We’re gearing up to say goodbye to the charmingly chaotic Bradshaw clan when the season finale of The Bradshaw Bunch airs on E! (DStv 124) on Monday, 9 November. It’ll be Dad-Shaw Terry’s 72nd birthday, and those 3 daughter-related problems that he had at the start of the season are about to get tied up in a bow, too. It’s a fitting end to what has always been a family show, with NFL football legend Terry Bradshaw happily along for the ride.

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It wasn’t hard to sell the concept of a family reality TV show to Terry. “It was never about me. I did it for my family,” says the sport star. “I have three beautiful daughters – Rachel, Erin, and Lacey – and Rachel and Erin are very much into watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Lacey is more of a sports person. I talked to them about this idea and they were sold. Even my wife, Tammy, was onboard from the beginning. It was her who came up with the name of the show, The Bradshaw Bunch. I wanted them to get a sample of what it’s like on TV and I decided, ‘Let’s do this!’” And as fans can agree, it’s been a touchdown.

The spark

Terry has gone down the TV road before. He worked with Jason Ehrlich on the comedy-reality show Better Later Than Never in 2016. “It was me with William Shatner, Henry Winkler, George Foreman and Jeff Dye in the series, and Jason was executive producer. When my wife threw me a surprise birthday party last year, Jason was one of the guests. He saw the interaction between myself and my daughters and my wife, and what struck him was how funny we are together. My wife loves pulling pranks on me and that really freaks me out, which leads to lots of laughter. Jason pitched the idea to me, I pitched it to my family, and then Jason and I pitched the idea to E! and they approved of it,” says Terry.

While Terry worried that the title of the show, The Bradshaw Bunch, would have to change because it was similar to the classic American sitcom The Brady Bunch (1969-1974), there were no issues. “I was quite surprised they approved the title, but I am happy we could keep it,” he says.

The reality of Reality TV

Despite his work on Better Late Than Never, Terry insists, “I had no idea interest in reality TV. I don’t even watch reality TV at all! The only show I ever watched was Duck Dynasty since 2012 because I knew the show’s family patriarch, Willie Robertson,” he reveals.

And although Terry is well-known and used to life in the TV camera spotlight, he wasn’t quite prepared for the all-out onslaught of having a reality TV series filmed on his Bradshaw Ranch in Oklahoma. “We filmed during the pandemic, and the crew came in and refitted my whole house with lights. There were wires everywhere. I wasn’t prepared for that,” Terry admits.

Just after filming the pilot episode in March 2020, however, hard lockdown was enforced in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and production ground to a halt. “We had to wait about 80 days before we could film again, and all this time when the cameras were away, all these light fittings and wires were dangling from my ceiling. I had a hard time getting used to that before the crew came back.”

Terry adds that another thing that he had to get used to was the cameras following him around 24/7. “It was so surreal. Initially I was aware of the cameras filming me and my family and tried not to do or say something offensive, but later on I got so used to it, I was my old loudmouth self,” he says.

During the pandemic (when filming production could start up again following the initial lockdown), Terry and the crew couldn’t venture outside a lot to film episodes. “We were mainly at my ranch, and filmed episodes at my daughters’ houses. Although I was by then used to the cameras following me around, it was my daughters who had the biggest fun. They really enjoyed being in the spotlight, my wife, too. All they were saying the whole time was, ‘We’re going to be on TV!’”

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Family Drama

The cameras don’t lie, and Terry was quite aware of this. For instance, he knew that his youngest daughter, Erin, had had a boob job, but she never told him herself. “As you would have seen, I even prayed with my wife to give her strength so that Erin could tell me the truth. At the end it wasn’t that hard,” says Terry with a chuckle.

Terry says that while he doesn’t generally interfere with his daughters’ personal lives, he had an issue with Rachel’s boyfriend, Dustin Hughes. “Let’s just say I never liked him. He was not part of my circle of love. What he did to Rachel at the end, that’s not on,” Terry seethes. Later it came out that Dustin was already having a baby with another woman, and that he’d been cheating on Rachel with her. “If one word comes to mind to describe him, it’s weasel,” declares Terry.

More Bradshaws

Terry isn’t sure right now whether there will be an S2. If there is, he hopes for a change of scenery. “It’s really hot here on the farm, and I would love to take my family to somewhere where it’s colder, maybe Europe, like Norway, Denmark or Switzerland. Then it could be a season about our holidays. Maybe we will come to South Africa during the winter, now that would be great!” laughs Terry.

Watch The Bradshaw Bunch Mondays on E! (DStv 124) at 19:05

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