‘The Brady Bunch’ Almost Aired With a Different Title

by Joe Rutland

It’s hard to imagine a show like The Brady Bunch having a different name but that very thing almost happened to the classic TV show. This sitcom, which aired between 1969-74 on ABC, starred Robert Reed and Florence Henderson as Mike and Carol Brady. They were two parents of three boys and three girls, of course. Well, you add in a housekeeper like Alice to the mix and it’s fun for all.

The Brady Bunch had a number of different scenarios throughout its original run. When you have six kids in one house, then there’s going to be some insanity. Let’s term it good, fun insanity for a change. Sherwood Schwartz already had a hit show in his back pocket thanks to Gilligan’s Island. Creating a show like this would give him another culturally relevant show. In fact, Schwartz can take responsibility for millions of kids growing up in front of TV sets. One movie back in 1969 would play a role in the title change.

Original Title of ‘The Brady Bunch’ Did Not Have ‘Bunch’ In There

OK, so this TV show’s original title was The Brady Brood. It was even on a script that the actors were given ahead of the first episode, which is titled The Honeymoon. A MeTV article indicates someone would scratch out the word “Brood” and write in “Bunch.” At the time of the show’s debut, a movie titled The Wild Bunch was out. Paramount Studios, which was behind The Brady Bunch, really didn’t want their show connected to such a violent movie.

The Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, had its fair share of violence. The movie happened to be one of the first ones with an R rating. But decisions were made to keep The Brady Bunch as the show’s name. No one would connect that to the movie at all these days. Still, that’s what was on the mind of Paramount execs before simply keeping the name as it is beloved by millions. Good idea. The Brady Brood might sound cool and stuff, but would you really remember it by any other name?

Looking at the show itself, a number of things ring true to this day. There was a level of care and support among the Brady crew. Heck, you could see not only Mike and Carol bring the discipline sometimes. Even Alice could give a stern talking-to to those kids when needed. But there were some really interesting guest stars on there, too. Having a show based in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s would lead to some of the city’s top sports stars appearing. You have Dodgers infielder Wes Parker and Rams defensive lineman Deacon Jones show up.