The Bradys

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The Bradys
The Bradys.jpg
Written by Ed Scharlach
Lloyd J. Schwartz
Sherwood Schwartz
Sandra Kay Siegel
Directed by Bruce Bilson
Nancy Malone
Dick Martin
Bob Sweeney
Starring Robert Reed
Florence Henderson
Ann B. Davis
Barry Williams
Leah Ayres
Christopher Knight
Eve Plumb
Mike Lookinland
Susan Olsen
Theme music composer Frank De Vol
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Barry M. Berg
Cinematography King Baggot
Running time 44–48 minutes
Production company(s) Brady Productions
Paramount Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network CBS
Original release February 9, 1990 (1990-02-09) – March 9, 1990 (1990-03-09)
Chronology
Preceded by The Brady Bunch
The Brady Girls Get Married
The Brady Brides
A Very Brady Christmas
Followed by Growing Up Brady

The Bradys is an American comedy-drama that premiered on CBS on February 9, 1990. The series was a continuation of the 1969 sitcom The Brady Bunch, with the principal characters now much older, and was the second such continuation after the short-lived 1981 sitcom The Brady Brides.

Airing on Friday nights, The Bradys failed in ratings against the night-leading TGIF lineup on ABC and was cancelled after one month, with the last of six produced episodes airing in March 9, 1990. In its short run, it went through three different theme tunes based on that of The Brady Bunch, the last featuring revised lyrics sung by Florence Henderson.

Influence and casting[edit]

In 1988, CBS commissioned a Brady Bunch reunion telefilm for their Christmas season programming. Premiering on December 18, 1988, A Very Brady Christmas drew a then-season high 25.1 rating and 39 share for a television movie. The success of the film convinced series creator Sherwood Schwartz that a new Brady family television series could be a hit, and work began on the show in December 1989. CBS showed the film again on December 22, 1989, using it as a promotional tool for the upcoming new show.

Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen all returned in their original Brady Bunch roles, and Jerry Houser and Ron Kuhlman reprised their roles from The Brady Brides. Maureen McCormick declined to participate in the series, with the role of Marcia being filled by Leah Ayres.

Style[edit]

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

Format[edit]

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[edit]

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, Williams stated 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 timeslot. Attempts to convince CBS to move the show to the later timeslot failed. The Bradys was the last television series for Robert Reed prior to his death in 1992.

Episodes[edit]

Title Director Airdate
1 "Start Your Engines (aka The Brady 500)" Bruce Bilson February 9, 1990
Bobby, now a racecar driver, makes it to the Nashville 500 where he is in a serious car-wreck and paralyzed from the waist down. Marcia and husband Wally (who has lost another job) and their kids, are living with Mike and Carol. Peter breaks up with his business-minded fiancé Valerie and becomes a playboy. Jan and husband Phillip are attempting to get pregnant. Greg, following Bobby's car-wreck, considers going back to medical school and change his specialty to orthopedics.
2 "Here We Grow Again (aka The Brady 500)" Bruce Bilson February 9, 1990
The Bradys rally around Bobby in his efforts to recover and the arrival of his old college girlfriend, Tracy Wagner, helps to lift his spirits. Unable to conceive a child of their own, Jan and Phillip adopt an Asian girl, Patty. Cindy is a morning radio DJ and begins dating her boss. Greg decides to stay with obstetrics. In the end, the Bradys reunite for Bobby and Tracy's wedding.
3 "A Moving Experience" Bob Sweeney February 16, 1990
The Bradys are notified that the Department of Transportation will tear down their house to make room for a new freeway and, in a fight to save their home, they have it moved to a new location. Cindy begins to heavily date her boss Gary and Mike decides to run for City Councilman.
4 "Hat in the Ring" Nancy Malone February 23, 1990
Mike declares his candidacy for City Council with the help of Peter and Wally as his campaign managers, but his political future is nearly threatened due to a blackmail attempt by his opponent's campaign manager. In the end, Mike wins the election.
5 "Bottom's Up" Bruce Bilson March 2, 1990
With Carol doing more things for Jessica and Mickey, Wally working overtime with Mike, Cindy debating about a job promotion, Jan busy managing the family's architectural firm, and Peter, Bobby and Greg working on a new trauma center, Marcia feels left out and unneeded and turns to alcohol for escape.
6 "The Party Girls" Dick Martin March 9, 1990
Marcia, Nora and Tracy decide to open their own catering business called The Party Girls and their first assignment is a German-theme event Mike is hosting at the Brady residence for an Australian Ambassador. Meanwhile, Greg and Peter are constantly feuding when their schedules keep conflicting.
  • "Start Your Engines" and "Here We Grow Again" were later 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.
  • "Bottom's Up" and "The Party Girls" were later repackaged as Big Kids, Big Problems 2-hour movie.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]