Note: Tele-buddy Terry Morrow is reporting from Hollywood during the semi-annual Television Critics Association meetings.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing TLC's reality show project with the Bates family of Lake City was the title.
"The Bates Family"? Eh. Too normal sounding for a series about a conservative couple and their 19 kids.
"The Bates"? Kind of brings up images of the movie "Psycho" and its villain, Norman Bates.
Likewise for "The Bates House." Creepy. You expect to find the skeleton of an old woman wearing a black dress and with a white wig, sitting in a wheelchair in the basement.
After months of trying to come up with the right name, TLC decided on "The United Bates of America." The half-hour program debuts 9 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13.
According to the cable channel — the same one that features the hit "19 Kids and Counting" — the first season will consists of eight episodes.
"United Bates" follows parents Gil and Kelly Jo Bates and their brood of 19 children, ranging in age from six-months to 23-years old. Production of the series took place this past spring in the Caryville area.
Storylines include how the family spends Valentines Day and the decision of one of the girls to go off to college after being home schooled her entire life.
The first episode chronicled the birth of the newest Bates edition, which took place at an East Tennessee-area hospital.
The Bateses are so conservative that they don't even own a television. They watched an episode of their series in a hotel room near their home.
Gil Bates says television is too much of a distraction and a bad influence for children.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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