Was Lee Majors kind of a moron and/or a jerk?
I admit Lee Majors was good for the role.
Maybe it was the Kentucky accent, or the flattened nose that had obviously been broken several times (Majors played a lot of football in his youth), but Lee Majors brought a folksy charm that made him just about perfect for the role of a reluctant super-hero who acquired his powers not through a magic ring or gamma ray exposure - but by becoming a triple amputee after a horrific plane crash.
Still, as much as Lee Majors brought to the role of Steve Austin, you have to wonder if his stupidity and/or arrogance also led to the eventual demise of the show.
First, he publicly denounced The Bionic Woman spin-off series as 'The Bionic Rip-off' - despite the fact that TBW rescued his own show from near-cancellation toward the end of its third season and propelled it to a top-ten favorite in its fourth. And according to Hollywood lore, Majors was instrumental in ABC selling The Bionic Woman to NBC the very next (and last) season.
Then, he refused to report to work until the network met his (at the time) astronomical salary demands for what would become the final season. The network eventually caved, but his salary increase took a HUGE chunk out of the show's budget, and the writing, directing, and production values all took an enormous hit. If the loss of Jaime Sommers put The Six Million Dollar Man up against the ropes, the overall drop in quality all but guaranteed that Majors and the rest of the cast and crew would all be unemployed by the end of the fifth season.
I've heard that before deciding to meet his demands, the network briefly considered replacing Majors with Harrison Ford, who had just done Star Wars, but was otherwise an unknown at the time. If that had actually happened, you have to wonder if The Six Million Dollar Man would have gone on longer.
It's probably for the best, as Ford probably would never have been able to play Indiana Jones.