A little statistic as part of a news story provided “The Brady Bunch” creator Sherwood Schwartz with a much-needed bit of inspiration.
Schwartz, who previously created “Gilligan’s Island” for CBS, was able to take what he read and use it. An article from Mental Floss talked about this point.
He picked up what he calls “a four-line filler” in the Los Angeles Times. The statistic indicated that in 1965, 31 percent of all marriages had people who have a child or children from a previous marriage.
‘The Brady Bunch’ Creator Originally Wrote Up Script Called ‘Yours and Mine’
Well, Schwartz read that and saw what he calls “a remarkable sociological change in our country.”
He originally wrote up a series called “Yours and Mine.” No, “The Brady Bunch” was not the first title.
Schwartz went to all three major networks with the script but was turned down. Then, in 1968, Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball starred in a film called “Yours, Mine and Ours.” It told the story of a widow with eight children who marries a father of 10.
That movie scored well at the box office. ABC, then, became interested in Schwartz’s script that was called “The Bradley Brood” at the time.
Eventually, the series turned into “The Brady Bunch” and the rest is TV history.
Schwartz Would First Hire Child Actor, Then Come Back And Fill Adult Roles
Schwartz went on to turn that script into the family sitcom. He would first hire the child actors, then come back and find the mother and father. As classic TV fans know, Robert Reed and Florence Henderson played Mike and Carol Brady, respectively.
The six children as part of the cast were Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen, and Mike Lookinland.
What about Alice? Well, Schwartz only had a spot for a housekeeper in the script. There wasn’t much depth to it but veteran actress Ann B. Davis was hired to join the cast. It turns out that Davis is the one who provided a backstory to Alice.
“The Brady Bunch” ran for five seasons on ABC. The show would film episodes in the Grand Canyon and Hawaii away from the Hollywood studios.
But the show mostly had tight budgets, something that didn’t sit well with Lookinland.
He discussed it at length in a 2019 interview with the Deseret News.
“The times when we got to do something different for once, instead of just putting on our jeans and T-shirts, and stand on your mark and say your lines,” “The Brady Bunch” star said.
Lookinland, who played Bobby Brady, pointed out that it’s expensive to gear up, go off the lot, and go on location.