With the one-two punch of HGTV’s A Very Brady Renovation and A Very Brady Renovation: Holiday Edition, which arrived in the aftermath of the original show’s 50th anniversary, comes word that there could be a reboot of The Brady Bunch on the horizon.
Lloyd J. Schwartz, son of Brady creator Sherwood Schwartz and producer on every reunion series, TV movie and even the reality series featuring the Bunch, is one of the guiding forces behind what might be a whole new version of the concept — not featuring surviving cast members Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen.
“The Brady Bunch,” explains Lloyd in an exclusive interview with Closer, “has been in the distinct position of being everything. There’s no other series you can point to that has been everything from one-camera comedy to a cartoon series, feature films, movies of the week, three-camera comedy, a variety show (which we had nothing to do with), and a reality show. And now we’re talking to CBS about a reboot kind of thing … which I can’t tell you what it’s about.”
At the same time, he does allow that while a reboot, it’s also a “very unique idea. No one would think of doing this … except my son, who is becoming a very successful writer. When he came up with this idea, my sister and I were sitting there and I responded by saying, ‘I’m going to go into the kitchen to get a knife and we’re all going to cut our fingers and mix the blood and swear we can’t tell anybody what it is.’”
We’re not sure what sort of demonic forces were unleashed when they broke said promise to share the concept with CBS executives, but then they sucked those people into their web of secrecy (which obviously only exists facetiously). “After the success of the reality show,” he notes, “they were very interested in hearing what we had to say about The Brady Bunch now, because like everyone else they want to strike while the iron is hot. We told them the idea and they called to say, ‘We want to go ahead with a pilot based on this script.’ If it goes ahead, it means that there will have been some form of The Brady Bunch in front of people in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, 2000s, 2010s and now this will take us into the 2020s.
“On top of that, we’re also going to be doing a Brady Bunch musical,” Lloyd continues, “which is going to start a national tour in September. We’ll be casting out of New York, but I’m fighting against it being staged on Broadway. It doesn’t feel like a Broadway thing to me; I’d rather have it out in the country.”
If it seems that Lloyd is way involved with The Brady Bunch after all these years, the same is actually true of Gilligan’s Island (also created by Sherwood). “There’s not a single day that I’m not dealing with something to do with Brady and Gilligan’s Island,” he explains. “There’s always something going on, which just makes me realize how — even after 50 and 55 years, respectively — perpetually interesting they are to people and how they’ve left the land of television and have become Americana and still resonate.
“With my dad gone,” he closes, “I’m kind of the keeper of the flame, so I do my best to make sure they stay relevant.”
Hopefully, we’ll get the new The Brady Bunch sometime in 2020.
Scroll down for a short guide to the various Brady spin-offs .
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