The Bizarre HGTV Polygamy Show That Got Canceled After One Episode

Did you know that HGTV once tried its hand at producing a polygamy family-focused television show? The same network that made hits like "Love It or List It" and "Property Brothers" canceled its polygamist home renovation show after airing just one episode.

We've seen from reality shows like TLC's "Sister Wives" how complicated it can be to accommodate a plural family in one household. When audiences first met husband Kody Brown and his three wives in 2010, the "Sister Wives" lived in Utah under the same huge roof but were divided into three separate living spaces for each wife and their children. The Brown family eventually relocated to Nevada, where the then-four wives each received their own homesteads next to each other in a Las Vegas cul de sac.

Being in a polygamist family definitely has its own unique requirements in terms of day-to-day accommodations for such a large amount of people. HGTV thought audiences would be interested in this process, but some drawbacks made the network reconsider.

HGTV quickly cut ties with the show

HGTV may have been thinking out of the box when it decided to develop a home makeover show for polygamist families, but it seems like the idea fell flat with audiences. In April 2019, the network aired the pilot episode for "House Full of Spouses," hosted by married couple Rachel and Greg. Based near Salt Lake City, Utah, the pair "specialize" in renovating homes for polygamist families, as Rachel had personal expertise from being raised in one herself.

"When we say big, we mean families with two, three, four, five wives, lots of children," Greg explained in the show's trailer. "And a big part of our job is getting all of those people to agree," Rachel added.

The trailer introduced audiences to husband Joe, his three spouses — Alina, Valerie, and Vickie — and their total of 19 children looking for a household "with room to grow." As reported by Newsweek, the pilot played on April 25 but was never followed up by another episode after the show was panned by viewers.

The polygamy-focused premise perturbed HGTV's audience

When "House Full of Spouses" debuted in 2019, it drew controversy as audiences had questions about both the morality and the legality of the show. Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states in America, but Utah's concentration of people of the Mormon faith was a home for thousands of plural families. Although polygamy later became decriminalized in the state of Utah in 2020, some viewers lambasted HGTV for showcasing the technically illegal lifestyle on their nationwide network.

"Is @HGTV promoting polygamy?" one user called them out online (via Country Living). Other HGTV fans chastised the network for the "NOT family-friendly television," with one even calling the show "reprehensible."

Viewers may remember when the "Sister Wives" family unit was investigated by the state of Utah in 2010 for the third-degree felony of bigamy after they began appearing on the TLC docuseries, per ABC News. The charges against the Browns were dropped in 2012, and HGTV probably wanted to capitalize on the fascination with this lifestyle inspired by the pop culture phenomenon of the "Sister Wives." But HGTV's core audience wasn't willing to give "House Full of Spouses" the time of day, so the network dropped it like a hot potato.