‘Step by Step’ Star Suzanne Somers Spoke Out on the Key Difference Between Show and ‘The Brady Bunch’

by Keeli Parkey

During the early 1970s, “The Brady Bunch” gave television audiences one of the first depictions of a blended family. In that famous sitcom, a father of three sons married the mother of three daughters.

The show, obviously, was a hit and is still loved to this day. It was also a predecessor of other shows that were focused on blended families. One such show was the 1990s sitcom, “Step by Step.”

This popular series starred Suzanne Somers of “Three’s Company” fame and Patrick Duffy of “Dallas” fame as the heads of this blended family.

While “Step by Step” followed in the footsteps of “The Brady Bunch” in many ways, it was a different show, according to Somers. In fact, based on what Somers had to say during a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, there was one key difference between her sitcom and “The Brady Bunch.”

That difference dealt with – how do we put this delicately – the intimate nature of the relationship between the parents of the families that were the focus of each television series. According to Somers, the relationship between her character and Duffy’s character in “Step by Step” was very different than that of Carol Brady (played by Florence Henderson) and Mike Brady (played by Robert Reed).

Interestingly, the characters played by Somers and Henderson were both named Carol. Somers’ character was named Carol Foster Lambert.

“Carol Brady never had sex, that we know of. There were a bunch of kids, but I don’t know how she had them!” Suzanne Somers said during the interview.

Suzanne Somers Said ‘Step by Step’ Showed ‘Second Generation of People Who Were Blending Families’

On the other hand, according to Somers, her Carol and Duffy’s character, Frank Lambert, had a much more – let’s say – intimate relationship, even though their children often got in the way.

“Frank and Carol … were a very sexy couple. The whole show was about trying to get laid, but a kid always walked in the room,” Suzanne Somers also said.

Somers also discussed how the presentation of blended families had changed from the 1970s and the 1990s.

“When ‘Step by Step’ presented a blended family, it was more prevalent. (In the ’90s) we were into the second generation of people who were blending families,” Suzanne Somers also said.

Things for most blended families were easier in the 1990s, according to the “Three’s Company” star. “The first generation was the hardest … and I think we put a positive spin on it in ‘Step by Step’ where the kids weren’t filled with angst over what it was. That’s kind of the goal when you’re blending a family.” 

According to IMDb, Somers’ sitcom aired from 1991 to 1998. The sitcom produced 160 episodes during that run. The cast also included Brandon Call, Stacey Keanan, Angela Watson, Christine Lakin, Christopher Castille, Josh Byrne, and Sasha Mitchell. Bronson Pinchot of “Perfect Strangers” fame also appeared in 24 episodes.