On September 26, 1969, blended families hit family television in the form of The Brady Bunch.
The show lasted until March 8, 1974.
Its five seasons and 117 episodes made it eligible for the minimum 100-episode threshold for syndication.
Three blonde daughters of the show’s remarried mother, (we don’t know if she was widowed or divorced) played by Florence Henderson, and three brunette sons of the show’s widowed father, played by Robert Reed, entertained us with the differences between boys and girls, young and old, blended, traditional, loving families who could still disagree.
After they work out their new relationships, conflicts are the kind of disputes that come from teenagers growing up.
It has been in syndication since September 1975, and every day since in the U.S. and abroad, because children and teenagers still watch it.
It has had spin-offs, movies, reunions, animated cartoon series and plays.
The creator, Sherwood Schwartz, who also produced Gilligan’s Island, got the idea for the show when he read that 30% of American families included at least one child from a previous marriage.
In the story, the father, Mike Brady, is an architect living in a large home he designed, so that becomes the family home.
He already has a live-in housekeeper, Alice Nelson, played by Ann B. Davis, to help with his three boys and she stays, with rather enlarged responsibilities for a family of eight instead of four.
Davis won awards in 2004 and 2006 for Most Memorable Made for TV Maid.
Remember that familiar opening 3×3 grid where each of the nine main characters are alternately looking at each other?
As recently as 2010, TV Guide readers rated it Number 8 of the top 10 tv show credit sequences.
Guest stars included Desi Arnaz, Jr., whom Marcia had written about in her diary, then met.
Don Drysdale, pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, talks to Greg about the realities of becoming a professional baseball player.
Don Ho serenades Cindy when she travels to Hawaii.
Deacon Jones, defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams, nevertheless encourages Peter’s dream of singing.
Joe Namath, New York Jets quarterback, visits Bobby, thinking he had a terminal illness. Namath won a 2003 award for Most Memorable Male Guest Star in a Comedy as Himself for this episode.
And, Davy Jones, formerly one of the Monkees, takes Marcia to her school dance in an episode, “Getting Davy Jones” after she bragged that she could get him to perform.
The episode was recognized as number 37 on TV Guide’s list of all-time top 100 tv episodes in 1997.
Here, you can hear him sing and see Marcia Brady trying to get him to come to her school to sing.
If you want to relive your childhood, you can get The Brady Bunch on dvd from amazon.
Click on the title, The Brady Bunch, to go to the listing.
Carol Covin, Granny-Guru