EXCLUSIVE: America’s most famous blended TV family is eying a comeback. CBS is developing a new take on the cult comedy The Brady Bunch, co-developed and executive produced by Vince Vaughn. The multi-camera comedy project, which has received a script order, will be produced by CBS TV Studios.
The original sitcom, created by Sherwood Schwartz and starring Robert Reed and Florence Henderson, ran on ABC from 1969-1974. It centered on Mike Brady (Reed), a widowed architect with three sons, Greg, Peter and Bobby, who marries Carol Ann Martin (Henderson), a single mother with three daughters, Marcia, Jan and Cindy.
On the new next-generation Brady Bunch, written by Mike Mariano (Raising Hope, My Name Is Earl), a divorced Bobby Brady, with children of his own, is remarried to a woman who also has kids, and together they also share a child. In addition, their ex-spouses are still part of their lives. The new setup reflects the evolution of family dynamics over the past four decades. Back in 1969, Schwartz wanted Carol to be a divorcée but the network refused, so the end of her first marriage was never addressed.
I hear Vaughn came up with the idea for the new Brady Bunch and teamed with Mariano. Mariano and Lloyd Schwartz, son of the late Sherwood Schwartz, will executive produce the CBS project along with Vaughn, Victoria Vaughn and Peter Billingsley through Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show Prods.
CBS TV Studios has the rights to the original series as it was produced by its predecessor Paramount Television. The studio has a lot of experience successfully reviving old series. There are three reboots now on the air now: CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 and the CW’s 90210 and Beauty And The Beast — all of them produced by CBS TV Studios.
The Brady Bunch signals a return to the traditional family comedy arena for CBS, which gradually moved away from it following the end of Everybody Loves Raymond and The King Of Queens in favor of buddy/relationship comedies like Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls. As for classic comedies, the network last year took a stab at remaking another 1960s series, Bewitched.
If the contemporary remake goes forward, CBS will likely bring back The Brady Bunch‘s popular theme song tweaked for the 21st century the way CBS modernized the signature theme music of Hawaii Five-0 for the reboot. (See title sequences from all seasons of The Brady Bunch below).
The Brady Bunch has spawned spinoffs, TV movie reunions, a musical and a successful movie parody franchise starring Shelley Long. One of the TV movies, the 1988 A Very Brady Christmas, led to the short-lived 1990 CBS series The Bradys, which followed the extended Brady family some 15 years after the events in The Brady Bunch. It featured most of the original cast.
Wild West Picture Show has stepped TV efforts over the past couple of years — the company has a series on the air, TBS’ Sullivan & Son, which had a solid second-week showing. Vaughn and Mariano are repped by CAA.