Fans of Counting On and Bringing Up Bates may be in for an unexpected treat as Jim Bob Duggar and Gil Bates were recently spotted hanging out together. Is a crossover between the two family-oriented reality shows happening?
Jim Bob Duggar, patriarch of the 19 Kids and Counting family, was pictured with Bringing Up Bates star Gil Bates on Thursday. The two dads were at a basketball camp at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jim Bob and Gil were seen cheering on as their sons played. At one point, they even joined in to shoot some hoops. The event was hosted by New Heights Baptist Church.
“Bates family vs. Duggar family!” wrote a starstruck fan who posted a photo of Jim Bob and Gil on Instagram.
In some of the photos, film cameras can be seen in the background. However, it is not known whether the film crew was there to follow the reality show patriarchs or simply covering the game.
Jim Bob and Gil are longtime friends and share more than one similarity. Both have exactly 19 children, who they openly feature in their respective reality shows. Jim Bob Duggar was first to open his family to the public in 2008 when he first starred in TLC’s 17 Kids and Counting (then 18 Kids and Counting, turned 19 Kids and Counting).
The Tennessee-based Bates family had recurring appearances on 19 Kids and Counting as the Duggars’ family friends. It was even previously rumored that Gil’s son Lawson was courting Jim Bob’s daughter Jinger. In 2012, TLC gave them their own series entitled United Bates of America.
Both families are also known to be devout conservative Christians. In fact, their recent basketball camp was hosted by New Heights Baptist Church. Their reality shows heavily feature their religious beliefs and because of this, both families have a huge following among the Christian community.
The Duggar and Bates families are also no strangers to controversies. Jim Bob and Michelle’s eldest child, Josh Duggar, was charged with child molestation in 2015 which he, later on, confessed to.
Meanwhile, Gil Bates was also been involved with sex abuse allegations in 2015, Radar Online reported. Five women sued Institute in Basic Life Principles for allegedly covering up their employees’ inappropriate sexual conducts. Gil was included in the lawsuit, as he was one of the Christian ministry’s directors.
However, both families have seemed to move on. While their original shows are now canceled, spinoffs have been made to feature the new generation. Their adult kids are now married and have started their own families. Jim Bob’s daughters Jessa, Jill, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar appear on TLC’s Counting On, while the Gil Bates appear with his wife Kelly Jo and 19 kids on UP TV’s Bringing Up Bates.
Despite being shown on different networks, do you think a Counting On and Bringing Up Bates crossover is possible?