After working on a show for five seasons, you would think the news of cancellation would happen in person to make the information that much more bearable for the cast. When it comes to “The Brady Bunch,” the cast of the show was given a call from a random network executive saying they were now unemployed.
ABC had canceled the popular sitcom about a large blended family with six children and a newly married couple.
Barry Williams on ‘The Brady Bunch’ Cancellation
In a documentary called “The Brady Bunch Exposed,” Barry Williams, who played Greg on the show, opened up about how he was told the show got canned.
“Pretty much, out of the blue, on an, I think it was a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, I got a call from a gentleman at the network … First he said, ‘I’m sitting here Barry with a now half-gone bottle of bourbon’ and I said, ‘Well, sounds like you’re having a heck of an afternoon.” And he said, ‘Yeah, but not so pleasant. I’ve been given the task of informing the cast that the series has been canceled and there will be no more new shows,'” Barry Williams said.
“The Brady Bunch” wasn’t given the opportunity to really bid farewell to the show. Since filming was terminated right at that moment, there was no real closure to the popular 1970s show.
Sherwood Schwartz Talks End of Show
So, why was it canceled and why was it so sudden?
At the end of the day, it all had to do with money and contracts. Normally, a show gets shut down for poor ratings and viewership, this wasn’t really the case for “The Brady Bunch.”
“At the end of five years, that’s all our initial contract called for. You then have to renegotiate with everybody. With Ann B., with Florence Henderson, with all the kids and it’s a big problem. It’s a lot of money difference,” the creator of the show, Sherwood Schwartz, said in an Archive of American Television interview from 1997.
On top of negotiations and money, the show was just not doing quite as well anymore. It just seemed like it was time, although the news was sudden.
“I don’t think they thought it was worth it because the show was not doing that well. It was OK, but not anywhere near as good as it was two or three years earlier. So, it went out peacefully. That was OK with me,” Schwartz said.
Barry Williams Filmed an Episode High
If Barry Williams and his acting seemed a little off in one episode, it was because he had been a little under the influence of something besides good acting.
According to Biography.com, Williams was high during the 1973 “The Brady Bunch” episode titled “Law and Disorder.”
Like a huge part of the country during the 1970s, Williams experimented with recreational drugs. He had a day off from working on set. Williams decided to smoke some marijuana with a few of his friends. Suddenly, he was called into work.
“I’m a much better actor when I am completely sober than when I’m high!” he joked at a 2014 “The Brady Bunch” convention.