One would think that being a star of The Brady Bunch would come with a flurry of perks. But in reality, that wasn’t the case.
It wasn’t exactly the positive 1970s-themed wonderland one might expect. The making of TV hardly ever is. Part of that reason was because the cast wasn’t making a ton of money.
When asked about that specific topic, Olsen didn’t hesitate with her response:
“Heck no,” Olsen said. “We even had to pay for our own parking in the first season. They wouldn’t let us drive onto the lot. We earnt very, very little.”
Sheesh. It’s one thing to not make a ton of money, but not being able to park at work? That’s rough.
The Brady Bunch Wasn’t A Hit During It’s Airing
The reason why The Brady Bunch is so well-known and beloved isn’t because it was a sensation when it aired. Instead, it’s because of its run in syndication, which still continues to this day.
In its five seasons, the show maintained pretty consistent ratings. The show never dropped below a 14.9 rating, but never went higher than 19.3. Further, the show never cracked the Top 30 in ratings in any of its five seasons.
With little fervor and demand, it wasn’t like the cast had much ground to demand raises. Additionally, child actors, especially back then, were always paid less than their adult counterparts.
In the early days of the filming of the sixth season, the show was canceled. Greg Brady actor Barry Williams discussed this in an interview. For him, and likely much of the other child cast members, it was a stark moment that revealed the reality of show business.
“I was gone; I was out, and that was a major wake-up call,” he said to Closer Weekly. “A wake-up call to the business and what to expect. Here today, gone tomorrow. Done. It’s been nice, that’s been fun. The machine marches on, not just in show business, of course, but for someone who didn’t see that coming… And many children, kids, don’t, especially when they’re protected for so many years. Then it’s quite a shock.”
Fortunately for members of The Brady Bunch, they could’ve never anticipated how several generations would end up watching their show. Besides being famous for decades to come, they also got the benefit of paychecks down the road.