Tuesday, September 11, 2018

“The Brady Bunch Hour”: This Crew Would Somehow Re-Form A Family

After the successful “reunion”, Fred Silverman tasked the brothers Krofft with reassembling the Bradys for an all new variety show. Despite the ridiculousness of the concept, the Kroffts went all in on the project, eager to get a project going that would free them from the restrictive Osmonds.

They didn’t know how receptive the family would be. They had only scraped together Florence Henderson, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen and Maureen McCormick for the Osmond show. Could they get the rest of the family? And what about Robert Reed? He had been the biggest pain on the set of the original show, often rewriting scripts that particularly irked him, none of which were ever used. The Kroffts were pleasantly surprised; Reed was one of the first to sign on and the most enthusiastic cast member on the set. One by one the other castmembers signed on, with one glaring exception- Eve Plumb.

Contrary to rumor and legend, Eve Plumb didn’t refuse to participate on the show. She was indeed trying to leave “Jan Brady” behind, but she was still willing to revisit her most known role. She just couldn’t fully commit to the show due to her other projects. ABC and the Kroffts, having signed everyone else stood firm. Eve’s participation needed to be all or nothing. She passed. By this time, word had finally reached Sherwood Schwartz and Paramount that ABC was trying to reunite the Bradys. Schwartz was initially upset, since he had control of the rights to the show. Since ABC and the Kroffts had already signed most of the original cast, and the kids desperately needed the money, he gave his blessing to the project. The original show had made him a millionaire several times over while the actual Bradys were no longer making a dime from the show. Perhaps he felt he owed them. In any event, the publicity ABC was sure to drum up for the variety show was certain to bring more attention to his reruns, generating millions more for him.

After a quick casting search, the Kroffts found their new Jan Brady- Geri Reischl, who was embraced by the original cast. The Bradys were reunited- but would Robert Reed’s old habit of objecting to everything rear its ugly head? Could the Kroffts knock this Bunch into shape on the compressed schedule they were given by ABC? It would take a Herculean effort to get this project off the ground- would the Kroffts be able to do it? Stay tuned!