Robert Reed was a closeted gay man. Florence Henderson noticed early on that he appeared uncomfortable acting romantically with her, and he admitted the truth to her privately. They worked around it, rehearsing kissing and hugging scenes off-camera, so they would look more natural when it came time to film them. The entire cast kept Reed's sexual orientation a secret until after his death.
The family dog "Tiger" was killed by a car in season one of the show before the filming of episode five was completed. A replacement dog proved to be unworkable. Tiger's doghouse remained on the set, though, because one of the studio lights fell and burned a hole through the astroturf, and the doghouse was used to hide the burned spot.
Sherwood Schwartz's technique for auditioning child actors and actresses was to set out a bunch of toys on his desk, then during the interview see if the child paid attention to him or was distracted by the toys. If the toys went unheeded, Schwartz knew the child had the concentration needed to work on a television series.
We saw the Brady bathroom many times, but not once did we see a toilet. The popular joke was that the Bradys were so good, clean, and wholesome that didn't even go to the bathroom. The truth was, the network censors wouldn't allow a toilet to be shown, at that time.
A scene in The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon (1969) makes it clear Mike's first wife had died, making him a widower, but the status of Carol's first marriage was kept a secret. Creator Sherwood Schwartz maintained Carol was divorced from her first husband, but nothing about it was mentioned on the series. At that time, divorce was a subject matter that was still considered largely taboo for television, particularly a series aimed at family audiences.
Robert Reed was written out of the show's final episode, The Brady Bunch: The Hair-Brained Scheme (1974), after an argument with Producer Sherwood Schwartz over what Reed considered a ridiculous story line (with Greg's hair turning orange from hair tonic), but he remained on-set for its filming. Studio security offered to remove Reed, but Schwartz declined to have this done in front of the kids.
Robert Reed strongly disliked his role as Mike Brady. He claimed he only took the part because Sherwood Schwartz told him the show would be a serious, boundary-pushing look at modern day family life. Schwartz considered the possibility of either hiring a new actor to play Mike or killing off the character altogether, if the series were renewed for a sixth season. Reed stayed with the series (and subsequent reunion spin-offs) out of loyalty to the kids.
Barry Williams (Greg Brady) did his own surfing in season four's three-part opening episode in Hawaii. In one scene, Barry wiped out near some exposed rocks, injured himself, and was briefly lost. Filming had to be postponed until he had fully recovered.
During the series run, Florence Henderson lobbied the producers constantly to allow Carol Brady to get out into the workforce. Henderson thought this would be more in line with how she was in real-life. The producers kept the character of Carol Brady unemployed, though she frequently did volunteer work and fundraising for charity.
The Brady kids didn't always like the wardrobe they were expected to wear, and asked for more fashionable clothes. Producer Sherwood Schwartz declined the request, because he (correctly) expected the show to be syndicated at the end of its network run, and didn't want the fashions (and thus the show) to look dated.
Due to its marginal ratings (only reaching number thirty-four in the Nielsen Ratings at its peak), the show was never renewed for a whole season until its last season on the air (1973-74). During its first four seasons, it was only renewed for thirteen episodes at a time. Several members of the cast have admitted that when they finished filming thirteen episodes, there was always an air of apprehension while they waited to see if ABC would renew the program or not. The program stayed on the air because of its popularity among children.
This show is famous for its squeaky clean image and it's goody-two-shoes characters. But there is The Brady Bunch: Goodbye, Alice, Hello (1972) that is considered too racy to be shown in its entirety in syndication. In one scene, Bobby and Cindy, both wearing bathrobes, standing in the kitchen and talking to Alice, plead with her for permission to go to a skinny dipping party at their friend's house (Mike and Carol are preoccupied with other issues for some reason, and are not part of the conversation). Alice refuses, saying no Brady kid will go to "some x-rated party in their birthday suit" if she can help it. The scene routinely gets edited out when it's shown in syndication, due to the suggestive subject matter.
When Florence Henderson arrived to do her screen test, there was no one on staff to do her make-up, so she went over to the adjoining studio where Star Trek (1966) was filmed, and she found herself seated in a make-up chair between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, being made up for their day's work on one of the last episodes of "Trek". Henderson recalls that both actors completely ignored her.
The house used for exterior shots, which was normally seen at the beginning of every episode as well as various points throughout the show's run, is at 11222 Dilling Street, Studio City, California. Since the series ended, the owners of the house have erected an iron fence, let heavy shrubbery grow to cover much of the front, and have suffered numerous trespassers. They also refused to let producers use the house for exterior shots in the subsequent films in the 1990s.
Every day since September 1975 (the start of its syndication), an episode has aired somewhere in the world. The series aired on the ABC network from September 26, 1969 to August 30, 1974 and on ABC daytime from June 1973 through August 1975, except for a two-month period in early 1975 when it was cancelled for a game show, which was itself cancelled after only eight weeks. Thus, The Brady Bunch has been on television continuously since 1969, except for this two-month period in 1975.
The theme song, written by Sherwood Schwartz, was performed by The Peppermint Trolley Company for the show's first season. During filming, Christopher Knight was overheard singing the theme on-set, and the show's producers hit on the idea of the Brady kids performing the show's introduction. From season two on, the kids sang the theme, which was re-arranged and re-recorded each year.
The Brady's home address was 4222 Clinton Way. Their telephone number was 762-0799, mentioned just once by Jan (Eve Plumb) in The Brady Bunch: The Not-So-Ugly Duckling (1970). Bobby also mentioned their phone number in The Brady Bunch: Mail Order Hero (1973). Even though it was widely known that the show was set in greater Los Angeles, the name of the specific city or community in which they lived was never mentioned.
The producers of Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) threatened to sue Sherwood Schwartz, accusing him of taking their idea and plot summary. Sherwood showed them the notes, plus an outline of this show that was written a year or two before their movie was even written.
Sherwood Schwartz and Robert Reed often feuded over the quality of the scripts throughout the run of the series. Schwartz later stated that if the show had been renewed for a sixth season, Reed's character of Mike Brady would have been written out of the show, because he had become too difficult, with whom to work.
The names of Mike and Carol's previous spouses were never mentioned throughout this show's five season run. The only time a picture was shown of Mike's previous wife was in The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon (1969), when one was held by Bobby.
Shirley Jones was offered the role of Carol. However, she refused it because, as she put it, she refused to do a role where all she did was "take a pot roast out of the oven". Of course, a year after this show premiered, Jones played another iconic mother, on The Partridge Family (1970), which aired immediately after this show. If Jones had taken the Carol Brady role, it would have probably wound up being about a single mother named Shirley Brady who was raising 6 kids all on her own.
The 1960s saw a trend in television series depicting widowed parents raising young children (e.g., My Three Sons (1960), Family Affair (1966) and The Doris Day Show (1968)). At the time of the series' fall 1969 premiere, some critics suggested the show had taken that trend to an extreme (and then the following season pushed that envelope even farther with The Partridge Family (1970)).
When Sherwood Schwartz pitched The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon (1969) to NBC, they thought the story of the parents taking their blended family along on their honeymoon was an unbelievable story line. They offered to do the pilot if he changed the ending. ABC liked it so much, they wanted to stretch the story to be a television movie, ninety minutes long. Sherwood balked at that also, certain that such a pilot would be so dull, the series would not get picked up.
The show received a lot of viewer fan mail, including a few letters from children asking if they could come live with the Bradys, since their own families were troubled or imperfect. Sherwood Schwartz answered those letters with a reminder that this was only a television show, and the children would do best to make the most of their own home situations.
Florence Henderson (Carol Brady), Ann B. Davis (Alice Nelson) and Barry Williams (Greg Brady) are the only actors to appear in all 117 episodes of the series. Robert Reed missed one episode due to another acting commitment, and he refused to do the final episode because he thought its plot ridiculous. The six children except Williams as Greg were each written out of one second season episode in order to cut production costs. However, this cost-saving measure was dropped after the initial round because producers believed it would be a negative for the series if every character did not appear in each episode.
The Brady kids attended Westdale High School, Fillmore Junior High, and Clinton Elementary School. However, in The Brady Bunch: Eenie, Meenie, Mommy, Daddy (1969), Cindy's school is Dixie Canyon Elementary, a real school located in Sherman Oaks, California.
This was the first television series created and produced by Paramount Studios, which, up until that time, had been a movie studio exclusively. Earlier shows, such as Star Trek (1966) and Bonanza (1959), were acquired by Paramount when the studio purchased Desilu Productions.
Sherwood Schwartz claimed that Robert Reed worked on this show solely to fulfill a contractual obligation with Paramount. Initially, he was to hired by Paramount for a sitcom based on "Barefoot in the Park" (which he had done on Broadway) which, when finally aired, was made with a black cast Barefoot in the Park (1970) and lasted only 13 weeks. Reed was also considered for a TV adaptation of the movie Houseboat (1958), which was also canned. With neither of these projects going forward at the time the role of Mike was cast, Reed had no choice but to accept the role of Mike Brady.
The Brady's house in Los Angeles, was listed for sale in August 2018. The asking price for the approximately 1200 square foot home was $1.88 million. It was subsequently purchased by HGTV which remodeled the house during A Very Brady Renovation (2019). Each of the actors who played the Brady children make appearances.
When Marcia gets her driver's license, it shows Maureen McCormick's actual birth date (8-5-56) and the same address used to send Jan's locket (4222 Clinton Way, City) - awkwardly avoiding the name of an actual city in the same way.
Due to constant squabbling with the producers, Robert Reed would likely have been fired prior to the start of the sixth season. According to Sherwood Schwartz, the role of Mike Brady would have been recast, or simply killed off.
The Brady Kids (1972) was an animated spinoff broadcast on Saturday mornings during the fourth and fifth seasons of the prime time The Brady Bunch series. The series was produced on a shoestring budget by Filmation and featured the voices of the six Brady kids along with Larry Storch and Jane Webb. Mike, Carol and Alice did not appear, and the kids were accompanied by a dog, two pandas, and a talking magician mynah bird named Marlon. Over the course of its 22 episodes, the Brady kids met Superman, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman (in her inauspicious television debut), and the Lone Ranger and Tonto. They also performed a song each episode, including "It's a Sunshine Day" and a cover of "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo."
Sherwood Schwartz has said that a lot of the story lines come from real things that have happened to the cast, and likewise the character traits of the kids were used to develop their characters. So when we see Jan and Marcia fighting, in fact Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick did fight in real life; likewise when Barry Williams (Greg) plays music all the time, he did do that in real life.
In The Brady Bunch: Where There's Smoke (1971), Tommy reassures Greg by saying "Hey! They're just regular cigarettes man!" when he imploringly hands him the open cigarette carton. The implication when Tommy says "just regular cigarettes" is that they're not marijuana cigarettes. This is ironic because Barry Williams admitted in his autobiography "Growing Up Brady" that he was, in fact, stoned from marijuana while filming.
The 1967-75 detective series Mannix (1967) not only borrowed the Brady house set for a handful of episodes but also one of its stars. Robert Reed had a recurring role as Lt. Adam Tobias in 22 episodes filmed during the same 1969-74 period he was playing mild-mannered Mike Brady. Both series were produced by Paramount.
The Bradys all drove Chrysler Corporation vehicles (until the final season). Mike Brady drove a 1968 blue Dodge Polara convertible in the pilot; a 1969 Plymouth Fury III convertible also blue; second season a 1970 Plymouth Fury III convertible in blue; a 1970 blue Plymouth Barracuda convertible in year three; a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible in year three (in one episode it has a rear clip from the '72 Barracuda; Plymouth dropped the Barracuda convertible in 1971); also there was a 1972 blue Chevrolet Impala convertible; a red 1973 Chevrolet Caprice convertible; and a dark red 1974 Chevrolet Caprice convertible in year five (the one Greg and Marcia used for their "driving test"). The "Bradys" 1974 dark red Caprice was also used in an episode of The Odd Couple in 1975. Carol, on the other hand, drove five different Plymouth Satellite station wagons, one representing each year from 1969 through '73. The '69 took the Bunch on an overnight camping trip in season one; the '71 took them to the Grand Canyon in season three; and the '72 was involved in a fender bender in the later part of that same season. The vehicles were loaned to Paramount by the Chrysler Corporation and The Chevrolet motor Division for filming. Incidentally, the 1969 Plymouth Fury III convertible that "Mike Brady" drove was recently restored to showroom condition.
Allan Melvin, who played the recurring role of Sam Franklin the Butcher, concurrently played a recurring role on All in the Family (1971), which is often viewed as an antithesis, (opposite genre and personality) to The Brady Bunch. Melvin also was comical Sergeant Hacker, on Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964), that starred Jim Nabors. Allan Melvin also acted as a criminal occasionally on The Andy Griffith Show (1960) earlier in his career. Nabors and Melvin both acted on The Andy Griffith Show.
Original working titles for the series included "Yours and Mine" and "The Bradley Brood." Sherwood Schwartz settled on the name Brady because it would convey more than Bradley that the series was a comedy.
In The Brady Bunch: Every Boy Does It Once (1969), Bobby and Cindy talk about the mean stepmother in Cinderella. Cindy tells Bobby "You're lucky! You have a nice stepmother". This is the only time in the series (besides the pilot) when Mike and Carol are referred to as stepparents. The rest of the time the kids all just call them Mom and Dad and seem to act like they are their original biological parents.
Carol's maiden name was Tyler. Her first married name was Martin, before she married Mike Brady. That means Marcia, Jan and Cindy were Marcia Martin, Jan Martin and Cindy Martin before Carol married Mike.
The name of the Brady kids' singing group was normally the Brady Six. However, in The Brady Bunch: Amateur Nite (1973), they were known as "The Silver Platters." In the cartoon spin-off The Brady Kids (1972) they performed a song each episode as "The Brady Kids" (the name adorning the drum in an homage to The Beatles).
In The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon (1969), there is one scene where Bobby has put away a picture of his real mother, fearing that his soon to be stepmom would be angry if she saw it. Mike tells Bobby that his fears are unwarranted and that his mother "would have been proud." Some people interpreted this to imply Bobby's mother had died. However, the show never explicitly said one way or the other.
In The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon (1969), Carol (whose married name from her first marriage is Martin before she marries Mike Brady) is living with her parents before she moves in with Mike Brady. Mike Brady is living in another smaller home; not the famous Brady home on Clinton Way that is featured in the rest of the Brady Bunch this is the only time in the series that the famous Brady home is not featured as they do not move into it until after they get married.
Sherwood Schwartz has said he was "not happy" with how The Brady Kids (1972) spin-off turned out; that the producers at Filmation did not do what he asked them to do. And when they approached him to adapt Gilligan's Island (1964), he said he wanted script supervisory approval with each show that was produced.
One planned scenario for the show, had there been a sixth season, was for another actor to be cast in the role of Mike Brady. Sherwood Schwartz was apparently none too happy about Robert Reed's antics (including missing the fifth season finale, which was ultimately the series-ender), according to "Brady, Brady, Brady," a book he co-wrote with son Lloyd J. Schwartz. And a potential change in direction of the sitcom was for Carol to become pregnant with twins. The boy would have hair of gold, like his mother, and the girl would favor those four men living all together.
Although it is one of the series' best known quotes, The Brady Bunch: Her Sister's Shadow (1971) is the only episode of the entire series in which Jan says, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" and she only says it once. Jan's feelings of inferiority when compared to Marcia were heavily parodied in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), which used the line much more extensively.
In The Brady Bunch: My Sister, Benedict Arnold (1971), actor Gary Rist plays Warren Mulaney; Greg's arch-rival and Marcia's date. Brady Bunch legend has it the two Rists are brothers, but despite sharing a surname, Gary is not related to actor Robbie Rist, who played cousin Oliver in the final six episodes of the series.
While the Brady Bunch was on the air, the Brady Kids would tour as a music group and perform songs like "American Pie", "Me and You and a Dog named Boo", and "Proud Mary" in the summers in between the television seasons. This was undoubtedly inspired by the success of The Partridge Family (1970).
The only time anyone says "Brady Bunch" ever on this show is in The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon (1969). Carol says "all of us?" Mike says "All of us. The whole bloomin' Brady Bunch." The phrase is never mentioned again on the show ever; except during the opening credits.
All 117 The Brady Bunch (1969) episodes originally televised on ABC TV stations, on very early Friday evenings, to be exact, during the 7:00 hour. Either 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM half hour, or 7:30 PM to 8:00 half hour.
The children occasionally refer to their respective stepparents by their first names during the first season. Soon they were calling them Mom or Dad and it was largely forgotten (except for the theme song) that the Bradys had not always been a family.
The old joke is how can Mike afford a house keeper and all the vacations as well as a stay at home wife and six kids. In reality he probably had life insurance on his wife. Also Carol had a house to sell and also life insurance on her presumably dead husband. The Bradys likely had a good nest egg of savings.
This show was one of the first *original* series from Paramount Television, premiering on ABC in 1969. It, of course, was *not* a holdover from Desilu Productions, which Paramount Communications, the parent company, purchased exactly two years earlier; the ones that were and still running at that time were Mannix (1967) and Mission: Impossible (1966) on CBS (Star Trek (1966) on NBC was just canceled). The Bradys enjoyed a five-year run.
Wonder Woman made her television debut in an episode of the animated spinoff, The Brady Kids: It's All Greek to Me (1972). Diana Prince worked as a librarian in her civilian identity (and of course was fluent in Greek). Due to Filmation's notorious low budget, the stars were left off her shorts. The Amazing Amazon was voiced by Jane Webb, who was no stranger to super-heroines, having earlier voiced Batgirl on The Batman/Superman Hour (1968).
Allan Melvin, played the recurring role of Sam the Butcher, Alice's boyfriend on this show. He also played Barney Hefner on All in the Family (1971), Archie Bunker's equally bigoted best friend, who frequently said unpolitically correct things and even once wore black-face.
In several episodes the characters wear Hang Ten clothing. The distinctive two barefoot symbol is clearly visible. As no mention is made of the brand, this is an example of basic product placement. It's more than likely that Hang Ten donated the clothing hoping that people would recognize the brand.