Married…With Children remains to be the longest-lasting comedy sitcom on FOX network. It shocked fans just as much as it excited them. The show attracted fans from all over the world. It featured a dysfunctional, greedy family that was constantly getting into funny arguments and laughing at each other’s problems. The family was completely different from the typical TV families. Kelly Brundy, a 16-year old girl, was one of the most shocking and exciting characters on the show. Her behavior was shocking and she did whatever she wanted. The following are some facts from the controversial yet popular comedy sitcom.
It Was FOX’s First Prime Time Show
Married…With Kids was the first prime-time show on FOX. Its primetime debut was on Sunday, April 5, 1987, at 7 p.m. The episode was followed by the premiere of The Tracey Ullman Show. The two episodes were repeated at 8 and 9 p.m.
At the start of Married…With Children, Katey Sagal was just starting her acting career. She got the role of Peggy Bundy and did well. Sagaal absorbed the role completely and in a short time, she had become one of the most popular TV housewives. She played Peggy in hundreds of episodes for ten years.
Michael Richard’s Role
The directors did not have Ed O’Neil as the first choice for the role of Al Bundy. They thought Michael Richards would be a better fit. However, Ed O’Neil got the role. After taping a few test episodes, they felt that Richard had too much energy for that part. They wanted someone who looked grumpier. Richards, however, did so well at the audition that the directors waited for him to audition in the role of Kramer which he got.
Every Episode Cost $1 Million To Produce
The show may have seemed low-budget from the point of viewers. It was, however, more expensive than most other shows of its time. Even though the production itself was not expensive, there were plenty of offended people to be compensated after every episode, and the outrageous outfits for Kelly could cost a fortune. There were many actors to be paid. Every episode required an average of $1 million. The huge expenses may explain the untimely end of the series. The production expenses became higher than the profit margin.
The main reason why the character Al Bundy and the rest of the family behaved as they did is that the quality of their lives was poor. When the series ends, Al Bundy is unable to afford a separate plot in the cemetery. He is buried with his wife on top of him.
A Decade of Success
Apart from FOX, most other networks thought Married…With Kids was going to be a failure. It was too edgy and controversial for its time. It, however, became one of the most popular sitcoms from 1987 to 1997 with 260 episodes. It stood the test of time despite the boycotts and controversies associated with the program.
The Shoe Scene
“I hate those complaint boxes they put in at the mall. A woman comes in the shoe store today, so huge she’s protected by ‘Green Peace’ and asks for a size-4 shoe. So I asked her if she wants to eat them there or take them home, and she has the nerve to complain about my performance.” This line is a classic. The episode is one of the most popular ones. Did you know that Ed O’Neill wrote it?
Sam Kinison and Roseanne Barr
The characters of Peggy and Al were based on Roseanne Bar and Sam Kinion respectively. When they declined the roles, the series directors found actresses to play the parts. Kinion and Bar, at the time, had successful stand-up comedy careers.
It Is Not As It Seems
At the start of the show viewers and critics assumed that the family got its name from the serial killer and rapist, Ted Bundy. That is not the case. The family got its name from the wrestler, Kong Bundy. He was also a stand-up comedian and actor. The wrestler made two cameo appearances and continued to be a big fan of the series.
Katy Sagal’s Miscarriage
Sagal got pregnant three times during 11 seasons of the show. The produces worked her first pregnancy into the show. They wrote a storyline where she and Marcy were pregnant together. At seven months, however, she experienced a stillbirth. She got pregnant again in 1994 and for the third time in season ten. Producers did not show these pregnancies. They used set ad wardrobe tricks to hide it.
The Lost Episode
Even though the show was famous for its controversy and edginess, there are times when the writers crossed the limits. An episode from season three, “I’ll See You In Court” was supposed to air in 1989. However, it did not make it because of the extremely politically incorrect content. It was edited and the new version was aired in 2002. It followed Rhoades and Bundy having their relations recorded on a sex tape.
Unfortunately, the show was canceled. The producers tried to pitch spin-off shows to the network but none of them was accepted. The network accepted to have a show revolving around Vinnie Verducci, who was Kelly’s boyfriend at some point. He appeared in ‘Top of the Heap’ and ‘Vinnie & Bobby.’ Both spinoffs were unsuccessful.
The Shocking Discovery
When the show was at its peak, about 15 million viewers watched it every week. It seemed like the numbers would only keep going up. However, by 1997, only nine million people watched the show every week. The numbers kept going down. When the show was canceled, the ratings were low. No one thought to inform the cast members about it. Ed O’ Neill, for example, learned about it from a couple that was talking about the show next to him.