Early in 2009 Tim Gibbons came up with the idea of developing a TV series about a polygamist family living in Utah. Over his 20 year career working in TV, Tim had personally met many polygamist men and women in the US as well as in developing countries around the world and the idea grew that there was a much more complicated and compelling story than what was being reported by the national media.
The first step was to approach the fundamentalist Mormon community -- the religious group in the US most well known for the practice of polygamy. He started by contacting Anne Wilde at Principal Voices -- an informal, nondenominational Fundamentalist Mormon media relations organization. Meeting Anne at her home, Tim outlined his vision of a reality series focused solely on the everyday struggles of a typical polygamist family. the idea of the series was not to create a debate on whether polygamy was right or wrong but rather to simply document a polygamist family and let the viewers decide for themselves what they thought of the lifestyle. Tim explained to Anne that there would be no experts who would comment on the show nor would there be opposing viewpoints explored. it would be produced in the same genre as the highly successful, large family shows seen on TLC and other networks. Tim reinforced that the primary goal was to intimately document the daily lives of one family and by so doing, create a window into a lifestyle and faith that had never been truly documented before.
Anne Wilde saw the value of such programming and she suggested a few families. After seeing a small 2-minute BBC news story that was produced about the Brown family Tim knew right away that he had found his subjects. He asked Anne to approach the Browns and see if they would be interested. A month later Tim talked to Kody Brown and over the course of several months Tim gained the trust of the Brown family and in the summer of 2009 Tim produced an 11-minute teaser reel documenting the Brown family's complicated but generally happy life.
With the teaser reel edited Tim knew he lacked the "above-the-line" experience to produce the show on his own. He also came to realize that he needed a partner that he respected and could trust, and one person came to mind, his friend of over 10 years, the veteran reality television producer and then Supervising Producer of NBC's hugely successful "Wipeout", Christopher Poole. Together Christopher and Tim formed Puddle Monkey Productions and they started strategizing on how best to produce the series.
In the fall of 2009 Tim and Christopher approached Bill Hayes and Kirk Streb at Figure 8 Films, the Executive Producers of "Jon and Kate Plus 8". Bill and Kirk's long history of success with shows for TLC was the glue that cemented the deal with the network. In early 2010 contracts were signed and before the ink was even dry, production began on the ground-breaking new series: "Sister Wives".
In the fall of 2010, 7 episodes aired and viewers across the country were astounded to see three intelligent and independent women all married to an unexpectedly charming polygymist man. It blew the doors off the stereotypes that America had been led to believe about this lifestyle and the series was a critical success before even the first episode aired. The 7-part first season followed the introduction of a fourth wife, a single mom with three children of her own, into the already sizable Brown family. "Sister Wives" was an instant ratings success. On the day of its premiere, "Sister Wives" was the third highest rated show on all of cable television, and the show continued to grow, with even higher ratings for the first season finale featuring the wedding day of the fourth wife.
The extraordinary success of subsequent seasons across the succeeding 9 years proves that audiences has fallen in love with this amazing family and that the show continues to entertain and enlighten, far beyond any initial fascination with a titillating lifestyle. Christopher and Tim are proud to produce Sister Wives -- a show that htey strongly believe is both entertaining and socially relevant.
He also worked as a Line Producer, UPM and 1st AD on independent features shooting in such exotic locales as Jordan, Bulgaria and New Jersey. At the same time, he started an increasingly successful freelance career as a DGA television director for many shows including Unsolved Mysteries (NBC), Penn & Teller: Bullshit (Showtime), Biography (A&E) and It’s A Miracle – the biggest hit ever on the short-lived network PAX. That gig led to him being sent to Vancouver to take over a struggling spin-off called Miracle Pets. Christopher engineered a big turnaround in the ratings and that show was extended for two more seasons. Since that first Executive Producer job Christopher has also run shows for HGTV, Discovery Health and TLC. Along the way he won two Telly Awards and was Supervising Producer of ABC Network’s huge hit WIPEOUT.
Christopher is honored to have helped sell and launch TLC’s long-running hit Sister Wives with his friend of 20 years, Tim Gibbons. Together they have made this one of TLC’s most successful shows with well over 100 episodes and counting. Christopher is particularly proud of the team of extraordinary people who have made Puddle Monkey known for producing successful, provocative, high-quality television.
Tim lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Megan and their 3 beautiful children.
Salt Lake City UT