SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — TLC has announced it will air a full series about a progressive polygamous family from Utah that starred in a one-hour pilot earlier this year.
The cable TV network said Thursday it will produce nine, one-hour episodes about Brady Williams and his five wives and 24 children. The first episode is set to debut March 9.
The September pilot episode drew good ratings.
Members of the Williams family are among an estimated 15,000 independent polygamists in the West who don't belong to an organized, fundamentalist Mormon church. Williams and his wives withdrew from the Apostolic United Brethren during the mid-2000s after re-evaluating their core beliefs.
The family no longer teaches the tenets of fundamental Mormonism to their children at home, opting instead to take from other teachings such as Buddhism to instill good, morale values in their two dozen children, who range in age from 2-20.
Their move into the national spotlight comes with much less risk than it would have just a month ago. A federal judge in Utah last week struck down key parts of the state's polygamy laws, saying a provision that forbids cohabitation violates the First Amendment.
The ruling decriminalizes polygamy, making only bigamy — holding marriage licenses with multiple partners - illegal.
The lawsuit was brought by Kody Brown and his four wives, the stars of TLC's show "Sister Wives," and the trailblazers for polygamous families on reality TV. The Browns sued in July 2011 and fled Utah for Las Vegas last year under the threat of prosecution.
Brady Williams told The Associated Press earlier this week that the ruling was a momentous for him and others with multiple wives.