‘The Brady Bunch Variety Hour’ Premieres On This Day in 1976

by Joe Rutland

Television in the 1970s had a definite Brady feel to it. This leads to The Brady Bunch Variety Hour premiering on this date in 1976.

Yes, Outsiders, cast members from the popular ABC sitcom popped on the network for this entertainment-heavy show.

As is custom on days like this, the Twitter account Retro News Now shared a reminder of the show being on TV. Take a look at the opening credits from the first show.

One thing that you might have noticed is Eve Plumb was not part of this show. Of course, she played middle-sister Jan Brady.

As the story goes, Plumb agreed to do five episodes of this variety show. ABC, though, wanted a firm commitment for the show’s entire run. She did not feel comfortable with it and backed out. The network and show producers auditioned a number of actresses to fill the spot.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Cast, Minus Eve Plumb, Put On Show For Nine Episodes

They decided on actress Geri Reischl to play Jan. Of course, people who had watched The Brady Bunch for years knew that she was not the real Jan. Later on, people would call her the “fake Jan” and the actress has embraced the moniker.

Who was on the variety show? All the other cast members from the sitcom. Also, comedian Rip Taylor appeared as a regular cast member. In case you don’t know, the rest of the cast included Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, Ann B. Davis, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen.

The Brady Bunch Variety Hour lasted nine episodes on ABC. One season. So, Plumb really didn’t have anything to get too upset about.

Needless to say, fans of The Brady Bunch may look for this in a DVD sale. But the stars will not feel too bad if you don’t see the episodes.

It took a few years, but Olsen realized The Brady Bunch was popular when the popularity hit this point.

She remembers when the whole attitude from people was “‘Oh, you were on that show,’ like as if I had written it.”

Olsen continued in an interview with The New York Post that the show “just wasn’t taken seriously; it was totally disrespected, and as a result we were disrespected.”y.”

What changed? Olsen said those who grew up watching the show became adults. She met Chris Robinson, lead singer for the Black Crowes.

Robinson, she said, “came running up to me and said, ‘Oh my gosh, our drummer would be crying if he was here because he has an ‘I Saw The Brady Bunch Live in Concert’ picture on his wall.'”