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The Brady Bunch (TV Series 1969–1974) Poster

(1969–1974)

Trivia

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The family dog "Tiger" was killed by a car in season one of the show before the filming of episode five was completed. A replacement dog proved to be unworkable. Tiger's doghouse remained on the set, though, because one of the studio lights fell and burned a hole through the astroturf, and the doghouse was used to hide the burned spot.
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Sherwood Schwartz's technique for auditioning child actors and actresses was to set out a bunch of toys on his desk, then during the interview see if the child paid attention to him or was distracted by the toys. If the toys went unheeded, Schwartz knew the child had the concentration needed to work on a television series.
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Robert Reed was a closeted homosexual. Florence Henderson noticed early on that he appeared uncomfortable acting romantically with her, and he admitted the truth to her privately. They worked around it, rehearsing kissing and hugging scenes off-camera, so they would look more natural when it came time to film them. The entire cast kept Reed's homosexuality a secret until after his death.
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We saw the Brady bathroom many times, but not once did we see a toilet. The popular joke was that the Bradys were so good, clean, and wholesome that didn't even go to the bathroom. The truth was, the network censors wouldn't allow a toilet to be shown, at that time.
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Robert Reed was written out of the show's final episode, "The Hair-Brained Scheme", after an argument with Producer Sherwood Schwartz over what Reed considered a ridiculous storyline (with Greg's hair turning orange from hair tonic), but he remained on-set for its filming. Studio security offered to remove Reed, but Schwartz declined to have this done in front of the kids.
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A scene in the pilot episode, "The Honeymoon", makes it clear Mike's first wife had died, making him a widower, but the status of Carol's first marriage was kept a secret. Creator Sherwood Schwartz maintained Carol was divorced from her first husband, but nothing about it was mentioned on the series. At that time, divorce was a subject matter that was still considered largely taboo for television, particularly a series aimed at family audiences.
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The sliding glass door in the back of the Brady house actually never had glass in it. It was simply put on the sliders with no glass so as to prevent glares from lighting while filming.
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During the series run, Florence Henderson lobbied the producers constantly to allow Carol Brady to get out into the workforce. Henderson thought this would be more in line with how she was in real-life. The producers kept the character of Carol Brady unemployed, though she frequently did volunteer work and fundraising for charity.
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Robert Reed strongly disliked his role as Mike Brady. He claimed he only took the part because Sherwood Schwartz told him the show would be a serious, boundary-pushing look at modern day family life. Schwartz considered the possibility of either hiring a new actor to play Mike or killing off the character altogether, if the series were renewed for a sixth season. Reed stayed with the series (and subsequent reunion spin-offs) out of loyalty to the kids.
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When Florence Henderson arrived to do her screentest, there was no one on staff to do her make-up, so she went over to the adjoining studio where Star Trek (1966) was filmed, and she found herself seated in a make-up chair between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, being made up for their day's work on one of the last episodes of Star Trek (1966). Henderson recalls that both actors completely ignored her.
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Barry Williams (Greg Brady) did his own surfing in season four's three-part opening episode in Hawaii. In one scene, Barry wiped out near some exposed rocks, injured himself, and was briefly lost. Filming had to be postponed until he had fully recovered.
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The Brady kids didn't always like the wardrobe they were expected to wear, and asked for more fashionable clothes. Producer Sherwood Schwartz declined the request, because he (correctly) expected the show to be syndicated at the end of its network run, and didn't want the fashions (and thus the show) to look dated.
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Mike Lookinland's (Bobby's) hair was actually strawberry blond and had to be dyed dark brown to match the other male cast members. Bobby was seen with strawberry blond hair in the reunion projects.
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The show is sometimes believed to be the first to show a married couple (Mike and Carol) sleeping in the same bed together. It is at least the sixth. Five earlier such series were Mary Kay and Johnny (1947), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952), The Flintstones (1960), The Munsters (1964) and Green Acres (1965).
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Due to its marginal ratings (only reaching number thirty-four in the Nielsen Ratings at its peak), the show was never renewed for a whole season until its last season on the air (1973-74). During its first four seasons, it was only renewed for thirteen episodes at a time. Several members of the cast have admitted that when they finished filming thirteen episodes, there was always an air of apprehension while they waited to see if ABC would renew the program or not. The program stayed on the air because of its popularity among children.
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The house used for exterior shots, which was normally seen at the beginning of every episode as well as various points throughout the show's run, is at 11222 Dilling Street, Studio City, California. Since the series ended, the owners of the house have erected an iron fence, let heavy shrubbery grow to cover much of the front, and have suffered numerous trespassers. They also refused to let producers use the house for exterior shots in the subsequent films in the 1990s.
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Everyday since 1975 (the start of its syndication), an episode has aired somewhere in the world.
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The producers of Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) threatened to sue Sherwood Schwartz, accusing him of taking their idea and plot summary. Sherwood showed them the notes, plus an outline of this show that was written a year or two before their movie was even written.
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The theme song, written by Sherwood Schwartz, was performed by The Peppermint Trolley Company for the show's first season. During filming, Christopher Knight was overheard singing the theme on-set, and the show's producers hit on the idea of the Brady kids performing the show's introduction. From season two on, the kids sang the theme, which was re-arranged and re-recorded each year.
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The names of Mike and Carol's previous spouses were never mentioned throughout this show's five season run. The only time a picture was shown of Mike's previous wife was in the pilot episode, "The Honeymoon", when one was held by Bobby.
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Carol's last name from her previous marriage was Martin. Her maiden name was Tyler.
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The Brady's home address was 4222 Clinton Way. Their telephone number was 762-0799, mentioned just once by Jan (Eve Plumb) in season two, episode nine, "The Not-So-Ugly Duckling". Bobby also mentioned their phone number in season five, episode two, "Mail Order Hero" (the Joe Namath episode). Even though it was widely known that the show was set in the Los Angeles suburbs, the name of the specific town, in which they lived, was never mentioned.
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Ann B. Davis played her own twin cousin in "Sergeant Emma". Ironically, Ann B. Davis did have a twin sister, but the producers did not use her for this episode.
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This show is famous for its squeaky clean image and it's goody-two-shoes characters. But there is season four, episode ten, "Goodbye, Alice, Hello", that is considered too racy to be shown in its entirety in syndication. In one scene in the episode, Bobby and Cindy, both wearing bathrobes, standing in the kitchen and talking to Alice, plead with her for permission to go to a skinny dipping party at their friend's house. (Mike and Carol are preoccupied with other issues for some reason, and are not part of the conversation). Alice refuses, saying no Brady kid will go to "some x-rated party in their birthday suit" if she can help it. The scene routinely gets edited out when it's shown in syndication, due to the suggestive subject matter.
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Even though Greg dated a lot, we never actually see him kiss anyone of the dates he went out with. The only Brady kid that had a kissing scene was Bobby, kissing Melissa Sue Anderson in season five, episode four, "Never Too Young". Anderson is best known as Mary on Little House on the Prairie (1974).
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Sherwood Schwartz's daughter Hope Juber (credited as Hope Sherwood) made four guest appearances on the series. First, season two, episode three, "The Slumber Caper", as a school classmate of Marcia, named Jenny. Second, season three, episode eighteen, "The Big Bet", as Greg's date, Rachel. Third, season four, episode fifteen, "Greg Gets Grounded", as Greg's date, Rachel again, and the series' finale, "The Hair-Brained Scheme", as Gretchen, a graduate-to-be along with Greg. In addition, some of the show's storylines were based on her real-life experiences growing up. She admitted later it was slightly embarrassing to see events from her life played out on television.
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The girls originally had a cat named Fluffy. It was only seen in the pilot episode, "The Honeymoon".
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Carol Brady is the only main character never to have her name in the title of an episode.
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Four hundred sixty-four boys and girls were interviewed by Sherwood Schwartz to find out who would act best, as the six Brady kids.
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The 1960s saw a trend in television series depicting widowed parents raising young children. At the time of the series premiere, some critics noted that the show had taken that trend to an extreme.
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Sherwood Schwartz originally wanted Gene Hackman for the role of Mike Brady, but Hackman wasn't considered well-known enough at the time.
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The word "sex" was mentioned three times throughout the entire series. Once by Greg during season one, episode twenty-four, "The Grass Is Always Greener", by Mike in season one, episode thirteen, "Is There a Doctor in the House?", but not again until the final season by Cousin Oliver, during the final episode, "The Hair-Brained Scheme".
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Jeffrey Hunter lobbied Sherwood Schwartz for the role of Mike Brady, but the network thought Hunter was "too handsome" for the role and rejected him.
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Alice's last name was Nelson.
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Sherwood Schwartz and Robert Reed often feuded over the quality of the scripts throughout the run of the series. Schwartz has stated that if the show had been renewed for a sixth season, Reed's character of Mike Brady would have been written out of the show, because he had become too difficult, with whom to work.
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Christopher Knight (Peter) was the only cast member with brown eyes.
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The show received a lot of viewer fan mail, including a few letters from children asking if they could come live with the Bradys, since their own families were troubled or imperfect. Sherwood Schwartz answered those letters with a reminder that this was only a television show, and the children would do best to make the most of their own home situations.
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The Brady kids attended Westdale High School, Fillmore Junior High, and Clinton Elementary School. However, in season one, episode three, "Eenie, Meenie, Mommy, Daddy", the name of Cindy's school was Dixie Canyon Elementary School (an elementary school in Studio City, California) in reality.
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This was the first television series created and produced by Paramount Studios, which, up until that time, had been a movie studio exclusively. Earlier shows, such as Star Trek (1966) and Bonanza (1959), were acquired by Paramount when the studio purchased Desilu Productions.
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Robert Reed refused to be in the pie throwing segment of season five, episode seventeen, "Welcome Aboard", for there was no dialogue. He called it "dumb", as if it were a silent movie of the Keystone Cops' era.
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In 2001, VH1 broadcast the series with new pop-up facts called "Pop-Up Brady".
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In addition to the albums recorded by the Brady kids, there was an album featuring only Maureen McCormick and Christopher Knight. It was a commercial failure.
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When Sherwood Schwartz pitched the pilot episode, "The Honeymoon", to NBC, they thought the story of the parents taking their blended family along on their honeymoon was an unbelievable storyline. They offered to do the pilot if he changed the ending. ABC liked it so much, they wanted to stretch the story to be a television movie, ninety minutes long. Sherwood balked at that also, certain that such a pilot would be so dull, the series would not get picked up.
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Joyce Bulifant was originally cast as Carol. Kathleen Freeman was first picked to be Alice. However, when Florence Henderson was cast as Carol, Ann B. Davis was given the part of Alice, to keep things "evenly balanced".
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Shortly before season four, episode eighteen, "The Subject Was Noses", aired for the first time (Friday, February 9, 1973), Maureen McCormick injured her nose in an automobile accident, which led to the creation and writing of the episode.
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Shirley Jones was offered the role of Carol. However, she refused it because, as she put it, she refused to do a role where all she did was "take a pot roast out of the oven". Of course, a year after this show premiered, Jones played another iconic mother, on The Partridge Family (1970), which aired immediately after this show.
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The Love Theme from Franco Zeferelli's "Romeo and Juliet" (1969) is used several times in Brady Bunch episodes. It is used in "Love and the Older Man", " Never Too Young", "Cyrano de Brady" and other places.
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The Bradys all drove Chrysler Corporation vehicles (until the final season). Mike Brady drove a 1968 blue Dodge Polara convertible in the pilot; a 1969 Plymouth Fury III convertible also blue; second season a 1970 Plymouth Fury III convertible in blue; a 1970 blue Plymouth Barracuda convertible in year three; a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible in year three (in one episode it has a rear clip from the '72 Barracuda; Plymouth dropped the Barracuda convertible in 1971); also there was a 1972 blue Chevrolet Impala convertible; a red 1973 Chevrolet Caprice convertible; and a dark red 1974 Chevrolet Caprice convertible in year five (the one Greg and Marcia used for their "driving test"). The "Bradys" 1974 dark red Caprice was also used in an episode of The Odd Couple in 1975. Carol, on the other hand, drove five different Plymouth Satellite station wagons, one representing each year from 1969 through '73. The '69 took the Bunch on an overnight camping trip in season one; the '71 took them to the Grand Canyon in season three; and the '72 was involved in a fender bender in the later part of that same season. The vehicles were loaned to Paramount by the Chrysler Corporation and The Chevrolet motor Division for filming. Incidentally, the 1969 Plymouth Fury III convertible that "Mike Brady" drove was recently restored to showroom condition.
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Sherwood Schwartz claimed that Robert Reed worked on this show solely to fulfill a contractual obligation with Paramount. Initially, he was to star in a sitcom based on "Barefoot in the Park" (which he had done on Broadway) which never got off the ground. Reed was also considered for a TV adaptation of the movie Houseboat (1958), which was also canned. With both sitcoms no longer going forward, it opened the opportunity for Reed to accept the role of Mike Brady.
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In the episode "Where There's Smoke" Tommy reassures Greg by saying "Hey! They're just regular cigarettes man!" when he imploringly hands him the open cigarette carton. The implication when Tommy says "just regular cigarettes" is that they're not marijuana cigarettes! This is ironic because Barry Williams admitted in his autobiography "Growing Up Brady" that he was, in fact, stoned from marijuana in one episode.
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Several episodes of the series contained similar plots from the earlier series My Three Sons (1960). The Brady Bunch: Katchoo (1969), was from My Three Sons: Tramp or Ernie (1966). The Brady Bunch: The Winner (1971) was from My Three Sons: A Hunk of Hardware (1966). And The Brady Bunch: Two Petes in a Pod (1974) was from My Three Sons: The Wrong Robbie (1966).
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Melissa Sue Anderson became Mike Lookinland's love interest in season five, episode four, "Never Too Young". They teamed up again as potential love interests on Little House on the Prairie (1974) season four, episode two, "Times of Change".
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Original titles: "Yours and Mine" and "The Bradley Brood"
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Florence Henderson (Carol Brady), Ann B. Davis (Alice Nelson) and Barry Williams (Greg Brady) are the only actors to appear in all 117 episodes of the series.
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The name of Cindy's favorite doll was Kitty Karry-All.
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The Bradys' next-door neighbors, the Ditmeyers, were mentioned frequently, but only Mister Ditmeyer was seen only once, in a 5 to 10-second cameo, in the closing scene of, The Brady Bunch: Coming Out Party (1971). He was played by Paul Sorensen, who also played the role of Ralph Hinton, father of Buddy Hinton, in The Brady Bunch: A Fistful of Reasons (1970).
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The character 'Mike Brady' was ranked #14 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (Sunday, June 20th, 2004 issue).
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The major sponsors during the earlier episodes were Cheerios cereal and Mattel Toys.
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Due to constant squabbling with the producers, Robert Reed would likely have been fired prior to the start of the sixth season. According to Sherwood Schwartz, the role of Mike Brady would have been recast, or simply killed off.
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Allan Melvin, who played the recurring role of Sam Franklin the Butcher, concurrently played a recurring role on All in the Family (1971), which is often viewed as an antithesis, (opposite genre and personality) to The Brady Bunch. Melvin also was comical Sergeant Hacker, on Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964), that starred Jim Nabors. Allan Melvin also acted as a criminal occasionally on The Andy Griffith Show (1960) earlier in his career. Nabors and Melvin both acted on The Andy Griffith show.
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The show's third and fourth seasons opened with three-part specials. Season three started with a family trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They were The Brady Bunch: Ghost Town, U.S.A. (1971), The Brady Bunch: Grand Canyon or Bust (1971), The Brady Bunch: The Brady Braves (1971). Season four started with a family trip to Hawaii The Brady Bunch: Hawaii Bound (1972), The Brady Bunch: Pass the Tabu (1972) and The Brady Bunch: The Tiki Caves (1972).
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It was never clearly stated in what town or city the Bradys lived in, but was generally indicated to be suburban Los Angeles.
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Four members did a double role in this series. Ann B. Davis was the first in The Brady Bunch: Sergeant Emma (1972). Second were Florence Henderson and Robert Reed, acted together in The Brady Bunch: You're Never Too Old (1973). Third and last was Christopher Knight in The Brady Bunch: Two Petes in a Pod (1974).
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The name of the Brady kids' singing group, normally, was the Brady Six. However, in The Brady Bunch: Amateur Nite (1973), they were temporarily known as "The Silver Platters".
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Carol's name before she married Mike was Carol Ann Martin.
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Most of the cast had braces on the show at one point or another. Susan Olsen, Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb and Mike Lookinland all had braces on the show. (There was even episode called Brace Yourself about Marcia getting braces.)
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"The Brady Kids" was an animated spinoff which ran while "The Brady Bunch" was still on the air from 1972 to 1974, and starred the six Brady kids from the original series.
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Sherwood Schwartz has said that a lot of the storylines come from real things that have happened to the cast, and likewise the character traits of the kids were used to develop their characters. So when we see Jan and Marcia fighting, in fact Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick did fight in real life; likewise when Barry (Greg) plays music all the time in various episodes, he did do that in real life.
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There are many references to a fictional place called "Mount Claymore". This is where the Brady family went camping in The Brady Bunch: A-Camping We Will Go (1969).
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In season 1 episode 10 "Every Boy Does It Once" Bobby and Cindy talk about the mean stepmother in Cinderella. Cindy tells Bobby "You're lucky! You have a nice stepmother". This is the only time in the series (besides the pilot) when Mike and Carol are referred to as stepparents. The rest of the time the kids all just call them Mom and Dad and seem to act like they are their original biological parents.
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Some differences between the first season and the remaining seasons: the theme song is sung by the Peppermint Trolley Company (by the Brady kids thereafter); some background/scene music is different and only heard in the first season; Florence Henderson (Carol) wears a wig; Marcia wears pigtails.
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Eve Plumb auditioned for and was considered for the part of Regan in The Exorcist (1973) while she was still on The Brady Bunch.
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All 117 The Brady Bunch (1969) episodes originally televised on ABC TV stations, on very early Friday evenings, to be exact, during the 7:00 hour. Either 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM half hour, or 7:30 PM to 8:00 half hour.
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When Marcia gets her driver's license, it shows Maureen McCormick's actual birthdate (8-5-56) and the same address used to send Jan's locket (4222 Clinton Way, City) - awkwardly avoiding the name of an actual city in the same way.
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The interior set appeared in other shows: "Mannix (1967)", "Hawaii Five-O (1968)", "Mission: Impossible (1966)", and "Bug (1975)".
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Two people played each of the roles of Greg, Marcia and Peter Brady on ABC for the 1973-1974 season. Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick and Chris Knight played Greg, Marcia and Peter respectively on "The Brady Bunch"on Prime Time on ABC during that season. Lane Scheimer, Erika Scheimer and David E Smith played Greg, Marcia and Peter on "The Brady Kids"; which was an animated spinoff of "The Brady Bunch" which was aired on Saturday mornings on ABC simultaneously to "The Brady Bunch" during the 1973 and 1974 season.
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In the pilot episode (The Honeymoon), there is one scene with little Bobby has put away a picture of his real mother, fearing that his soon to be stepmom would be angry if she saw it. Mike tells Bobby that his fears are unwarranted and that his mother "would have been proud." Some people interpreted this to imply Bobby's mother had died. However, the show never explicitly said one way or the other.
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In the pilot "The Honeymoon" Carol (whose married name from her first marriage is Martin before she marries Mike Brady) is living with her parents before she moves in with Mike Brady. Mike Brady is living in another smaller home; not the famous Brady home on Clinton way that is featured in the rest of the Brady Bunch.
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Greg calls Mrs. Brady "Carol" in the pilot. This is the only episode where any of the kids do that; in fact the only time any of the kids call their parents by their first name and not Mom or Dad in the series.
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Mannix, a detective series that ran from 1967-1975 featured a handful of episodes that were also set in what most of us recognize as The Brady Bunch home from 1969-1974.
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Florence Henderson (Carol Brady) and Ann B. Davis (Alice Nelson) are the only stars of the series to appear in all five of the reunion specials: The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981), The Brady Brides (1981), A Very Brady Christmas (1988) and The Bradys (1990).
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Sherwood Schwartz said he was "not happy" with how the Brady Kids spinoff turned out; that the producers at FIlmation did not do what he asked them to do. And when they approached him to adapt Gilligan's Island he said he wanted script supervisory approval with each show that was produced.
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Sherwood Schwartz has said in interviews that Anne B Davis felt slighted about not being included in the "Brady Kids" spinoff; and her agent even complained to him about this. He also worried about Florence Henderson feeling slighted as well.
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It was the story of that "lovely lady" and that "man named Brady" who, in 1969, took the wedded plunge, creating TV's most popular blended brood.

Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection Robert Reed had an on-camera role on another network during "The Brady Bunch." In Season 5 episode "Mail Order Hero," featuring football legend Joe Namath, Marcia (Maureen McCormick) makes reference to a "far-out" guy named Mike Connors. At the time, TV dad Robert Reed also had a recurring role as Lt. Adam Tobias on CBS detective drama "Mannix," which starred Mike Connors. Groovy inside joke! This is also ironic because Mannix used the Brady house for scenes on alot of their interiors. So Reed was walking around the Brady house playing another part on another Tv show while the Brady Bunch was still on the air.
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One planned scenario for "The Brady Bunch," had there been a sixth season, was for another actor to be cast in the role of Mike Brady. Sherwood Schwartz was apparently none too happy about Reed's antics (including missing the fifth season finale, which was ultimately the series-ender), according to "Brady, Brady, Brady," a book he co-wrote with son Lloyd Schwartz. And a potential change in direction of the sitcom was for Carol to become pregnant with twins. The boy would have hair of gold, like his mother, and the girl would favor those four men living all together.
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The Dough-Re-Mi episode was supposed to capitalize on the fact that Christopher Knight was tone deaf and could not sing a note. He actually couldn't even sing the song badly correctly; his singing in the "Time to Change" number was dubbed by producer Howard Leeds.
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Carol's maiden name was Tyler. Her first married name was Martin, before she married Mike Brady. That means Marcia, Jan and Cindy were Marcia Martin, Jan Martin and Cindy Martin before Carol married Mike.
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Filmation trotted out a mascot sidekick for the "Brady Kids", Moptop, who was so popular they also used him for their "Archies" cartoon.
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Sherwood Schwartz, creator of Gilligan's Island (1964) and The Brady Bunch (1969) tentatively titled Mine and Yours, began a lengthy friendship with Melvin Shavelson while working for Bob Hope in 1938. Shavelson wrote & directed Yours, Mine and Ours (1968). Plot: Frank 10 children, Helen 8, created the 1969 James Grover Thurber based television series, My World and Welcome to It (1969) and "The War Between Men and Women" (1972)_). Thurber grew up in a three boy family.
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Wonder Woman debuted on television on a Brady Bunch Spinoff; the "Brady Kids."
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According to an EMMYTVLEGENDS interview Sherwood Schwartz said Alice was originally going to be played by another actress; she wasn't going to be funny, (she was going to play off Joyce Bulifant, the originally cast Carol, who is very funny.) And she was going to have a French Accent. That all changed when Florence Henderson came into the picture. Florence, who isn't funny, replaced Joyce, who is; and then sensing they needed a funny lady to play off Florence; they hired Anne B Davis, who is very funny. Anne B Davis was doing standup at the time when Sherwood Schwartz hired her.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The Brady Bunch was the first television show to depict a blended family and it was the 6th show on television to portray a married couple sleeping together in the same bed.
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