The house in which the Partridges reside was a combination of a studio set for the interiors and an exterior facade on the back lot at Warner Brothers "Ranch" complex in Burbank. The exterior house was also used as Mrs Kravitz house in the TV series "Bewitched" (1964),. During the first season of the "Partridge Family" and the last season of "Bewitched", both shows used the same exterior of the house as the residence for their respective characters. The house was also seen in the movie "Pleasantville" (1998) as Margaret's house and the TV series "Life Goes On" (1989) as the residence of the Thacher family. Over the years it has been remodeled and painted different colors but is still recognizable - the front step and the shape of the roof are giveaways.
During the original run of the series, all eight LPs released by The Partridge Family had paper-themed titles. In release order, they referred to a photo album, a calendar, a magazine, a Christmas card, a shopping bag, a notebook, a crossword puzzle and a bulletin board.
Originally, the show was to star the real life musical family The Cowsills. However, they backed out when the producers decided to have Shirley Jones take over the role of the mother from the group's actual matriarch, Barbara Cowsill.
Several songs credited to the Partridge Family actually charted. In fact the very first single, "I Think I Love You" went to number-one and sold over 4 million copies. Other hits included "I'll Meet You Halfway", "Doesn't Someone Want to Be Wanted" and "I Woke Up in Love This Morning".
Jeremy Gelbwaks was forced to leave after the first season when his father's job took the family out of California; he was replaced by Brian Forster. According to Bernard Slade, ABC did not receive a single letter of complaint about the change.
During the first season, the theme song had a different arrangement, different lyrics and even a different title, "When We're Singing". However, during the second season the more familiar arrangement of the theme song with the more familiar title "Come On Get Happy" was used and remained the theme song throughout the run of the show.
Danny Bonaduce revealed years later that during the run of the series, many people actually thought the kids played their own instruments and thought that they should perform live. However, the only member of the cast to actually tour and perform was David Cassidy who at the time had a successful singing career in the USA and UK.
The character Ricky was added during the final season as it was felt a new younger child among the cast would add a boost to the ratings. Due to the popularity of the Jackson Five, Michael in particular, producers considered casting an African American Child for the part of Ricky.
The Patti Partridge doll was first introduced on "Dora, Dora, Dora". Tracy, was shielding the doll's ears with her fingers to block out Dora's off-key warbling. The doll, although seen occasionally on several episodes before, was never seen again. According to star Suzanne Crough, she keeps the doll in her own personal collection.
The occasional roles of Shirley's parent's Fred and Amanda Renfrew were played by Ray Bolger and Rosemary DeCamp. However, during the final season, the role of Grandpa Renfrew was taken over by Jackie Coogan and his name, with no explanation, was changed to Walter.
The series was based on the real-life family group, The Cowsills. The children were interviewed by the producers, but it was decided that they were too old to play the parts as written for the TV series.
Prior to getting the role of Shirley Partridge, Shirley Jones was one of the original choices to play Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch (1969). However, Jones refused the role because, as she put it, she didn't want to be known for "pulling a pot roast out of the oven every week" and at least with the role of Shirley Partridge she would be portraying a working mother, which Carol was not. Interestingly, both shows ran back to back with each other on ABC's classic early 1970's Friday night line up.
Besides the singles, several albums credited to the Partridge Family also hit the charts, the highest charting of which was "The Partridge Family Christmas Card", which went to #1 on the Billboard charts in 1971.
Companies, especially Sony, were making a fortune off of David Cassidy and his image, and his contract didn't require them to pay him any royalties or even ask his permission. Even girls who paid money to join the David Cassidy fan club had no idea that their allowances were lining the pockets of people he didn't know or authorize to use his name. He was only able to change the terms of his contract when his manager realized that he'd been 19 when he signed. The legal age back then was 21, thus making his initial contract null and void. His manager was finally able to renegotiate and give him a piece of the action as well as a new weekly salary reflective of his star status. Initially, David Cassidy was only earning a flat salary of $600 per week.
Danny Bonaduce would often struggle with his lines, especially during the script readings. It turned out that he was dyslexic. However, he also had a photographic memory, in which case, he would memorize his own lines as well as everyone else's. He stated that this would often get him on the bad side of his fellow cast members when he would correct them or state their lines for them when they couldn't remember.
David Cassidy stated that when they recorded his voice during songs, they would record it at a quarter of a tone lower, and then play it back by raising it a quarter of a tone, thus making his voice sound higher than it really was.
When David Cassidy announced that he was leaving the show due to exhaustion, the producers came up with two different ideas to replace him. One was to have Rick Springfield take over the role and another was to have Wesley Eure introduced as a next door neighbor who sang and replace Keith in the group.