved to the point of not knocking on my door with pitch forks and a lynch mob, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t get away with it.”

When asked about the fact that a polygamist family from his county will be on the airwaves Utah County prosecutor Craig Johnson said, “the Utah County Attorney’s Office does not have a comment on the show.”  While many certainly do not approve of their choice, Brown has done his best to keep things within the law having only legally married Meri.

I was also able to dig up additional info on The Brown’s from a video BBC news report filed in March of 2009.  In the video you see a well adjusted and happy if not somewhat chaotic family.  During the piece Kody has all the children identify themselves by which sister wife is their mother.  Later, his two oldest daughters are asked if they are considering following in their parent’s polygamist footsteps.  One unequivocally says no while the other indicates that the decision is still up in the air.

Sister Wives should be a fascinating and highly controversial show.  What do you think about the Brown’s and TLC’s decision to run with this concept?  I know I’ll be tuned in!

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  • becvictoria

    this fam dont seen bad mean kids norm the wives aint younger and the other women he lookin 4th marrie is not some kid thes grown ass ppl dang like got one wife the rest spirt marrage

    • Kristy

      I feel as though this family is happy, the kids are happy, healthy and they are not miss treated. If ppl don’t want to know anything about then, well its their lose. I my self don’t have a problem with it. Go go for it Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn will be just fine. It’s just some ppl are so simple mimded they dont like change. I say Go for it

  • http://Tlc GiGI

    I think Coby is full of hisself and its obvious that the “sister wives” have extremely LOW self esteem. There is not a women on earth in her right mind who would willing share her husband with another women. These people are truly messy. There want acceptance from somebody anybody cause They know God isn’t giving to them. Marriage is between man and wife not wives. This is not biblical times anymore God does not expect nor command plural marriage anymore. Just makes me sick for the women. You can feel their pain.

    • Kristy

      Well what about some of these people over seas and they have several wives. This is the life style they chose. I think that the women do not have low self-esteem. Maybe you need an open mind.

      Kristy From Kentuck

    • clazzy

      Let them ALONE. The problem is too many opinions whose “opinions” don’t matter. As far as low self esteem…not that I belie vein or would be in a polygamous relationship… doest mean these women have any less self worth than a regular couple who are not being faithful in their marriages these days. As far as God goes there is no one on this earth that KNOWS what God approves of or doesn’t UNTIL you meet GOD. Everyone has an opinion and opinions in interpreting the Bible as well. Even the “ROYAL” family is full of incest….. Goes back as far as history goes. Even the current “Queen Elizabeth” and her cheating husband Philip are SECOND COUSINS… so much for ROYALTY… Ha! There are NO perfect people in this WORLD. JUST let people live life the way they choose, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone.. Let it be~ Quit judging others, it isn’t your job~

      • donald

        there is only one way to interpret the bible,only one.

        • Tim

          What might that be? David had multiple wives, yet did not do anything wrong until coveting another man’s wife – adultery. Abraham had a second wife given to him by his wife and he’s always had a blessed life. Both prophets, both accepted by God in this practice.

          It’s not such a crazy thing religious wise, and they are not breaking the law. He’s legally married to one, the others bound via religious views, not via law.

          Think of it as him cheating and his wife accepting of it, that’s not against the law. They teach great values in this family and show love. If you go after something condoned in the bible go after homosexuality. I am not so found of that and it’s difficult for me to explain it to my children and am against it. With that being said I have a family member who is in a homosexual relationship and we all love him and invite them in showing tolerance, just don’t agree with his belief… This isn’t such a bad way of viewing the Browns

          • slutes

            The bible also says obey the laws of the land…..Times have changed and it is no longer legal to have more than one wife. Cody can go have fun with any woman weather his wifes like it or not! Why? To get closer to god! Do the women get to go out and marry lots of men? No….just the men get do what they do best:) I pray for these ladies…I pray for their self esteem. These ladies have normal jealous feelings because when your husband sleeps with another woman it is wrong. I see no family values! Their kids do not even aprove…and the adults don’t even care. I feel sorry for the kids. They will have problems:(

    • debbie

      At times i wish there was someone else around to help me with my kids. And help with the house work or whatever needed be done. And since my hysterectomy if my husband had sex with another woman I am not the type to be mad about it. Some men sleep with other women without their wives knowing, and the wife gets nothing out of it but left alone with the kids and the bills. And with all my health problems knowing i might not be here to see my kids grow up and get married, and to think i could have a say in the next woman who would help raise them…. Heck where can I get one of these sister wives???

      • slutes

        My father slept around on my mother all of my childhood. My mom knew all about it. I grew up to look at her as a spineless and weak person. A person that I no longer respected. Is that how you want your kids to remember you when you’re gone? I’ll pray for you!

    • http://google Ella

      That is true GiGi, one can see the pain in their eyes. It’s just not right. I think he is a womennizer.

    • Live & let live

      I’m sorry but what gives you the right to judge other people? If you truely believed in God you would know that you need to leave that up to him. The most important thing in life is love. Start loving instead of judging and this world would be a better place.

  • Artie

    Cody is ridiculously selfish. None of his wives are happy with him – they all like the friendship and aunti-like quality their fellow ‘
    wives’ give to their kids. Ladies, start a commune if you like sisterhood and group raising of the ninos. It takes a village – and you all can have a partner that treats you with the same respect he desires for himself!

  • Debbie

    I watched the Sister Wives marathon last weekend. I do feel sorry for Meri. She is the true wife here and the rest have been brought in as an addition to the “family”. She expressed she has jealousy issues, as any normal red blooded woman would. Nothing to be ashamed of but a problem in a polygamist relationship. Christina is my favorite. She is a spitfire who says what she is thinking at all times. Kody should be glad Janelle is willing and able to work with the big brood they are trying to support. You go girl! I’m sure the income from this TV show will change their lifestyle. The kids and the wives all seem to get along famously which is good and probably the only reason this mess works. I will definately watch when I can, I think it is a very interesting situation. I hope Kody doesn’t think he needs another wife! The addition of Robyn was really quit uncalled for, even though she seems very sweet. Give it a rest big boy!!! Hang in there Meri!

    BTW, I have no ides what becvictoria is trying to say!!!

  • Rae Lessly


    I must say that you are on the same “con” level as Jim Jones & Charles Manson. The only difference is…you haven’t killed anyone, that is…that we know of. You are an abomination in the eyes of God regarding what you’re doing to these women & the saddest fact of all, is that they are allowing you to do this! You are nothing more than a horn dog looking for his next poor woman to fornicate with, claiming it’s all in the name of God! I don’t know who is the bigger moron-you or your wives. You & most of your wives were brought up believing this way of life was acceptable & some how Godly, which reminds me a lot of the ignorant thinking of the kkk-an organization that isn’t even worthy of having their initials capitalized!!! I’m not a Bible beater, but I do know that what you & these women are doing is wrong as wrong can be. If it wasn’t wrong, there wouldn’t be so many people trying to hide their polygamist ways!!!

  • kuriouskat

    These women make a choice, they are not forced into this type of relationship. If you don’t want to share your spouse, that is your choice but don’t judge these women as bad or having low self esteem. They probably have better self esteem, they are confident enough in themselves to live this type of lifestyle.

  • T. Lupo

    This is a Hollywood version of a poly family.If you want to hear the real opinions from real polygamist wives from the past check out what Mormon wives have said how their lives were.It is the TOTAL opposent of what these tv shows portray.Polygamy is slavery for women.And i personally do not know of any woman who entered that kind of marriage on her own who was not influenced by a male who told them that it was “god’s will” or else they were born into it.
    Come on…what woman in her right mind would choose that for themselves & their daughters?Big Love?No big cruel joke on women.

  • http://google sandi

    I think I will reserve my opinion for later, a lot could happen next season.

  • ydne

    I donot agree with kody have four wifs,but the kids seeme happy and health. I do like Christin and Meri the best though.

  • Shelley

    I think it’s fine if that is the way they want to live. They are all consenting adults and they seem to do fine. Personally, I wouldn’t mind sharing a husband, but I would want to be able to have other husbands as well. I don’t quite get how their world works, I mean how many wives is he “allowed” in their lifestyle? Who sets the limits? That stuff intrigues me, But I don’t sit there and cast terrible judgement. That in itself is not good. Take care you guys and good luck !

  • Wanda

    First of all aelf esteem, really?? Those that are claiming these ladies have self esteem issues have obviously not been around women with such issues. As for the kids, have you tuned in lately? Each of the children especially the older ones seem very well rounded, concerned that they are kept together as a famly and concerned that the younger siblings are happy and also have the opportunity to be raised together with their siblings. They commit no crimes, they are independent, self-sifficent, request no help from anyone and just like any other family unit they have their ups and downs. But what I see is a family unit that loves one another, their living situation works well for all involved and above all they love each other. Check out the news folks, I see no drug use here, I see no child abuse here, I see no moaning and groaning about what they “cannot” get from the government. They have working members of the family that do a great job supporting the family and I see non-working members that do a great job taking care of the homes and the younger children. So why is America giving them such a hard time? Is it becaue they are different, is it because they have the nerve to stand up for what they believe in, is it because they are jealous that their own family units aren’t as well rounded and together as the Browns? Leave them alone, they harm no one, they ask for nothing and they take care of themselves. I’d love to see more oung adults and teens on TV that are concerned about their family staying together and being able to continue to support and be a part of a family unit. If you agree, that’s great. If you disagree, dont’t tune in but above all else, don’t judge! I live in Carolina and have several acres in a wooded area that would be perfect for a large loving family to build o. I’d have no problem with the Brown’s as neighbors, if I had had previous neighbors like the Browns that focused on family and commitment, then I may have never moved. So call me if you are looking for a place to call home, custom build here in this quiet community where we “live and let live”.

  • Sonia

    I would leave them alone because these women do not seem to be coerced into the polygamist lifestyle. However, my main concern are the kids. The teenagers look a little mad to me but that may be because of the move to Nevada. Another thing that bothers me is if they have been on welfare. If you want to have that many kids, then they should be your responsibility. How are the parents going to pay for these kids’ college? If the answers are what I suspect, then they have no business having so many kids. The last bride looks kind of goofy to me and too sure of herself that husband number one is going to see it her way.