The Brady Bunch Hour is an American variety television series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft in association with CBS Television Distribution, which aired on ABC between 1976 to 1977. The series stars the original cast members of The Brady Bunch, with the exception of Eve Plumb, who was replaced by Geri Reischl. The show began as a 60-minute special titled The Brady Bunch Variety Hour on November 28, 1976. This special led to eight additional 60-minute episodes produced and aired as The Brady Bunch Hour from January to May 1977. The show's events are not included or mentioned in the later spinoffs and revivals.
In this series, the Bradys move out of their familiar home and into a beachside home somewhere in Southern California, after they were chosen to star in a new variety series for ABC, which originates from their home. Mike Brady also leaves his architectural career, in order to become a full-time musician. Helping them out along the way is their new neighbor, Jack Merrill (Rip Taylor). In addition to the variety show are "behind-the-scenes" sketches of the Bradys at home. Some of these sketches connect to the variety show segments, while others are stand-alone. The entire cast took part in sketches and musical numbers.
The main stage for The Brady Bunch Hour had a swimming pool. While the pool was mostly used by The Krofftettes, who put on an Esther Williams-style performance during the opening credits, occasionally a Brady cast member would fall into the water fully dressed. Greg would sometimes shove Peter into the pool (where he would almost invariably scream "MOM!") and Greg would then introduce the musical guest. Greg would try to trick Peter, (in much the same manner Lucy would try to trick Charlie Brown with the football) to trust him, wherein he is shoved into the pool. In one episode, Greg and Peter pushed their father into the pool, who yelled "CAROL!"
Robert Reed as Mike Brady
Florence Henderson as Carol Brady
Ann B. Davis as Alice Nelson
Barry Williams as Greg Brady
Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady
Christopher Knight as Peter Brady
Geri Reischl as Jan Brady
Mike Lookinland as Bobby Brady
Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady
The show came into being following the Bradys' appearance on Donny & Marie, on October 8, 1976. ABC president Fred Silverman had the Kroffts develop a variety show starring the Bradys, though without the approval or involvement of Paramount Pictures (the producers of The Brady Bunch) or Sherwood Schwartz (that show's creator). Both parties eventually gave their approval of the new series, mainly as a way to keep interest in the original series. The variety hour remains the only Brady project to not have Schwartz's involvement during production.
The show was intended to air every fifth week in the same slot as The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, but was scheduled sporadically throughout the season, leading to inconsistent ratings. A promo was often shown with Mike and Carol stating, "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour won't be seen this week, but we will back again soon."