The Little Couple quickly became one of TLC's most popular shows. It came on the heels of the hit Little People, Big World when everyone seemed interested in how people with dwarfism lead their day-to-day lives. However, the difference with The Little Couple was it gave us more "outside" drama. Jen Arnold and Bill Klein didn't live on a family farm, like the Roloffs, where everything was modified to their specifications.
Jen, a neonatologist, had to fight to get permission for the show to film in her workplace.
"When the show became a reality, we got in touch with the PR folks there, but there was a lot of hesitation," she said. "As a hospital, they have a lot to lose, and they wanted to make sure it would show the hospital in a good light. A lot of conversations took place with our production company, LMNO, and the hospital administration, and they were able to come up with an agreement. LMNO was great and had done shows in other hospitals, so I think everybody felt more comfortable."
The family has dealt with their fair share of struggles, too. Jen was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant, but it unfortunately ended in a miscarriage. After the loss of her baby, Jen was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which stemmed from the non-viable pregnancy.
“The one time I get pregnant, I get cancer," Arnold said.
But that doesn't mean their family didn't grow. Jen and Bill have adopted two children, who also have forms of dwarfism, and Bill says their family is incredible.
"I will see Jen's beautiful smile, and Will's never-ending joy, and Zoey enthusiastically hopping and skipping along, and just think, 'When did I win the Powerball of life?'" Klein wrote in the couple's book, Think Big: Overcoming Obstacles With Optimism.
With all that's going on in their lives, money doesn't seem to be a concern. Of course, Jen is a neonatologist, which pays on average about $250,000 a year. Bill currently owns Rocky & Maggie's, a pet-supply store he started up.
But how much do they make from the show we love to watch?
According to multiple sources, Bill and Jen are currently worth about $3.5 million, and most of that comes from their TLC salary.
Though there is no exact amount given from the network (or the family), reality TV producer, Terence Michael, has a pretty good guess.
Michael says reality TV families earn approximately 10% of the show's budget, and that a show like The Little Couple would have a budget between $250,000 and $400,000. This means they're bringing in approximately $25,000 to $40,000 per episode.
Business Insider also suggests there's an additional bonus depending on the show's popularity.
"For those docu-ensembles, especially if they're nobodies, per episode it ranges from low-end, like $1,500 an episode, to $3,000 at the high end," they wrote. "And then after three years of success, it can go up to $7,000 to $10,000 an episode. After that, you start moving into the Kardashian level."
And for those who think the family could be bringing in millions for their show, Business Insider says that's not likely.
"Those kinds of paychecks actually go to very few people," they reported. "Most people starring on reality shows are making salaries that supplement the ones they make at their actual jobs, from their businesses, or from other opportunities afforded them by being on TV, such as licensing deals, book contracts, appearances, or food and liquor products."
It's so nice to see a family who has been through so much be rewarded with a steady financial income. Do you watch The Little Couple?