There's mixed news in the word about "United Bates of America," the reality show about a Lake City family with 19 kids.
Good news first: In the Knoxville market, it's definitely a hit, running above average in its ratings than the rest of the country. Knoxville is among the top 10 local markets in terms of ratings for "United Bates of America," according to TLC ratings data.
Bad news: The rest of the country hasn't exactly warmed up to it yet. The third episode aired Monday night on TLC. The show hovers around 745,000 viewers a week around the country, not exactly barn-burning numbers.
Saying it's doing well in Knoxville isn't that surprising or even that hard to achieve.
"United Bates" — which is similar to "19 Kids and Counting" about the Duggar family of Arkansas — focuses on wholesome Knoxville-area couple Gil and Kelly Jo Bates, who have 19 children and are ready for more if it happens.
Kelly Jo is in her mid-40s so that may not happen. Their children range from a 6-month-old to a 23-year-old. They don't own a TV set and are pretty much shielded from today's pop culture world.
"United Bates" is warm and cuddly TV, as opposed to the over-the-top antics of TLC's newest hit, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," about a rural Georgia family with a spitfire 6-year-old, who is nicknamed Honey Boo Boo.
The redneck romp "Honey Boo Boo" (which can be seen 10 p.m. Wednesday) is TLC's biggest hit, with 2 million viewers weekly.
"Honey Boo Boo" is uncouth and laugh out loud funny.
As for whether we'll see more of the Bateses, a TLC spokesperson says, "The decision hasn't been made if it will go into a second season."
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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