‘Brady Bunch’ Creator Sherwood Schwartz Explained How Changing Family Dynamics Inspired Show

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage/GEtty Images)

When The Brady Bunch first hit TVs in 1969, family dynamics were going through some changes. Sherwood Schwartz did notice them, too.

So, how did they affect him when approaching a show featuring a man and woman with six kids between them? That’s what he talked about in an interview alongside his son, Lloyd Schwartz.

Sherwood Schwartz was looking in the newspaper one day and noticed a filler item. “It was just a filler item in the L.A. Times and it said that 29-point-something percent of all marriages now included a child or children from a previous marriage.

‘Brady Bunch’ Creator Took Information From Paper And Made It Work

“Well, I’m a writer,” Sherwood Schwartz of The Brady Bunch fame said. “And I saw it once. You now have not just a middle child problem, which is in some families. You have two middle children. (And) You have two little, adorable kids. You have two older children. And I saw a big, wide door of entertainment with more and more stories.”

Both Sherwood and Lloyd were being interviewed at the time about their book, Brady Brady Brady: A Complete History of The Brady Bunch. After Sherwood’s death, Lloyd has kept the Brady name alive with movies and even TV specials. Still, nothing will compare with those five seasons on ABC and the years in syndication. Here’s their interview with Connie Martinson.

Sherwood Schwartz Wrote Pilot Script With Blended Family Idea

Imagine being Sherwood Schwartz, a guy who already had some TV success with Gilligan’s Island, coming and showing off this new show. Networks wanted changes in the script because some of them didn’t like some things being put forth on The Brady Bunch.

He would tell the Writers Guild Foundation back in 1996 that he wrote the pilot script for the blended family sitcom. Schwartz did this instead of a simple synopsis because he wanted to get the networks to understand his vision.

Yes, CBS, NBC, and ABC were interested. They all wanted that wacky, broad, character comedy that he had made before. “I wanted the show to be toned down in terms of laughter decibel,” Schwartz said. “I wanted more real people. The others were obviously exaggerated prototypes.”

In the script, Carol and Mike Brady make a decision that their honeymoon doesn’t feel right. Why? Their kids are at home with Alice the housekeeper. They drive home and get the rest of the family for the trip. NBC didn’t like this. They thought it was absurd because no parent would drag their kids on their honeymoon. Schwartz did not budge.

“I think that the audience will love people who loved their children that much,” he said.