It’s been nearly fourty years since Sherwood Schwartz’s classic ABC family sitcom The Brady Bunch graced the small screen, but it sounds like the titular family will live on at CBS very soon.
Word is that actor Vince Vaughn is co-developing and executive producing a reboot of the classic series with a modern spin. The new multi-camera sitcom, written by Raising Hope and My Name is Earl scribe Mike Mariano, follows a divorced Bobby Brady (the youngest of the boys) who has children of his own, and finds himself remarried to a woman who also has kids. The deal is sweetened by the fact that this remarried couple also share a child of their own.
The fact that this is a normal family dynamic shows how much society and television’s representation of family units has changed over the decades. It’s important to note that while it’s clear Mike and Carol Brady (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson) had previous marriages that ended due to one circumstance or another, the network decided that it was not necessary to proclaim Carol to be a divorcée, and left any talk of the demise of her marriage out of the series. The fact that this new series has not just one, but two divorced couples, clearly shows that the times have changed since The Brady Bunch was a mainstay TV family.
Apparently, Vaughn came up with this idea and worked with Mariano on developing the new series with Lloyd Schwartz, son of The Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz. Lloyd Schwartz will also executive produce the series with Vaughn, his sister Victoria Vaughn and Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from A Christmas Story), who has been producing projects for the actor’s Wild West Picture Show Productions banner for years now.
Normally, I would caution against something like this, but Hawaii FIve-O and 90210 have found the right audience, and both are revivals of older TV shows – both produced by CBS TV Studios. Of course, the studio also tried to reboot Bewitched last year, and that didn’t make the schedule.
The question is whether or not those who were fans of the original series (frankly, I have a strange fondness for the show due to a parent who watched the series growing up), will turn out for a contemporary sitcom with ties to the Brady family – or whether new audiences will care about a series with ties to such an old show.
I’m hoping that having Bobby Brady be the center of the family won’t merely be used to create brand recognition, and will instead allow for some clever writing – especially if that means cameos by any of the original cast members (save for Robert Reed, who passed away years and years ago). It’s doubtful that Mike Lookinland would reprise the role of Bobby, since a big name will likely be needed to lead the sitcom.