If you thought the Duggars were the biggest family on reality television, think again. The Bates family, close friends of the “19 Kids and Counting” clan, have scored their own series on the UP network. Their program, “Bringing Up Bates,” will follow the Tennessee-based family as they navigate their daily lives, including courtships, babies and more. Ahead of the series premiere on Jan. 1, get to know the Bateses.
Gil and Kelly Jo Bates have been married for 27 years, and similar to the Duggars, they also have had 19 kids. Gil, 49, is the owner of a tree-cutting service. Kelly Jo, 47, spends her time managing her household and works as a homeschool teacher.
Zach Bates, 26, is the oldest of Gil and Kelly Jo's children. In 2013, he married Whitney Perkins. Whitney is a stay-at-home mom to their son Bradley (born Oct. 29), and Zach works for the Anderson County sheriff’s department. In Season 1, the couple will share their journey of being first-time parents. Follow the couple on Instagram @zachnwhitbates.
Michael Bates, 24, is the oldest daughter of the Bates clan. She is a full-time nanny and college student. She is currently in a courtship with Brandon Keilen, an employee with the Institute in Basic Life Principles ministries. While there is no wedding planned for Michael just yet, the network is teasing that Brandon might present her with an engagement ring in Season 1.
Erin Paine, 23, is an accomplished musician with two albums already under her belt. She also has a presence on YouTube as a beauty guru. In November 2013, she married Chad Paine, an office manager. The couple will face a major heartbreak this season when Erin suffers a miscarriage. Follow the couple on Instagram @chad_erinpaine.
Lawson Bates, 22, owns his lawn mowing business and is also pursuing a career in music. He released a country music record, "Freedom Sure Ain’t Free," in 2013 and hopes to use his singing abilities to help bring awareness to developing nations. This season Lawson will head to Nashville with the hopes of making it big in country music.
Nathan Bates, 21, is a college student and full-time employee of his dad’s tree-cutting business. In his spare time, the aspiring preacher enjoys speaking with youth groups and volunteering at his local fire department.
Alyssa Webster, 20, relocated to Florida in May to live with her now-husband, John Webster. The couple are expecting their first child in April. Despite living a long distance from her family, Alyssa does occasionally lend a hand managing the family tree business. John works for his family-owned air conditioning business. Follow the couple on Instagram @webster4ever.
Tori Bates, 19, is a college student and a part-time nanny. Similar to a few of her siblings, she enjoys music and takes pride in her violin-playing abilities. This season, Tori will focus on getting her driver's license, finding a potential courtship partner and helping her mom care for her younger siblings. Follow Tori on Instagram @toribates15.
Trace Bates, 17, is in his last year of high school. When he’s not focused on his studies, he enjoys helping out with the family’s business, playing football and working as the family’s official “errand runner.”
Carlin Bates, 16, is in her junior year of high school. She is musically gifted and not only serves as the family’s lead singer but also plays the piano and the violin.
Josie Bates, 15, works as the Bates' lead organizer. She is described as being both “very thoughtful” and “loads of fun” on the Bates family blog.
Katie Bates, 14, is the family prankster. She enjoys helping take care of her younger siblings and reading history books.
Jackson Bates, 12, is an avid reader and is considered the wisest of all the Bates children. He enjoys spending time with his brothers and building.
Warden Bates, 11, is said to be a “tough of nails” athlete. As most young boys are, he is both adventurous and (at times) a little mischievous. His personality has earned him the family nickname “Tigger.” He also enjoys playing football and singing.
Isaiah Bates, 10, is all about pleasing his sisters. When he’s not giving his female siblings compliments and charming them with his big smile, he enjoys riding his bike.
Addellee Bates, 8. After being born with breathing and heart complications, she is now a happy and healthy little girl. She enjoys coloring and is said to be an extremely thoughtful individual.
Ellie Bates, 7, is the family cuddler. While she may be sensitive and quiet, she is also a big help around the Bates household. Her favorite pastime is riding horses.
Callie Bates, 5, is considered the most outgoing of the Bates children. She is also classified as being both adorable and bossy.
Judson Bates, 4, is always smiling and is known for his calm and loving personality. His go-to movie is “Curious George.”
Jeb Bates, 2, is the youngest of Gil and Kelly Jo’s children. He is energetic, fearful and a little bit spoiled. He loves the TV series “Peppa Pig” and playing with his toy trains and planes.
“Bringing Up Bates” premieres Thursday, Jan. 1, at 9 p.m. EST on UP.