Episodes: 53 (hour)
TV show dates: March 12, 2006 –March 12, 2011
Series status: Cancelled/ending
Performers include: Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Amanda Seyfried, Douglas Smith, Grace Zabriskie, Harry Dean Stanton, Melora Walters, Joel McKinnon Miller, Matt Ross, Keegan Holst, Garrett Gray, Jolean Wejbe, Daveigh Chase, Mary Kay Place, Shawn Doyle, Bruce Dern, Tina Majorino, Mireille Enos, Audrey Wasilewski, Wendy Phillips, Aaron Paul, Anne Dudek, and Spencer Gray.
TV show description:
This drama focuses on a modern and fictional fundamentalist family that lives in rural Utah and practices polygamy. Bill has to juggle three wives, all his children, his business, three mothers-in-law, and his own parents. The large family owns three adjacent homes in Sandy, Utah which is a Salt Lake City suburb.
Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) was born at Juniper Creek, a polygamy sect, to Lois Henrickson (Grace Zabriskie) and Frank Harlow (Bruce Dern). His only surviving sibling is Joey (Shawn Doyle), a professional football player. Bill met his first wife, Barbara Dutton Henrickson (Jeanne Tripplehorn), while at the University of Utah, and they were later married in a traditional temple ceremony. After graduating, he opened up a small appliance store, Henrickson’s Home Plus, and the couple had three children; Sarah (Amanda Seyfried), Ben (Douglas Smith), and Tancy (Jolean Wejbe), nicknamed “Teenie.”
After 10 years of marriage, Barb got sick with cancer and needed help taking care of the kids. Nicolette “Nicki” Grant (Chloe Sevigny), the daughter of Juniper Creek leader Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton) and Adaleen Grant (Mary Kay Place), moved to Salt Lake City to help. Eventually she and Bill became close, and Barb agreed to invite Nicki to join the family as Bill’s second wife. This doesn’t sit well with Barb’s mother, Nancy (Ellen Burstyn), and sister, Cindy (Judith Hoag), who are still active within the Mormon church.
Nicki dresses like she still lives on the compound and makes sure they all stick to The Principle, though she is sometimes conflicted. She and Bill have two sons together, Wayne (Keegan Holst) and Raymond (Garrett Grey).
Bill then added a third wife, Margene Heffman (Ginnifer Goodwin). Abandoned by her father at the age of three, Margene was raised solely by her mother. Margene originally worked at Henrickson’s Home Plus, and was then hired as a babysitter when Barb needed help. She found stability with Bill and Barb’s family that she’d never had before, and was eventually brought in as Bill’s third and youngest wife. She’s the most sexual of the women, and still young enough to wonder what she’s missing. Together, Bill and Margene have three more kids; Aaron, Lester, and Nell.
Sarah Henrickson is Bill and Barb’s oldest child, and although still a teenager, has to do some of the same duties as her father’s “sister-wives,” including cooking and babysitting. She’s doubts The Principle after falling for a former-Mormon. Her brother Ben admires his father very much and is considering adopting The Principle when he grows up. He’s already lost his virginity, but then rededicated himself to this life of virtue.
Bill’s mom, Lois, is a descendant of the founding family of Juniper Creek. She became the second wife of Bill’s father. As granddaughter of the founder and daughter of a past prophet, she is one of the elite members of the sect. This was until Roman Grant staged a coup to become the new prophet.
Alby Grant (Matt Ross) is the son of Roman. He was very loyal until his father betrayed him and stopped an investigation into Alby’s attempted murder. He now tries to undermine his father. He tries to live The Principle, but it requires him to repress his sexual desire for men.
Image courtesy HBO.