The big news for Classic TV lovers is not only the recent announcement that HGTV had purchased the home used as the exterior for The Brady Bunch house, or the fact that series star Maureen McCormick was interested in buying the house before she was beaten to the punch, but the fact that the network is going to be doing a massive renovation of the residence to make the interior match the ’70s glory of the original set. Additionally, there’s going to be a reality series chronicling the whole thing, and that besides Maureen participating will be Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen.
One additional person involved — who may not have been in front of the camera but whose name has definitely been associated with most things Brady — is Lloyd Schwartz, son of late Brady Buch and Gilligan‘s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz, who will be serving as a producer on the show.
“What’s fascinating about all this is that dad always said that the house was another character,” relates Lloyd in an exclusive interview. “A lot of times when the studio would say, ‘It’s too expensive to rebuild the set,’ dad would say, ‘Well, then there’s no show.’ So we’d rebuild it all the time for the different series. It was the same thing with Gilligan. He said you had to have huts, and when he would walk onto a soundstage and there were huts again, he was suddenly home. He was actually from Passaic, NJ, so I’m not sure why that felt like home. But, again, with The Brady Bunch, so many times you’d see that set be built from the ground up again for all the reunion movies and even the feature films. Sometimes it was absolutely surreal.”
Although Lloyd has a nondisclosure agreement with HGTV and can’t say much about the reality show, he does allow, “I found out about the show the way you found out about it when it was all over the papers. Then I found out what they were planning on doing with it, which is basically to keep the outside structure the way it is, but nothing was like the TV series on the inside. In fact, it was a two-story house on the TV series, but it was a split-level house in real life. Now they’re going to make the inside of the house look like the set, which is very, very complicated. All of the people from different HGTV shows are going to get involved, as are all the Brady kids and me.”
“As soon as I heard the idea,” he adds, “somebody said to me, ‘What would you do with that house?’ I would do exactly what they’re doing. I thought it was brilliant, and I’ve had talks with them and they’re very solicitous about what we want. So I’m very pleased with that show, the fact that this piece of our lives is coming back, and that the kids — we call them kids, but they’re all in their sixties or something — are very involved. It’s going to be very special.”