Welcome to another weekend flashback. Flashback to The Brady Bunch TV show, cancelled in 1974 by ABC, after five moderately successful seasons. It was in syndicated reruns where the series really caught fire. Still, Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) says the cast has not received any residuals from the series since around 1979. Find out why and learn more about sibling issues and Olsen’s reaction to the end of the popular comedy series.
The Brady Bunch TV series cast includes: Florence Henderson as Carol Brady; Ann B. Davis as Alice Nelson; Robert Reed as Mike Brady; Barry Williams as Greg Brady; Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady; Eve Plumb as Jan Brady; Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady; Christopher Knight as Peter Brady; and Mike Lookinland as Bobby Brady. Allan Melvin guest starred as Alice’s love interest, bowling butcher Sam Franklin. Robbie Rist (infamously) recurred as Cousin Oliver in the final six episodes. And of course The Monkees‘ Davy Jones famously guest starred but once, as himself.
The Brady Bunch: In the Beginning
Olsen says executive producer Sherwood Schwartz told her she was the first Brady kid cast. Up for two other roles at the time, Olsen confided in her grandmother that The Brady Bunch was her first choice,”Because there would be five other kids to play with.”
The Brady Bunch: Sibling Relations Sweet and Sour
What about all those alleged hook-ups between cast members? Olsen admits she and Lookinland used to smooch in Tiger’s doghouse, but debunks rumors that they “made out” saying, “No. We didn’t know how to make out. We would just kiss each other and go, ‘I love you’, ‘I love you’ and hug.”
As for other sibling relations, Olsen says the only thing that comes close to true sibling rivalry was mostly between the two actors viewers would expect — McCormick and Plumb. Olsen says it was the real-life version of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Olsen says, “It was typical girl stuff, but we all love both of them. We just don’t get to see the two of them together.”
The Brady Bunch: Compensation
Because of The Brady Bunch TV series’ success in syndication, people assume the show which made them famous has seen to it that they are equally rich. Nothing could be further from the truth, says Olsen. They weren’t tricked into a bad deal, she explains. It is just that, before 1973, a standard contract only included residuals for the first 10 runs of reruns. Since the first 10 runs of The Brady Bunch were over by probably 1979, the cast members have made no money off it, since then.
The Brady Bunch: The End
Olsen admits that after The Brady Bunch ended, she was relieved. She says she was awkward, didn’t want to go through puberty in front of the nation, and didn’t want to work. She stayed out of the business until she was 18 with the hopes that she could return and not be typecast. Using a “chain-saw murderer” role as an example, Olsen still couldn’t escape being pigeonholed. At auditions she would hear, “Oh, you really surprised us, but we can’t have Cindy doing that.” She finally decided she did not like acting well enough to put up with it.
As a bonus, watch Davy Jones sing “Girl,” and Marcia (Marcia, Marcia) beg for a chance to talk to him, on The Brady Bunch.
Well, how about the flip side?
What do you think? Do you still watch The Brady Bunch TV show reruns? Do you think the six Brady kids will ever reunite on the same stage again?