The Bradys

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The Bradys
The Bradys.jpg
Genre Drama
Written by
Directed by
Starring
Theme music composer Frank De Vol (main title)
Opening theme "The Bradys" performed by Florence Henderson
Ending theme "The Bradys" (instrumental)
Composer(s) Laurence Juber
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Sherwood Schwartz
Lloyd J. Schwartz
Producer(s) Barry Berg
Cinematography King Baggot
Editor(s) Steve Shultz
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 44–48 minutes
Production company(s) Brady Productions
Paramount Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network CBS
Audio format Stereo
Original release February 9 (1990-02-09) – March 9, 1990 (1990-03-09)
Chronology
Preceded by A Very Brady Christmas
Related shows The Brady Bunch

The Bradys is an American comedy-drama 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 night-leading TGIF lineup on ABC and was cancelled after one month, with the last of six produced episodes airing on March 9, 1990. In its short run, it 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 their Christmas season programming. A Very Brady Christmas premiered on December 18, 1988 and drew a then-season high 25.1 rating and 39 share for a television film. 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 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. Leah Ayres replaced Maureen McCormick as Marcia because McCormick declined this role.

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.[1][2]

Format[edit]

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 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 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 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 romance with her boss, a widower more than ten 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, but production never resumed and The Bradys was quietly cancelled after six episodes had aired. 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 its time slot. When The Bradys launched, it was placed on Friday nights at 8:00 PM. This placed it against the comedy hits Full House and Family Matters, which comprised the first half of ABC's Friday night TGIF lineup at the time.

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, had long been home to CBS' Friday stalwart, Dallas. Although Dallas had been slipping in the ratings for several years, CBS was not willing to move the program to accommodate the wishes of The Bradys crew.

The Bradys was the third program of the ′1989-1990 season to fail as a lead-for Dallas.

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 contracting of HIV, and died in May 1992.

Episodes[edit]

Ep. Title Director Writer(s) Air date Production
code
1"Start Your Engines"Bruce BilsonSherwood Schwartz & Lloyd J. SchwartzFebruary 9, 1990 (1990-02-09)1-1
Bobby, now a race car 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 fiancée Valerie (Mary Cadorette) and becomes a playboy. Jan and husband Philip 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"Bruce BilsonS. Schwartz & L. SchwartzFebruary 9, 1990 (1990-02-09)1-2
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 Philip 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, which was officiated by the same minister from Mike 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 begins to heavily date her boss. Gene and Mike decide to run for City Councilman.
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 due to 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 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 (Gerard Maguire). Meanwhile, Greg and Peter are constantly feuding when their schedules keep conflicting.

Notes

  • "Start Your Engines" and "Here We Grow Again" were later repackaged as a 2-hour movie titled The Brady 500
  • "A Moving Experience" and "Hat in the Ring" were later repackaged as a 2-hour movie titled The Bradys on the Move
  • "Bottom's Up" and "The Party Girls" were later repackaged as a 2-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 set by CBS and Paramount.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]