Behind the Scenes: 10 Secrets About The Brady Bunch You Probably Didn't Know

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When The Brady Bunch premiered in the fall of 1969, viewers immediately found themselves enamored by the story of a lovely lady and a man named Brady.

In fact, the show is so beloved even today that critics hail it as one of the most important television series of all time.

But do you know the whole story?

Like, what was up with the family's disappearing dog? And what about those rumors that the cast hated one another?

We're here to explore those fascinating facts and more! Read on for a deep dive on all-things Brady as we explore 10 of the most fascinating Brady Bunch secrets.

1. The Show Was a Response to Rising Divorce Rates

Legend has it that series creator Sherwood Schwartz conceived of the show after reading that a reported 30% of remarried spouses had children from a previous relationship.

Upon reading the fact, Schwartz challenged himself to create a show which would reflect society's ever-changing marital landscape.

According to television historian, Nikki Peterson, networks believed that the idea was too radical. It took three different pitch meetings at each of America's major networks for Schwartz to land a network deal!

It's worth noting that this was almost half a decade after Schwartz's other program, Gilligan's Island, became a bonafide success.

2. The Tragic Tale of Tiger

Diehard fans of the show likely recall that the family had a dog, Tiger, throughout the first season. What's more, you might remember that there were entire episodes without Tiger's presence.

Unfortunately, there's a rather tragic reason why the dog kept disappearing.

After shooting an early episode, Tiger's handler allowed the dog to roam the Paramount lot. This wasn't unusual and Tiger was well-known for coming back after making the rounds.

Sadly, one day Tiger never made it back. A reckless driver hit the lot, traumatizing the kids and causing producers to panic.

In a morbid twist of fate, this event is referenced in both Brady Bunch films...complete with audio of a car crash.

3. The Brady Brand Wasn't Always a Powerhouse

When we think of The Brady Bunch today, many of us likely think of the massive line of products spawned from the show like t-shirts and lunchboxes.

But believe it or not, much of the show's success didn't occur until much, much later.

In fact, the show was hardly a hit when it first aired and was one of the lowest rated programs on television at the time. It wasn't until years later when Paramount began airing re-runs that the show found its marketing power.

4. Several of the Brady Children Hooked Up

Stop us if you've heard this one before. A young cast of kids grows up on set. With only one another to hang out with, as well as some much older producers, said kids don't get to be around other kids their age often.

As a result, when hormones hit, they have to turn to one another.

Yes, it's gross to think about Bobby and Cindy sneaking away in-between takes, but that's exactly what happened during the last several years of the show's production.

5. The Onscreen Sibling Rivalry Between Marcia and Jan Was More Real Than You'd Think

"Well, all day long at school I hear how great Marcia is at this or how wonderful Marcia did that! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

Jan's frustration was like a rallying cry for middle children everywhere.

But did you know that the sibling rivalry extended to the Brady set, too? Rumor has it that Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick couldn't stand each other on set and that the two constantly bickered between takes.

We have a feeling Plumb quite enjoyed watching her on-screen sister get decked in the face with a football later on.

6. ...And It Wasn't Just the Kids Who Couldn't Stand Each Other

For a show about rising divorce rates, it's rather ironic that the actors portraying the series' parents famously hated each other.

Though Florence Henderson and Robert Reed rarely got along on set, Henderson appears sympathetic to her co-star, believing that much of Reed's on-set tirades stemmed from his personal problems.

Not only was Reed gay, something that could get an actor blacklisted at the time, but he was secretly living with HIV and cancer.

While everything within the Brady household seemed perfect, it's clear that reality is much darker than fiction.

7. Barry Williams Tried to Woo His On-Screen Stepmother

If you thought the Brady children hooking up with one another was hard to handle, just wait.

Actor Barry Williams, who portrayed the oldest male sibling, Greg Brady, is said to have had the hots for his fictional stepmother. So much so that he actively solicited her for a sexual relationship.

If you threw up in your mouth a little bit reading that, we do have some good news. Henderson was so appalled by the idea that she immediately shut down Williams' proposal.

8. The Brady Kids Have a Unique History With Substances

The Brady Bunch set was indeed rocked with scandal after scandal, especially as the kids began to grow up.

Many of the siblings, particularly McCormick and Williams, struggled with substance abuse issues throughout their teens.

Williams admits that his experimentation with drugs resulted in some less than stellar performances. If you pay attention, you can even see him stumble over lines in several episodes.

9. One Cast Addition Spawned an Entire TV Trope

Cousin. Oliver.

Two words enraged an entire nation of Brady Bunch fans. It's still not entirely clear why producers thought adding a random child to the cast would be a good idea, but we bet they didn't think it'd backfire so hard.

The shoehorned character was so hated by fans that poor Cousin Oliver became the source of an entire trope.

10. The Family's Maid, Alice, Was a Longtime Family Friend

Everyone knows and loves the Bradys' live-in maid, Alice. But many fans may not know Alice's origin story.

According to series lore, Alice didn't just show up one day. She's actually a longtime friend of the family who grew up in the neighborhood and even attended the same school as the Brady children.

These Brady Bunch Secrets Change Everything

Every family strives to be like the Brady's. But these Brady Bunch secrets show that maybe that's not something to aspire to, after all.

Still, it's hard not to love the sweet, wholesome family as they're portrayed on television.

Love classic television? Check out the classic TV section of our web store for awesome new ways to display your love of The Brady Bunch and more!


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