'The Brady Bunch:' Little Known Facts About The Family Sitcom

By | December 26, 2017

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Left: Greg Brady tries on his 'Johnny Bravo' identity. Right: Maureen McCormic circa 1976, on 'The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.' Source: bradybunchreviewed.blogspot.com; ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Few TV shows are as beloved as this quirky ABC family-oriented sitcom that ran for five seasons, from 1969-74: The Brady Bunch. Facts and trivia about the show abound, from little-known details about the action on-screen to the intrigue and romance that happened off-camera. With so many stars -- two parents, six kids, and a scene-stealing maid -- and such longevity in syndication, the stories and history behind The Brady Bunch have provided fodder for numerous memoirs and tell-alls.

The Brady Bunch kids were always commenting that this or that was "groovy" -- a remark we've taken to heart on this website. But sayings like "Mom always said don't play ball in the house," "pork chops and applesauce," and "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!" has become part of the American pop-culture dialogue as well. We call clothes that are stripey and rich in earth tones "very Brady Bunch." The show's opening credits, in which the family (and Alice, the housekeeper) are displayed in a 9-panel grid, has been endlessly parodied. In fact, The Brady Bunch was such a strong institution that it inspired a theatrical film adaptation -- 20 years later, with a completely different cast. And that movie -- The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) -- even merited a sequel.

Will we ever escape The Brady Bunch? Would we ever want to?

'The Brady Bunch' Was Not A Hit

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Barry Williams and Christopher Knight on The Brady Bunch, 1972. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Brady Bunch aired as a primetime sitcom for 117 episodes on ABC from 1969-74. During that run, it was never a popular show -- in fact, it never broke into the top 30 in the Nielsen ratings. It wasn't until The Brady Bunch went into syndication -- reruns, shown by local TV stations -- that it found its audience. Stations chose to show The Brady Bunch in an after-school time slot, rather than prime time, where it had failed to wow adult viewers. Airing five days a week, the show found an enthusiastic following with a young demographic who'd been too young to see the episodes the first time they'd aired -- for these kids, they weren't even reruns.