It’s interesting that “The Brady Bunch” family is made up of kids whose parents are single. Why isn’t the issue addressed on the show?
Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady on the ABC sitcom, offered some reasons in a 2012 interview with “The Bigfoot Diaries.”
“It’s been addressed in books but not in the show,” Olsen says. “The boys’ mother was supposed to have died. But Carol (Florence Henderson) was to be the first divorced woman on TV. That was always Sherwood’s (show creator Schwartz) intention but the network would not allow it.”
She said there is not any mention of the girls’ father. Olsen says Sherwood and Lloyd Schwartz, Sherwood’s son and a producer on “The Brady Bunch,” did think about having Mike Brady (Robert Reed) legally adopt the girls. Then their father would show up and contest it.
“They sort of played that out in the sequel movie,” Olsen said.
As most classic TV fans know, “The Brady Bunch” has two parents marry who have three boys and three girls, respectively. The show debuted on ABC in 1969 and ran for five seasons until its cancellation in 1974. Reruns have kept the show alive. Reunions and TV specials over the past five decades have helped, too.
Besides Henderson and Reed, Ann B. Davis, who played Alice the housekeeper, were the adult stars on the show. They did their best to keep the show’s young cast pointed toward working hard and staying focused.
‘The Brady Bunch’ Stars Say Adults Play Role In Keeping Drama Low
A lot of fans of classic TV shows know that many of them seemingly are filled with drama on their sets. It can seem to be a universal thing where people expect on-set drama in every show.
That pattern didn’t continue on “The Brady Bunch,” according to Olsen and her costars, Mike Lookinland and Christopher Knight.
Olsen, during an interview with the Australian TV’s Studio 10, said “only Maureen (McCormick) and Eve (Plumb)” had the drama between them. “We didn’t have to share a bathroom.”
“We got along well,” Lookinland, who played Bobby on “The Brady Bunch,” said. He says any conflict that did arise would end.
“We had a lot of adults around us,” Knight, who played Peter, said. “We had a lot of supervision,” Lookinland said. Olsen added, “We were good kids.”
Adult supervision. Group of good kids. Makes for a solid equation of a relatively drama-free show.