Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Classic Reborn (NOT!): The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1977)

I don't know who it was who convinced Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz that it might be a nice idea to bring back the Bradys and have them star in a variety show. I'd have sooner been making darts out of cactus needles.

Anyway, ABC green-lighted the Brady Bunch Variety Hour to lead off its Sunday lineup, and soon regretted it. It wasn't that long before that they had tried the same thing with Emmy winner Bill Cosby, who was still working on CBS' Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids when Cos came and went in less than a year. I think, too, that Sunday might've been the night for Ken Berry (ex-F-Troop) and his ill-fated WOW!.

After 5 seasons of playing Jan Brady, however, Eve Plumb felt she'd had enough, and opted against completing a family reunion for the show, leading to Geri Reischel being signed to take her place. That, friends, was the kiss of death right there. The Variety Hour failed to finish the season, just like the others, and it would be the end of the Bradys' association with ABC. Subsequent sequels to the original series would surface first on NBC, then CBS, in later years.

Schwartz and Paramount Television teamed with Sid & Marty Krofft, who'd ceded control of Donny & Marie to the Osmond family after 2 seasons, and the Kroffts wanted another variety show to complement their Saturday Krofft Supershow, and serve as an outlet for that series' house band, Kaptain Kool & The Kongs, to appear in primetime. Bad idea, eh?

Anyway, here's a clip from the pilot.



No rating. Never saw the show.

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