What Was the Net Worth of ‘The Brady Bunch,’ ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Creator?

The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island are both classic TV shows — and they both came from the mind of one man: Sherwood Schwartz. This raises an interesting question: What was Schwartz’s net worth? Here’s a look at Schwartz’s career — and his thoughts on what television should be.

Characters from The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch opening | CBS via Getty Images

The early career of a television icon

According to The Guardian, Schwartz began writing jokes for Bob Hope in 1938. Hope was a legendary comedian, so the fact that he could write for Hope speaks to his prowess. Schwartz commented he would have starved if Hope didn’t give him a job. During World War II, he had a job writing for the Armed Forces Radio. In 1952, he made the jump to television with a sitcom called I Married Joan.

Sherwood Schwartz creates ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and ‘The Brady Bunch’

I Married Joan is not as famous as Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch but it contains much of the same broad humor of those later shows. In addition, a main member of the cast is Jim Backus, who would later gain television immortality by playing Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island. The latter show premiered in 1964. It became a pop culture touchstone, and it’s been referenced in everything from The Fairly Odd Parents to The Blair Witch Project.

The Gilligan’s Island theme

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Gilligan’s Island was canceled in 1967. 1969 saw the premiere of The Brady Bunch, another television staple. Both shows inspired movies years after their cancellations. Two of the Brady Bunch movies were even released to theaters. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Schwartz earned $175 million.

Sherwood Schwartz reveals the deeper meaning of his shows

Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch are sometimes dismissed as fluff by critics. According to Entertainment Weekly, Schwartz described himself “As a man who tried to explain, in his own way, that people have to learn to get along with each other.” That theme runs through both of his most famous sitcoms. In one, people from different walks of life get along with each other on an uncharted island — even if they have their issues. On another, a blended family functions very well together even if they weren’t always one family. In addition to Schwartz’s message of coexistence, he added another pro-social element to his work.

The Brady Bunch theme

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“A lot of people say television holds up a mirror to life, and that’s why you see all the drug busts and the killings and the seamier side of life,” he told the Los Angeles Times “I personally take the view that as a responsible producer, it’s not sufficient to portray only negative role models. I think it’s better to give an alternative. It’s not enough to say ‘no’ to drugs. What do you say ‘yes’ to?”

Both Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch have good role models, from the thoughtful Professor to the Brady parents. It’s sweet, wholesome television. Schwartz managed to make generations laugh — while earning top dollar.