Here’s the story / Of a lovely lady / Who was bringing up three very lovely girls / All of them had hair of gold / Like their mother / The youngest one in curls / It’s the story / Of a man named Brady / Who was busy with three boys of his own / They were four men / Living all together / Yet they were all alone / ’Til the one day when the lady met this fellow / And they knew that it was much more than a hunch / That this group must somehow form a family / That’s the way we all became the Brady bunch.
A cute theme song, a signature blue grid tic-tac-toe background and a message of love and acceptance is all it took to make The Brady Bunch one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. Created by Sherwood Schwartz, the show aired from Sept. 26, 1969 to March 8, 1974, on ABC. Although it was only on for five years, The Brady Bunch captured hearts as one of the first shows to depict a blended family.
Brady Patriarch and widowed architect Mike Brady (Robert Reed) was busy with his three boys, Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight) and Bobby (Mike Lookinland), while single mother Carol Martin (Florence Henderson) was raising her three girls, Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb) and Cindy (Susan Olsen). As fairytale would have it, the two meet and fall in love, combining their two families, which also includes Mike’s live-in housekeeper, Alice Nelson (Ann B. Davis), and the boys’ dog, Tiger, to live together in a large, two-story house in a Los Angeles suburb.
The show’s first season storyline was met with adjustments, gender rivalries and resentments that are inherent in blended families. In a memorable early episode when the comment of a step-family was raised, Carol tells Bobby that the only “steps” in their household lead to the second floor, a warm and sweet sentiment that many children of divided households held dear as they watched the show.
From then on, the Brady Bunch grew up with the six siblings as they navigated self-image, character building, academics, responsibility and love. During the series’ original run, the Brady kids even recorded several albums on Paramount’s record label.
Although it was competing alongside other popular television shows of the 1970s, like Happy Days, All in the Family, The Partridge Family and Three’s Company, The Brady Bunch’s success in syndication led to several television reunion films and spin-off series including, The Brady Bunch Hour (1976–77), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981), The Brady Brides (1981), A Very Brady Christmas (1988), and The Bradys (1990). In 1995, the series was adapted into a satirical comedy theatrical film titled The Brady Bunch Movie, followed by A Very Brady Sequel in 1996. A second sequel, The Brady Bunch in the White House, aired on Fox in November 2002 as a made-for-television film.
The show celebrates 50 groovy years on Sept. 26, and in honor of the special anniversary, HGTV has teamed up with the Brady kids to take on a massive renovation of their TV home, restoring it to its former ’70s glory. The partnership was announced in November 2018, proclaiming that the actors were reuniting for the 2019 HGTV series, A Very Brady Renovation. The network won the bid for the home, with a whopping purchase price of $3.5 million. The show, which premiered on Sept. 9, follows a full overhaul of the fictional home used in the sitcom’s exterior shots.
Representing the HGTV crew were Jonathan and Drew Scott (Property Brothers), Mina Starsiak and Karen E. Laine (Good Bones), siblings Leanne and Steve Ford (Restored by the Fords), Jasmine Roth (Hidden Potential) and Lara Spencer (Flea Market Flip). The Brady Bunch worked alongside designers to bring the home back to the 1970s, creating a final product that viewers will recognize as the iconic house. For the cast, it was a major moment of nostalgia as they relived their childhood scenes from the show.
Williams and Lookinland teamed up with Roth to replicate their TV father’s den while the Restored by the Fords paired up with Knight and Plumb to build the kitchen and family room. The Scott brothers teamed up with McCormick and Olsen to renovate the heart of the home.
A Very Brady Renovation airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.