Remember the Brady Bunch
The eponymous America sitcom premiered on the 26th of September in 1969 on a Friday and doubled as a lens into the life of the nuclear family with a twist. It introduced a story of two households from a widowed architect, Mike Brady (Robert Reed) rearing three precocious boys, Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland), and a single mother, Carol Martin (Florence Henderson) raising three adventurous girls, Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen). The show uniquely illustrated parenting through the eyes of a blended family after marriage, while it candidly illuminated the ups and downs of six children, their maid. Alice (Ann B. Davis), and a dog named Tiger in relatable situations.
Showrunner Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan’s Island, 1966) shuttled the story idea around Hollywood mirroring the industry’s similar successful with family movies starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball in Yours Mine and Ours (1968) and Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara in Disney’s The Parent Trap (1961).
Bright Lights, Big Screen Treatment
The Bradys’ weekly series spurred six spin-offs, featuring many of the show’s original cast spanning more than a decade spotlighting:
• The Brady Bunch Hour (1976–77),
• The Brady Girls Get Married (1981),
• The Brady Brides (1981),
• A Very Brady Christmas (1988), and
• The Bradys (1990).
The TV series was soon followed by a satirical feature version, The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), and two more releases, A Very Brady Sequel (1996), and a television-feature, The Brady Bunch in the White House (2002).
The show aptly became an iconic illustration of real life that was presented as a weekly debut of sibling rivalry “firsts” including:
• limiting Greg’s and Marcia’s phone conversations by installing a pay phone,
• Peter losing his voice due to growing pains, and
• an unforgettable sister envy of middle child, Jan, living in her big sister’s shadow declaring, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”
Brady Fun Facts
Fan of the long-running sitcom? Test your Brady Brunch memory with the following fun facts:
The Brady Bunch reached 37 on TV Guide’s Greatest Episodes of All Time.
The show spun off an animated series titled The Brady Kids.
Another spin-off slated on the air, named Kelly Kids.
The Brady house was filmed in Sherman Oaks.
“Peter” (Christopher Knight) received his own reality show, My Fair Brady.
“Bobby” (Mike Lookinland) starred in the hit TV comic series Wonder Woman.
Maureen McCormick published a biography and a country music album.
The Brady Bunch series featured The Monkees star, Davey Jones.
Florence Henderson starred in an original movie for The Hallmark Channel.
The Brady Bunch theme was a “sunshine pop” genre produced by an American band named The Peppermint Trolley Company.
The Beatles debuted album, Abbey Road the same day The Brady Bunch premiered.