Fifty years after it first debuted, The Brady Bunch is coming back to TV on Monday when HGTV premieres A Very Brady Renovation.
The series reunites all six Brady Bunch siblings—Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby) and Susan Olsen (Cindy)—for the first time in 15 years. The actors team up with eight HGTV all-stars as they renovate the home in L.A.’s Studio City that was used for exterior shots in the iconic ’70s sitcom about a blended family with six siblings to turn it into an exact replica of the house featured on the show.
In this week’s issue, Adweek looked at Discovery Inc.’s restoration of the Brady Bunch home, which is the company’s biggest content swing since buying Scripps Networks Interactive last year. “We think it’s going to kill,” said CEO and president David Zaslav of the series, for which the company has secured twice the usual amount it charges for a 30-second ad Monday nights on HGTV.
In a portion of Adweek’s interview with the Brady Bunch stars that didn’t make it into the magazine feature, the actors talked about which prop from the original series—which ran from 1969-1974 on ABC—they were most excited to restore and reconnect with while making A Very Brady Renovation.
Barry Williams: “[Dad] Mike Brady’s drafting table in his den. Because it was such a significant piece in the den itself, but it also represented head of the household: This was his room, he’s the patriarch, this is where we had our more serious dialogues, lectures, life lessons. It was kind of removed from the frivolity of much of the other house, I felt. So, finding that and then reconditioning it—we actually had to assemble it—and things like the extending lamp that goes over it, that was powerful for me.”
Maureen McCormick: “There are two. When I walked in the master bedroom and Jasmine [Roth, from HGTV’s Hidden Potential] opened up the closet door, they had gotten some negligees that looked like the ones that Florence [Henderson, who played matriarch Carol Brady] wore and when that happened, I broke down. And then there was that heart that Florence had, that Florence’s daughter Barbara had donated to be in the house, and it was on Florence’s vanity where she would always brush her hair. I just broke down.”
Christopher Knight: “The horse was an important part. I have a business, and I use the horse in a stylized way as my imagery for my logo.”
Eve Plumb: “One of the things I did on the show was go through my memorabilia. Some of us have more of memorabilia than others, our own stuff, and one thing that I added to Alice’s room was a small gift that Ann B. Davis [who played the housekeeper, Alice] had given all of us. At that time it was the needlepointing craze, and Florence and Ann taught us all how to needlepoint. It’s a great, quiet activity you can do on a set. One year she gave us all small, needlepointed pillows, and they’re very of the period. Mine says ‘Love,’ and it’s got a daisy on it, so I put that in Alice’s room. So, it was sort of the other way, going from my real life to the set.”
Mike Lookinland: “One of the things I remember liking as a child was the color of the master bedroom, that kind of seafoam, greenish-blue. I just love that color and they gave me the opportunity to build with the design builders, his name is Dylan Eastman, and Jasmine Roth, together the three of us built that Japanese-style screen behind the parents’ bed that separates that room from the vanity behind. We built that, as well as the cabinet underneath it, and installed it all. And also the faux brick thing that’s next to it; everybody knows what I’m talking about. I had a hand in the construction and the installation of those things, and I think it’s cool that I made that and it’s in there and it always will be in there.”
Susan Olsen: “The fridge. They got it from somebody in Minnesota who donated it, so now the house is partly theirs.”