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'The Brady Bunch' cast talks about remodeling their TV home

HGTV purchased the Studio City, CA "Brady Bunch" home. See the newly-renovated interior that now matches the sitcom set.

Posted: Jul 26, 2019 1:30 PM
Updated: Jul 26, 2019 1:30 PM

It turns out that, for the surviving cast members of "The Brady Bunch," you can go home again. Even if you never actually lived there.

Almost exactly 50 years after the network debut of the ubiquitous mixed-family sitcom that enjoyed both a lengthy network run and a startlingly extended life as a pop cultural staple. the six actors who played Mike and Carol Brady's children -- Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen -- reunited on stage at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills to offer a preview of their experience renovating the Brady family home for the upcoming HGTV series "A Very Brady Renovation," debuting Sept. 9.

Last year, the home improvement network made headlines when it purchased the Studio City, CA, residence that served as the familiar exterior of the Brady residence during the series' run from 1969 to 1974. But here's the thing: because the series only actually shot on soundstages, before being recruited to makeover its interior into an exact replica of the set, the actors' personal experience with the physical house was little to none.

"I didn't learn where this house was until 1996," admitted Christopher Knight, who played Peter Brady, during the TCA session. "One of the most interesting aspects of working on this project was learning just how connected the audience was to this house, but we had no recollection of it. It was placed as an establishing shot into the show, and I didn't know where it was and nobody worked there. And I don't think anyone else during the period the show was being filmed knew where this house was. So there was a disconnect that I didn't even know existed."

Barry Williams, who played the eldest Brady offspring Greg, had actually visited the residence several years ago -- although his pilgrimage there was entirely unplanned.

"After our original show was canceled, I was invited by a mutual friend for a lunch in the [San Fernando] Valley," Williams said. "I went into the house and we're having lunch and they're all looking at me and laughing. 'Doesn't this remind you of something?' And I'm looking around going, 'No.' They said, 'Well, don't you know where you are?' And I said no. They said, 'Well, you're in the Brady house!' And I said, 'No.' They had to walk me back outside to look at the photograph that we see on television for me to make the connection because the inside resembled it not at all."

Even during the show's run, Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, had difficulty connecting the image of the relatively compact residence to the expansive set layout she knew.

"I was a very literal child and I looked at that house and thought to myself, 'No way. That could never be the set. It's a one-story house,'" Olsen said. "I asked the producers and

they said, 'I'll have to you know that if you walk into that house, it looks exactly like this set.' And I must have spent years just like trying to wrap my brain around that. How could it be? And finally my mother said, 'They were just trying to shut you up, honey.'"

Still, after 50 years the house remains one of the most sought-out selfie-friendly locales in the Los Angeles region, and even the cast developed a fondness for the home they never actually grew up in.

"I had such an affinity for this house," confessed Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady. "It's weird, but in some sort of a way I'm a fan of it just like America, I think, loves it. Like, I have that same love for this house. And when I was told that I could be a part of this and that they were going to really let us demolish things and then rebuild them, I was like, 'Oh my gosh' -- the chance of a lifetime, really."

Eve Plumb, who played middle Brady sister Jan, said that, given that the cast has reunited for all manner of reunion projects in the five decades since the series ended, she was particularly intrigued by HGTV's offer.

"When they approached me about it what resonated with me the most was that it was a different take on Brady," said Plumb. "They weren't asking us to come back and play 'Brady Bunch' characters again. It was 'Let's explore what the house would be like if we could make it in real life, and please help us do that." And I started watching all the HGTV shows, and I went 'This is going to be good.'"

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
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Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1731003

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1803711843
Cuyahoga1698662655
Hamilton1144371544
Montgomery810251405
Summit726231210
Lucas636141027
Butler57225814
Stark543091183
Lorain42754645
Warren36183417
Mahoning36035788
Lake32696501
Clermont31523369
Trumbull27614620
Delaware27394185
Licking26829344
Medina26290353
Fairfield24812287
Greene24540373
Clark22327390
Portage21504283
Richland21257342
Wood20300248
Allen19119326
Miami17456352
Columbiana17014335
Muskingum16873207
Wayne15873307
Tuscarawas14579362
Marion13440196
Ashtabula12927237
Erie12790199
Scioto12556188
Pickaway12308155
Ross11780226
Hancock11623175
Geauga11042179
Lawrence10698172
Belmont10509234
Huron9867159
Jefferson9687228
Union963775
Sandusky9428166
Seneca8993161
Knox8869176
Washington8714159
Darke8435181
Athens841897
Ashland8102152
Auglaize8018120
Shelby7551135
Defiance7418117
Crawford7356150
Fulton7262113
Brown7217116
Logan7061111
Guernsey700586
Mercer6959100
Highland6807120
Clinton6547106
Williams653899
Madison652590
Preble6334140
Putnam6288122
Champaign585187
Jackson584597
Perry570579
Ottawa5689102
Coshocton5688108
Morrow521765
Fayette497272
Hardin4947100
Gallia474278
Van Wert469395
Pike467678
Adams4619110
Henry439280
Hocking412493
Holmes4035141
Wyandot379275
Carroll371178
Paulding326351
Meigs307561
Monroe236861
Noble221549
Morgan219039
Harrison215253
Vinton189138
Unassigned06
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