The ‘Sister Wives’ Premiere Reveals Serious Financial Troubles

Kody Brown’s decision to move to Flagstaff nearly two years ago left many fans flabbergasted. After all, the Brown family, famed for their TLC show, Sister Wives, seemed to have a pretty good setup in Las Vegas. The city is known for its progressive nature, and the family homes were nothing if not spacious. The sudden move left fans concerned about the family’s finances, and it looks like there may be a good reason. The show’s newest season premier has made it pretty clear that the Brown family is strapped for cash. So, what decisions have led to so much financial strife?

The Browns inexplicably bought property in Flagstaff

When the Browns left Las Vegas, they decided to purchase property in Flagstaff. Along with a massive swath of land, they also made the decision to buy a property for Christine Brown as soon as they landed in town. Initially, the family claimed they had to buy a home because a rental property willing to take Christine’s pets was not available. Fans are not entirely sure that’s the case.

The property the family plans to build on was purchased for $820,000 in June 2018, according to Radar Online. As of the current day, there still doesn’t appear to be a home built on the property, and no forward progress has been made. Christine’s home, a house within the Flagstaff city limits, was purchased on Sept. 1, 2018, for $520,000.

More recently, while the massive plot of land sits untouched, the family purchased two more properties in Flagstaff. In July 2019, Kody and his fourth, and now legal wife, Robyn Brown, purchased a property for $890,000. The decision came after Robyn was asked to vacate her rental property. They also acquired the property next door on the same date, according to public property records.

The Browns fled Las Vegas before their homes sold

The Browns are not strangers to fleeing a state quickly. When Sister Wives premiered, the family promptly fled Utah, when they believed they were going to be prosecuted for their plural lifestyle. The way they left Vegas felt oddly similar to their quick departure from Utah, the only difference is the law wasn’t breathing down their neck this time.

The quick departure left four houses empty, with mortgages that still needed to be paid. It took several months for the Vegas homes, all situated on a cul-de-sac, to sell. The last house, which belonged to Christine and Kody, took more than a year to close. With at least six mortgages to be paid at once, the Brown family was desperate for cash, and many fans believe the family’s show is not long for the TV world.

Is Sister Wives on the chopping block?

Sister Wives ratings have not been high for a few seasons, claim insiders. According to In Touch, TLC was ready to ax the show in 2018, but Kody, the family’s patriarch, allegedly renegotiated his contract to buy a bit more time. If the insider is to be believed, Kody and his four wives took a massive pay cut to continue working on the series.

The cast of 'Sister Wives'
Meri Brwon, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It is rumored that each adult was earning $180,000 each year for their commitment to the series. The renegotiated contract is rumored to pay out $180,000 for the entire unit, meaning the family’s earnings were slashed by 80%. While Kody clearly managed to keep his family on the air through 2020, there is no guarantee that any additional seasons will be filmed. It actually seems like that this will be the last fans hear from the Brown family for a while, at least on TLC. The crew is rumored to have run into filming issues in the family’s new home state.  

Without TLC’s income and the possibility that Meri Brown, Kody’s first wife, will cut ties with the clan, things could go terribly wrong relatively quickly. Meri is currently earning the majority of the family’s income outside of Sister Wives. She is a consultant for LuLaRoe and is also the owner of  Lizzie’s Heritage Inn in Parowan, Utah.