The Brady Bunch Hour
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2011)|
|The Brady Bunch Hour|
|Also known as||The Brady Bunch Variety Hour|
|Created by||Sid and Marty Krofft, based on the original TV series created by Sherwood Schwartz|
Ann B. Davis
|Ending theme||"United We Stand" performed by the Bradys|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Executive producer(s)||Sid and Marty Krofft|
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Paramount Television|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original run||November 28, 1976– May 25, 1977|
|Related shows||The Brady Bunch|
The series stars the original cast members of The Brady Bunch, with the exception of Eve Plumb, who was replaced by Geri Reischl. This change led to the reference "Fake Jan". The show began as a 60-minute special titled The Brady Bunch Variety Hour on November 28, 1976. This special led to eight additional 60-minute episodes produced and aired as The Brady Bunch Hour from January to May 1977.
The show's events are not included or mentioned in the later spinoffs and revivals.
In this series, the Bradys move out of their familiar home and into a beachside home somewhere in Southern California, after they were chosen to star in a new variety series for ABC, which originates from their home. Mike Brady also leaves his architectural career, in order to become a full-time musician. Helping them out along the way is their new neighbor, Jack Merrill (Rip Taylor). In addition to the variety show are "behind-the-scenes" sketches of the Bradys at home. Some of these sketches connect to the variety show segments, while others are stand-alone. The entire cast took part in sketches and musical numbers.
The main stage for The Brady Bunch Hour had a swimming pool. While the pool was mostly used by The Krofftettes, who put on an Esther Williams-style performance during the opening credits, occasionally a Brady cast member would fall into the water fully dressed. Greg would sometimes shove Peter into the pool (where he would almost invariably scream "MOM!") and Greg would then introduce the musical guest. Greg would try to trick Peter, (in much the same manner Lucy would try to trick Charlie Brown with the football) to trust him, wherein he is shoved into the pool. In one episode, Greg and Peter pushed their father into the pool, who yelled "CAROL!"
- Robert Reed as Mike Brady
- Florence Henderson as Carol Brady
- Ann B. Davis as Alice Nelson
- Barry Williams as Greg Brady
- Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady
- Christopher Knight as Peter Brady
- Geri Reischl as Jan Brady
- Mike Lookinland as Bobby Brady
- Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady
- Rip Taylor as Jack Merrill
The Krofftettes and Water Follies
- Charkie Phillips
- Christine Cullen Wallace
- Susan Buckner
- Linda Hoxit
- Judy Susman
- Lynne Latham
- Dee Kaye
- Robyn Blythe
Rip Taylor's role
Rip Taylor appeared in every episode of this series (except the pilot). He was billed as a guest on six of the episodes. Also, he played the Mr. Merrill role in both the variety show (where Mr. Merrill played various characters in the skits) and behind-the-scenes segments, yet he was introduced as Rip Taylor at the start and end of each episode. In many of the ensemble song-and-dance numbers, he was paired with Ann B. Davis.
The show came into being following the Bradys' appearance on Donny & Marie, on October 8, 1976. ABC president Fred Silverman had the Kroffts develop a variety show starring the Bradys, though without the approval or involvement of Paramount Pictures (the producers of The Brady Bunch) or Sherwood Schwartz (that show's creator). Both parties eventually gave their approval of the new series, mainly as a way to keep interest in the original series. The variety hour remains the only Brady project to not have Schwartz's involvement during production.
The show was intended to air every fifth week in the same slot as The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, but was scheduled sporadically throughout the season, leading to inconsistent ratings. A promo was often shown with Mike and Carol stating, "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour won't be seen this week, but we will back again soon."
The first and fourth episodes were released on VHS and DVD in America on Region 1 DVD format.
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour in popular culture
- TV Guide listed the series at #4 in a 2002 compilation of the 50 worst television series in American history.
- The show is the subject of a 2009 coffee table book entitled Love to Love You Bradys by Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady). It was released in September, 2009 by ECW Press. In addition to many color photos and artwork, the book features over 100 new interviews including the Brady Bunch, Sid Krofft, Marty Krofft, Sherwood Schwartz, Bruce Vilanch, Rip Taylor, and Paul Shaffer.
- This show was parodied on a Season 3 episode of That '70s Show ("Red Sees Red"). The entire family, due to a forced curfew, is sitting around watching the show and each one leaves separately in anger (Red himself remarking that "This show is crap!"). Kitty then daydreams that her own family are the stars of a similar show, later remarking after the daydream "Oh no, this is crap."
- The show was also more directly parodied as part of "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase", wherein the Simpson family stars in a variety show spin-off of their show. It's noted during the show that Lisa Simpson had refused to participate (in much the same way Eve Plumb did), so she was replaced with a much older prom queen-type who also claimed to be Lisa.
Episode #1 (The Brady Bunch Variety Hour - TV special / pilot)
- Airdate: January 23, 1977
- Guests: Lee Majors, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Kaptain Kool and the Kongs, Rip Taylor
- The Mary Tyler Moore Hour (a similar variety series)
- Retro Junk
- Interview with Geri "Fake Jan" Reischl at Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict
- Interview with Linda Hoxit
- The Brady Bunch Hour at the Internet Movie Database
- The Brady Bunch Hour at TV.com