The Bradys

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The Bradys
The Bradys.jpg
GenreComedy-drama
Written by
Directed by
Starring
Theme music composerFrank De Vol (main title)
Opening theme"The Bradys" performed by Florence Henderson
Ending theme"The Bradys" (instrumental)
Composer(s)Laurence Juber
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Sherwood Schwartz
Lloyd J. Schwartz
Producer(s)Barry Berg
CinematographyKing Baggot
Editor(s)Steve Shultz
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time44–48 minutes
Production company(s)Brady Productions
Paramount Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCBS
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseFebruary 9 (1990-02-09) –
March 9, 1990 (1990-03-09)
Chronology
Preceded byA Very Brady Christmas
Related showsThe Brady Bunch

The Bradys is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on CBS from February 9 to March 9, 1990. The series is a sequel and continuation of the original 1969-1974 sitcom The Brady Bunch, focusing on its main characters as adults, and was the second such continuation after the short-lived 1981 sitcom The Brady Brides.

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

Cast[edit]

Influence and casting[edit]

In 1988, CBS commissioned a Brady Bunch reunion telefilm for its Christmas season programming. A Very Brady Christmas premiered on December 18, 1988 and drew a 25.1 rating and 39 share, record highs for a television film at the time. The success of the film convinced series creator Sherwood Schwartz that a new Brady family TV series could be a hit, and work began on the show in December 1989. CBS re-aired A Very Brady Christmas 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. Leah Ayres played Marcia because Maureen McCormick declined the role.

Style[edit]

The Bradys involved more dramatic storytelling than that which viewers had seen in the previous Brady series.[1][2] Unlike the original 30-minute sitcom, The Bradys was an hour long and featured far more serious plot lines. Among them:

  • Family patriarch Mike begins a political career.
  • Bobby's budding auto-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 Philip, 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 have been forced to move in with Mike and Carol along with their two children, open a catering business to support their family.
  • Radio host Cindy begins a romance with her boss, a widower more than ten years her senior who has two children.

Despite the more dramatic tone, the show did include a laugh track.

Cancellation[edit]

The show was put on hiatus with plans to continue sometime later in the year, but production never resumed and The Bradys was quietly canceled after six episodes had aired. Following the premiere, the show was among CBS' lowest-watched each week until its cancellation, only once outperforming another show, an episode of Tour of Duty. At the time, it was thought that the audience was simply unwilling to accept the sitcom characters in a more dramatic setting. The situation was further complicated by the show's time slot. When The Bradys launched, CBS placed it in the 8:00 p.m. slot on Friday nights, making it the third show of the season to lead off the network's Friday lineup; the other two, Snoops and Max Monroe: Loose Cannon, both flopped.

The network placed the show against the comedy hits Full House and Family Matters, which comprised the first half of ABC's Friday night TGIF lineup. In Barry Williams' autobiography Growing Up Brady: I Was A Teenage Greg, he 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 time slot and the producers believed a change could be beneficial.

The second hour, however, was the 9:00 p.m. hour that long been home to CBS' Friday stalwart, Dallas. Although Dallas had been slipping in the ratings for several years, CBS was unwilling to move the program to accommodate The Bradys, as doing so would have resulted in the displacement of both Dallas and the show that followed, the equally ratings-challenged Falcon Crest. Although CBS would eventually move both shows before the season ended, it did so after The Bradys was canceled.

This would prove to be Robert Reed's final role of any significance. He fell ill in 1991, suffering from a combination of colon and bladder cancer that was exacerbated by his development of HIV, and died in May 1992.

Episodes[edit]

Ep. Title Director Writer(s) Air date
1"Start Your Engines"Bruce BilsonSherwood Schwartz & Lloyd J. SchwartzFebruary 9, 1990 (1990-02-09)1-1
Cindy is a morning radio DJ, and Bobby is now a race car driver. He makes it to the Nashville 500 where he is in a serious car wreck and paralyzed from the waist down. Marcia, her husband Wally (who has lost another job) and their kids move in with Mike and Carol. Peter breaks up with his business-minded fiancée Valerie (Mary Cadorette) and becomes a playboy. Jan and husband Philip try to get pregnant. Greg, following Bobby's car wreck, considers going back to medical school and changing his specialty to orthopedics.
2"Here We Grow Again"Bruce BilsonS. Schwartz & L. SchwartzFebruary 9, 1990 (1990-02-09)1-2
The Bradys rally around Bobby in his efforts to recover. The arrival of Bobby's old college girlfriend Tracy Wagner helps to lift his spirits. Unable to conceive a child of their own, Jan and Philip adopt an Asian girl named Patty. Cindy is a morning radio DJ and begins dating her boss. Greg decides to stay with obstetrics after Tracy's pregnant sister goes into labor at Bobby's and Tracy's wedding, which is officiated by the same minister who performed Mike's and Carol's wedding.
3"A Moving Experience"Bob SweeneyS. Schwartz & L. SchwartzFebruary 16, 1990 (1990-02-16)1-3
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's relationship with her boss intensifies. Gene and Mike decide to run for city council.
4"Hat in the Ring"Nancy MaloneS. Schwartz & L. SchwartzFebruary 23, 1990 (1990-02-23)1-4
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 by a blackmail attempt by his opponent's campaign manager (Herb Edelman). In the end, Mike wins the election.
5"Bottom's Up"Bruce BilsonSandra Kay SiegelMarch 2, 1990 (1990-03-02)1-5
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 MartinEd ScharlachMarch 9, 1990 (1990-03-09)1-6
Marcia, Nora and Tracy open their own catering business called The Party Girls, and their first assignment is a mistakenly Austrian-themed event at the Brady residence for an ambassador who is actually from Australia (Gerard Maguire). Meanwhile, Greg and Peter are constantly feuding when their schedules keep conflicting. Greg saves Peter from choking and the brothers make peace.

Notes

  • "Start Your Engines" and "Here We Grow Again" were later repackaged as a two-hour movie titled The Brady 500.
  • "A Moving Experience" and "Hat in the Ring" were later repackaged as a two-hour movie titled The Bradys on the Move.
  • "Bottom's Up" and "The Party Girls" were later repackaged as a two-hour movie titled Big Kids, Big Problems.

DVD release[edit]

On April 3, 2007, the two-hour pilot episode, The Brady 500 (a.k.a. "Start Your Engines/Here We Grow Again"), was released as a bonus feature on The Brady Bunch: The Complete Series 21-disc DVD box set issued by CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.[3]

In 2019, the series was released on DVD for the first time as a part of The Brady-est Brady Bunch TV & Movie Collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Terrace, Vincent; Marsh, Earle F. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present.
  2. ^ Maçek III, J.C. (12 January 2017). "What Happens When Happy Shows Turn All X-Files on You?". PopMatters.
  3. ^ "The Brady Bunch – The Complete Series (Seasons 1–5 + Shag Carpet Cover) (1969)". Amazon.com. Retrieved Feb 16, 2010.

External links[edit]