‘The Brady Bunch’ Creator Sherwood Schwartz Would Get His Ideas for Episodes From a Source Close to Him

by Madison Miller

It’s often stated that you can write best what you know and understand. “The Brady Bunch” creator, Sherwood Schwartz, used a lot of real-life inspiration. It molded into the famous and lovable 1970s family that still has a huge following today.

Sherwood Schwartz Family Inspired ‘The Brady Bunch’

However, it wasn’t all his to share. During an interview for “The Brady Bunch Exposed” documentary, his daughter, Hope Juber, said she was the inspiration for a lot of the plotlines in the classic series.

“Things would happen at school and I would come home and share the day’s news and then it would end up as a storyline on an episode,” Juber said.

In many ways, it helped Sherwood stay connected to the lives of younger people. It was something he couldn’t personally relate to, so he sought out that inspiration elsewhere. It could be weird to see your after-school stories turn into elaborate plots on television.

“Mike Brady would come in and say ‘pumpkin’ and talk like that and I remember like three weeks before my dad doing that … thinking ‘I don’t want my life out there. This is my life’ … and that was kind of surreal,” Juber said.

The lives of his loved ones were just something he understood more than anything else. Sherwood Schwartz also had another family member that helped with “The Brady Bunch.” His role was far more direct than Hope Juber’s was. Lloyd J. Schwartz was a producer for the show as well as Schwartz’s son.

He saw the show as a reflection of certain parts of his life.

“One of the criticisms of the show was, ‘That’s not real life.’ Well, you know, it was my real life. So, I had a tough time with that criticism because that’s the way my parents would talk to me,” Lloyd J. Schwartz said in the documentary.

Inspiration for the Show

While his daughter and other personal relationships helped influence plot points on the show, Sherwood had a different set of inspirations for the initial idea behind “The Brady Bunch.”

According to History.com, the idea came from Sherwood in 1966. He had read a news item in the Los Angeles Times that states 30% of marriages involved children from a previous relationship.

“Now, in 1966 this was a new phenomenon. Television was loaded with happily married couples, and single widows and widowers, but there wasn’t any show that revolved around the marital amalgamation of two families,” Sherwood said.

After having huge success with “Gilligan’s Island,” Sherwood decided to give another show a shot. Divorce was a rising commonality in society. This means a lot of people could likely relate to the blended family on “The Brady Bunch.”

It took a few years to get the show approved due to hesitant networks. The film “Yours, Mine, and Ours” with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda had a similar plot. Suddenly, his show idea was resurrected due to the movie’s insane popularity.