The Brady Bunch originally had a much weirder name because of a hit Western
Can you imagine Kris the housekeeper working for the Bradley Brood?
"Here's the story / Of a lovely lady…" You know the words. Sing along now!
"'Til the one day when the lady met this fellow / And they knew that it was much more than a…" Mood? Attitude? Food? Dude?
It's a good thing The Brady Bunch did not stick with its original title, because "Brood" is a much harder word to rhyme in context of that theme song.
Yes, indeed, The Brady Bunch was originally called The Brady Brood. Weird, right? When we hear the word "brood" we picture a nest of baby rats or spider eggs. Gross, sorry. "Brood" also means to quietly sit and stew over something that makes you unhappy. That hardly seems like an appropriate term for the family that crooned — "Croon!" There's another rhyme! — "Sunshine Day."
The Brady Brood was more than a proposed title or something scribbled on a notepad. Trade publications originally referred to the series as The Brady Brood. The scripts for the pilot episode, "The Honeymoon," came with THE BRADY BROOD printed across the cover.
Well, until someone crossed out Brood and wrote Bunch in blue ink. You can see that below on Mike Lookinland's (Bobby) script.
To the left, you will notice a wire report from the late Sixties. "Two-time Emmy winner Ann B. Davis landed a top role with Robert Reed in 'The Brady Brood,' a television pilot being made at Paramount," the UPI bulletin declared.
Davis would play Alice. But here's another interesting difference — the housekeeper was not called Alice.
In an early scene in the original "Brady Brood" pilot script, the direction reads: In b.g., we can see KRIS, Mike's housekeeper, preparing food at the range.
Brood? Kris? Was nothing sacred? Furthermore, Kris was described as "middle-aged, and a fondness for her own good cooking has made her plump." Also, she was Swedish.
That is not all. The Bradys? They were not even called the Bradys in some early drafts! Early in the development process, the family carried the surname Bradley, and titles like The Bradleys and The Bradley Bunch were kicked around.
But Paramount was reluctant to use the word "Bunch." In the summer of '69, it was a bit of a dirty word. Well, gritty, at least. You see, one of the blockbuster movies of that season was The Wild Bunch, the bloody Western directed by Sam Peckinpah. It was one of the first films to earn an "R" using the MPAA's rather new rating system that was implemented in 1968.
The Brady studio feared that the word "Bunch" would be too associated with The Wild Bunch and bring to mind a gun-toting posse in the Wild West. That was hardly the mental image they wanted to be associated with a family sitcom.
But the "Bunch" won out. Which is a relief. Can you imagine celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Brady Brood?
Tune in to watch MeTV's 50th Anniversary celebration of The Brady Bunch on Sunday, September 29, at 12PM | 11C.