This TV show was a 60 minute musical/variety/comedy series on ABC starring the cast of the original "Brady Bunch". The actual idea was that the Bradys were hired by ABC to star in their own variety program. They moved from their home on "The Brady Bunch" to a home on the beach in southern California. There were segments of them performing musical numbers, segments of them behind the scenes, and segments of their non-working lives similar to what they did on "The Brady Bunch".
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour Cast
Robert Reed .... Mike Brady
Florence Henderson .... Carol Brady
Barry Williams .... Greg Brady
Maureen McCormick .... Marcia Brady
Christopher Knight .... Peter Brady
Mike Lookinland .... Bobby Brady
Susan Olsen .... Cindy Brady
Geri Reischl .... Jan Brady (Replacing Eve Plumb)
Ann B. Davis .... Alice Nelson
Rip Taylor .... Jack Merrill
Brady Bunch Variety Hour Trivia
The idea for the Brady Bunch Variety Hour came when Florence Henderson (Carol), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Susan Olsen (Cindy) and Mike Lookinland (Bobby) guest-starred on the "Donny and Marie Show (1976)". They moved pretty fast as the pilot episode of the Brady Bunch Hour aired less than two months after their appearance on Donny and Marie was filmed (they aired only two days apart)! They repaid their debt by having Donny and Marie as guests on the pilot. The pilot episode was actually titled, "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour". The name was shortened to the "Brady Bunch Hour" for the other TV show episodes.
"The cast's" appearance on "Donny and Marie" got huge Nielsen ratings and Fred Silverman (Then President of ABC) decided to develop a new variety series. Paramount Studios who owned the rights to the Brady Bunch name reluctantly agreed as they felt it might stimulate viewers to watch the original "Brady Bunch" series reruns. Sherwood Schwartz who owned the copyright as creator of the original agreed because he didn't want to be the cause of the cast not getting a new series.
Craig Nelson, in his book, "Bad Tv" named this series "The worst variety show in the history of television. The July 20-26 issue of TV Guide ranked it as the #4 worst program of all time! Remember the "Brady Bunch" when they always said that Marcia was the pretty one and Jan was the smart one? Well, Eve Plumb who played Jan was the only Brady Bunch cast member to turn down this series so that must be true! The Brady Bunch Hour was pretty nastily spoofed on episode #178 of "The Simpsons" titled, "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" and on episode #53 of "That 70s Show" titled, "Red Sees Red". No episode has ever been rerun on US network television.
All of the actors who played the kids hated this series but surprisingly, Florence Henderson and Robert Reed both said that this was their favorite "Brady" series!
One "exciting" part of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour was when the "Water Follies" would do synchronized swimming in the Brady's pool while the Bradys did their singing and dancing routines. (Somebody wake me up please). The women known as the "Water Follie" were also called "The Kroffette Dancers" while performing out of the water. (Good deal ... 2 acts ... one paycheck).
The living room set in the pilot was different from both the one on the original "Brady Bunch" program and the one in the other Brady Bunch Hour episodes.
One confusing part of this show was that there were sketches that appeared as if the cast was all back on the original series. These sketches has no apparent connection with this new series. Then they'd have a sketch about life behind the scenes of the current show. There was no good transition from one sketch to the other.
One very noticeable difference between this show and the original "Brady Bunch" is the role of Carol played by Florence Henderson. On the original Brady Bunch series, Carol pretty much ran the household and the children's lives and her husband made all of the big decisions. In this series, Carol takes over and mostly "rules the roost". Her husband Mike played by Robert Reed usually condescends to her wishes! Times do change don't they?
You may also want to check out these other "Brady" TV series' pages: "The Brady Bunch (1969)","The Brady Kids (1972 - Animated)", "The Brady Brides (1981)", and "The Bradys (1990)".
Episodes List With Original Air Dates And Guests
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour TV Special (Pilot)
Originally Aired November 28, 1976
Guest Starring: Tony Randall and Donny & Marie Osmond.
The First And Only Season
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000+
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