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The Bradys

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The Bradys
The Bradys

The Bradys Opening title screenshot

Film/Series type/genre: Comedy/Melodrama (CBS-TV)
Based upon: Characters created by Sherwood Schwartz
Starring: Robert Reed
Florence Henderson
Ann B. Davis
Barry Williams
Leah Ayres
Christopher Knight
Eve Plumb
Mike Lookinland
Susan Olsen
Production Information
Preceded by: A Very Brady Christmas (CBS-TV, 1988)
Followed by: None
Produced by: Barry M. Berg
Written by: Ed Scharlach
Sherwood Schwartz
Lloyd J. Schwartz
Sandra Kay Siegel
Distributed by: Aired on CBS-TV
Film.series length: 45–48 minutes
Date(s) premiered/released: aired December 18, 1988


The Bradys is a one-hour melodramatic program that aired on CBS-TV in 1990. It was a revival of the early 1970s ABC-TV sitcom series The Brady Bunch (1969–1974), and was about the trials and tribulations of the extended Brady family some 15 years after the end of the earlier series. It followed two earlier short-lived spin-off/continuation series: ABC-TV's The Brady Bunch Hour (1976-77) and NBC-TV's The Brady Brides (1981).

Development

The Bradys series came about as the result of the ratings and critical success of the 1988 television movie movie A Very Brady Christmas. All of the original cast members of the original Brady Bunch returned, except for Maureen McCormick (original Marcia Brady), as her daughter Natalie had been recently born, and thus she turned down the deal after learning that she would then be committing to a whole series than a movie. She was replaced with actress Leah Ayres. The show also incorporated cast members from The Brady Brides, who portrayed their roles from the earlier series.

Style

Produced at the height of the dramedy trend in American television, epitomized by such shows as NBC-TV's Frank's Place and ABC=TV's Hooperman, The Bradys aimed to change direction toward more dramatic storytelling than viewers had been used to in the previous Brady series.

Format

Unlike the original 30-minute sitcom, The Bradys was an hour long and featured far more serious plotlines. Among them:

  • Family patriarch Mike begins a political career.
  • Bobby's budding car-racing career ends abruptly in the first episode after an accident leaves him a paraplegic. As he recovers, he marries his college girlfriend.
  • Peter breaks up with his fiancée, to whom he became engaged in A Very Brady Christmas, and begins dating the abusive daughter of Mike's political rival.
  • Jan and Phillip, unable to conceive children of their own, adopt a Korean girl named Patty.
  • Stay-at-home mother Marcia battles alcoholism while Wally loses yet another in a series of jobs, the latest being as Mike's campaign manager. Wally and Marcia, who along with their two children have been forced to move in with Mike and Carol, eventually decide to open their own catering business to support their family.
  • Radio host Cindy begins a romantic interest with her boss, a widower more than 10 years her senior who has two children.

Despite the more downbeat tone, the show did feature a laugh track at certain moments.

Cancellation

The show was put on hiatus with plans to continue sometime later in the year. Poor reviews and low ratings led to the hiatus and quiet cancellation of the series after six episodes. At the time, it was thought that the audience was simply unwilling to accept the sitcom characters in a more dramatic setting. But it turns out more viewers preferred to watch Full House and Family Matters in the same hour on ABC. In Barry Williams' book Growing Up Brady, he states that when the initial two-hour episode aired, ratings were poor for the first hour, but when the second hour aired, the show won its time slot. Attempts to convince the CBS executives to move the show to the later time slot met with no avail.

Episodes

Episode Title Airdate
01 Start Your Engines February 9, 1990
02 Here We Grow Again February 9, 1990
03 A Moving Experience February 16, 1990
04 Hat in the Ring February 23, 1990
05 Bottoms Up March 2, 1990
06 The Party Girls March 9, 1990

"Start Your Engines" and "Here We Grow Again" were shown together, and repackaged as The Brady 500 2-hour movie.

"A Moving Experience" and "Hat in the Ring" were later repackaged as The Bradys on the Move 2-hour movie.

"Bottoms Up" and "The Party Girls" were later repackaged as Big Kids, Big Problems 2-hour movie.

Cast

External links

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