Love To Love You Bradys Press Release

For Immediate Release

LOVE TO LOVE YOU BRADYS: Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen calls their Variety Hour ‘Spectacularly bad’ in new coffee table book

Los Angeles, CA – September 1, 2009 — How does America’s favorite family end up in history’s worst show?

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the debut of The Brady Bunch television sitcom, ECW Press has released LOVE TO LOVE YOU BRADYS which explores how the Brady family weathered a primetime programming disaster.

The book is an insightful and entertaining look back at the Seventies, network television then, and the phenomenally successful Brady Bunch. Via hundreds of never-before-published photos and interviews, it dissects the historical TV debacle: The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

LOVE TO LOVE YOU BRADYS also features commentary from over 80 people involved with the show, including cast, crew and production staff. Among these are Brady Bunch sitcom creator Sherwood Schwartz, Variety Hour producers Sid and Marty Krofft and then staff-writer Bruce Vilanch, and Late Show with David Letterman’s Paul Shaffer.

The authors of LOVE TO LOVE YOU BRADYS are Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) the youngest cast member, and pop culture historians Ted Nichelson and Lisa Sutton. The authors are available for interviews, with support from select cast and crew members.
Brady Bunch History: The ABC-TV situation comedy The Brady Bunch, about a very large blended family, aired from September 26, 1969, to March 8, 1974, and was subsequently syndicated around the world. It spawned several sequel series, two features, three TV movies, a touring stage show and countless specials and documentaries.
The Variety Hour: Premiering as a 60-minute ABC-TV special on Nov. 28, 1976, the show spanned eight additional programs which aired from January to May 1977. The cast of The Brady Bunch sitcom starred, singing and dancing above an enormous swimming pool populated by Krofftette Water Follies. The producers were Sid and Marty Krofft

The book website is www.lovetoloveyoubradys.com.

TV Guide Names Brady Hour 4th Worst Show of All Time

The Brady Bunch Hour is named by TV Guide as the 4th Worst Show of All Time.

January 23, 1977 – May 25, 1977
The TV family that wouldn’t go away starred in two sitcoms, a quasi drama, a cartoon, a TV-movie and this, the most dumbfounding of all: a variety show featuring the original cast (with the exception of Eve Plumb, always the smart one) in character. Seems architect data Mike had reluctantly given up blueprints to join his family in a musical endeavor-which explained actor Robert Reed’s profound lack of song-and-dance talent. So what was the kids’ excuse? We’ll never know.

TV Guide Page

TV Guide Page

TVGuide Page

Susan Olsen inteview in 16 Magazine from 1977

The Brady Bunch is Back
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Susan Olsen - 16 Magazine

Susan may be the youngest Brady (“Cindy”) but she sure isn’t a baby anymore! This lovely, blonde teenager is quick, bright, and has a terrific sense of humor. Susan spent the last three years in public school in California. When the original Brady show was over, Susan’s mother suggested that she go to a private school- she was concerned about Susan’s ability to adjust to the social pressures of public school and she was equally concerned about the students’ reactions to celebrity Susan! But Susan would have no part of a private or a professional children’s school! Says Susan, “It was really strange. I had always gone back to public schools during the Brady Bunch hiatus, but it was grade school. And here I was in junior high, full time, and it was like I had to take a crash course in what kids were like and how to get them to like me- and how to get them to accept me as part of them.” Well accept her they did! Susan says that some of her friends can’t believe that she’s the star they see on television- after all, Susan’s so normal and everything!

“Everything” includes things like Susan’s fave hobby, horseback riding- so goes out every chance she gets. She also loves spending her free time listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer and watching reruns of The Brady Bunch and Saturday Night Live. Her favorite color is pink and as far as food-faves go, she’ll eat anything- so long as it’s sweet! Susan’s a very pretty, pert 5’2″ tall and weighs 108 lbs, but the guys will have to wait a little longer for this charmer, because she can’t start dating (except in groups) until she’s 16! But leave it to Susan to see the bright side of that rule- “So far it’s been pretty good…and a great excuse for some of the not-so-nice guys who’ve asked me out. I’ll be 40 and saying, ‘No, no, I can’t date. My mom won’t let me!” Highly unlikely, but until then, Susan is concentrating on her work.

She was glad to see all the Bradys again-just like old times. “We went right back to the same old ‘inside’ jokes- Florence still saying ‘Gotta go now, my boat’s double-docked!’ But there was no ‘Remember when we did such and such’…it was nice and it seemed like the most natural thing.” Susan was a bit more nervous about her voice- she hadn’t done any serious singing for some time. But as it turned out, there was no need to worry – her singing and dancing were super! One day Donny Osmond reminded her of the hard work she was getting back into (Donny and the Bradys share a lot of the same production people, so they see each other often), and Susan answered, “I like to work hard when I feel I’m really accomplishing something. I don’t like to work hard in school!”

Susan hated algebra and never did well in French. One of her secret desires is to go back to her old grade school French teacher and show her the “A” she just got in Spanish! Bet you’ve had that feeling once or twice too!

Mike Lookinland inteview in 16 Magazine from 1977

The Brady Bunch is Back
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Mike Lookinland - 16 Magazine

Mike (“Bobby Brady”) and Susan Olsen were always scene stealers on the old Brady show – not intentionally, mind you, but they were so young and cute and adorable that it just happened naturally. And although everyone on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour special was superb in performance and appearance, Mike managed to steal the scene again! The first person you noticed in the group was Mike, cos he looked so different! Mike’s terrific new curly hair style is very different from the way you were use to seeing it before- straight and then a bit wavy as he got older. His hair’s a few shades lighter, too! Mike really looks like a Brady son now, since all the other guys, including dad Robert Reed, have exactly the same hair-do!

Speaking of family, 16-year-old Mike has been spending lots of time with his-they’re a very close-knit and religious family (Mormon, like Donny & Marie). There’s mom, Karen Lookinland, sister Therese (an actress) and brother Todd (also an actor), and Mike’s dad- who just happens to be the principal of Mike’s high school! Talk about togetherness! Mike has had to take an awful lot of ribbing from the kids at school on two counts- first cos of his dad, and second, cos of his acting career. He’s managed to take it all in stride, tho- he’s a very well adjusted young man!

Since the start of production on the new Brady variety series, Mike has been doing less skate boarding, surfing, and swimming. Most of his energy is taken up by his work-and Mike’s loving every minute of it! He’s thrilled to be singing again! Mike would love nothing better than to have a full-fledged singing career. So far, he’s sure heading in the right direction!

Geri Reischl inteview in 16 Magazine from 1977

The Brady Bunch is Back
The information in this article is over 20 years old, and cannot be considered current.
Geri Reischl - 16 Magazine

Geri Reischl is the newest member of The Brady Bunch. This pretty 17-year-old was one of the many hundreds of girls to try out for the part of “Jan Brady,” originally played by Eve Plumb. After many auditions, Geri came out a winner – and she couldn’t be more delighted! And in case you haven’t noticed, cos Geri’s so talented, she’s also an Eve Plumb look-a-like!

Geri was born on December 31, 1959. Two days later she was adopted by Herbert and Wanda Reischl – that must have been a fantastically happy new year for the Reischl family, which includes brother Jack, who is now 26. Jack has a home of his own and working and going to school, he’s trying to decide whether he wants to be an accountant or an air traffic controller. Mr. Reischl, an operations manager for an advertising firm, lives with the rest of his family in a small house in Lakewood, California. Geri has her own room which is decorated in yellow and gold.

When she’s not attending Mayfair High or working, Geri loves to relax in her room and play her guitar. She’s been playing the guitar for ten years and she especially loves to play country and rock music. Some of her fave singers are Wayne Newton, Loretta Lynn, and Peter Frampton. She also enjoys listening to Chicago and Queen. Geri is 5’2″ tall and weighs 97 pounds. She has green eyes and long blond hair- which she use to wear with bangs, but now parts down the center in order to look more like the “Jan” you’re used to seeing.

At age six, Geri was in the play The Sound of Music with Patrice Munsel. An agent saw her and she landed two commercials just like that! Geri first acted on TV in an old series, The Interns. Later, she appeared in Gunsmoke and The Bold Ones – she also starred in a science fiction movie called Poor Albert and Little Annie. She even managed to get her own country-rock band The Sand Dabs together. She was all of 14 at the time! She and the band went on to play U.S.O. clubs and then KNotts Berry Farm- just like Barry Williams! Geri was one of Sammy Davis Jr’s “Kids” in his Lake Tahoe night club act. And just this past summer, Geri toured the country, doing an act with adorable Rene Simard. Geri’s ambition for the future is to get a recording contract so that she can sing her country music for an even larger audience. With all of her energy, she can’t miss!

In her hectic young life, Geri has made time for lots of friends – one in particular. Geri’s friend, Barbara, keeps her up to date on everything that’s happening in the neighborhood and at school while Geri’s busy working. They love going places together, too! They’ve even made time to visit senior citizens homes and to small things for the residents. Says Geri, “We go to visit and talk and get water for them…and even when they don’t hear us or don’t understand us, I like to think they know we’re there because we care and that makes them feel good.” Geri also spends time playing dominoes with her own grandmother who is 84.

As for the guys in her life, Geri likes them nice, but not “mushy.” She appreciates good manners and if a guy happens to play tennis, that’s a plus too! Geri says, “I’m not a woman’s libber at all. I expect a guy to open my door and close it.” Wouldn’t it be nice is Geri and Barry Williams became an item- looks like they’ve already got lots in common!

Maureen McCormick inteview in 16 Magazine from 1977

The Brady Bunch is Back
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Maureen McCormick - 16 Magazine

Maureen (big sister “Marcia Brady”) has probably been the most active Brady since the end of the old series three years ago. She’s made several films -Pony Express Rider with Stewart Peterson, Shine, and Casey’s Shadow with Steve Burns. Maureen’s also done lots of guest appearances on shows such as Harry O, Streets of San Francisco, Gibbsville, Joe Forrester, and Delvecchio.

It was while guesting on The Donny & Marie Show that Maureen first heard the vaguest hints about a Brady Variety special. When the plans for the special were formalized, she agreed to go ahead and be a Brady once more. Of her reunion with fellow cast members, Maureen says “I hadn’t seen anybody since we stopped filming and when I went to the first meeting, it was Susan and Mike that had changed the most.” But Maureen’s been changing lots, too!

Blue-eyed Maureen is 20 20 years old, 5’3″ tall, and her blonde hair has turned to a beautiful sandy color. She lives in a super, modern apartment in Los Angeles and plans to stay there for some time. Maureen says that one of her biggest extravagances is perfume- she buys tons all the time! She also treats herself to lots and lots of plants! Maureen’s into nature and health foods too, and she takes lots of vitamins each day. She says she’s never felt better or more energetic in her life!

When Maureen’s not working, she attends classes in a U.C.L.A. extension program. The rest of her spare time is divided among lots of interesting sports, hobbies, and people. Maureen loves water-skiing, snow-skiing, and horseback riding (she grew up on a horse ranch that belonged to her dad). She loves the relaxing feeling of being up in the cool mountains or riding along the beach at Malibu! At home Maureen loves to sit around, play the guitar, and write music. She simply loves the Bee Gees, but her truly fave group is the Brothers of the World – that’s cause her boyfriend Chris Mancini (son of conductor/musician Henry Mancini) is a member! Don’t fret tho, cos Muareen doesn’t have any wedding plans yet, so if you’ve got big, adorable, honest eyes (she loves men’s eyes) you’re still in the running!

Right now Maureen wants to devote herself to her acting career and to her music. Lots of her friends are actors and musicians, so she’s always surrounded by the people and the things she loves the most. One of Maureen’s greatest ambitions, in terms of her career, is to work with Dustin Hoffman – “Him more than anyone else because of the unexpectedness he brings to his performance. That would make it more fun and more challenging.” And Maureen’s great at taking on challenging work- that’s why you’ll be hearing more from this terrific young star!

Barry Williams inteview in 16 Magazine from 1977

The Brady Bunch is Back
The information in this article is over 20 years old, and cannot be considered current.
Barry Williams - 16 Magazine

At 22, Barry plays the oldest of the Brady boys, “Greg.” Barry has been working very hard since The Brady Bunch series went off the air (there are still reruns, of course). He wanted to find out what it was like being on his own-so he wrote and produced his own act which he performed at California’s famous Knotts Berry Farm. He didn’t like it very much at all! So when he was asked to join a road company doing an 80-city tour of the show Pippin, he was absolutely overjoyed!

And, as luck would have it, Barry was able to join the Broadway production of Pippin-a very prestigious move indeed! It was while doing the Broadway show that Barry received the phone call asking him if he wants to do a Bradys special. After doing Pippin and some commercials, Barry was skeptical about this new prospect- “I was in New York doing other things and besides, I couldn’t see how they’d do it. A variety show is a very difficult medium and very different from what we used to do as Bradys and I was afraid they’d just try to redo what we’d already done and I didn’t want any part of that.” Luckily, the producers were able to convince Barry that the new variety series would be fresh and crisp and a fantastic showcase for the individual talents of the group-so he flew right back to Los Angeles!

Now that he’s home, Barry has returned to work on the series and to the life in the sun which he loves-lots of swimming, jogging, surfing, volleyball, and softball. All of these outdoor activities are keeping green-eyed Barry a trim 155 pounds (at 5’11”, he’s also the tallest Brady). Barry has a lovely place on the beach in California and he’s not working or taking in the sun, he loves to spend a quiet evening with a friend and friends listening to Elton John records or watching Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. When he goes out, his fave movie is any movie that stars Dustin Hoffman or Mae West. And just in case you’re interested, he likes his girls intelligent, confident, creative, and very feminine- “I guess some might consider me a male chauvinist,” says Barry, “but I love to open doors and take girls out and be the provider.” So who’s complaining-right, girls?!

Chris Knight inteview in 16 Magazine from 1977

The Brady Bunch is Back
The information in this article is over 20 years old, and cannot be considered current.
Chris Knight - 16 Magazine

Chris (“Peter Brady”) has been spending his time as a student at UCLA (one of the largest universities in the nation). Now that he’s gone back to work, he’s taking a hiatus from his studies and expects to return to school at some time in the future. Chris feels that the opportunity of being a part of The Brady Bunch again is too good to pass up. And it may all be for the best anyway, because now Chris can go back to eating again!

You see, Chris had this problem – “I starved at school. The food in the dorm was so bad…it was whatever they could make with ground meat.” But now, Chris, who’s temporarily staying at his mother’s place along with his brother and sister (another brother moved away some time ago), is looking for an apartment to share with a buddy of his, who just happens to be a very good cook! Chris loves to eat, but he says he’s too lazy to fix anything himself – he’s perfectly willing to eat whatever his buddy will prepare! That may be a very good idea, since, as Chris tells it, the last time he prepared a batch of beans (one of his fave foods) they were so hot and spicy that no one could eat them until his mother worked a little of her own magic over them!

Chris is a conscientious guy and he works hard at whatever he’s doing. He knows that too many bean dishes, shishkabobs, and ribs can catch up with him when it’s time to get on the scale each morning – so he tries to be careful, especially now that he’s working again. Chris is 5’9″ tall and weighs 150 lbs. He has brown hair and hazel eyes – they change with the color of the clothes he wears. Her and all the Bradys are taking dance lessons now and that should certainly help keep his weight at a reasonable level.

In the romance department, Chris has no problems- he’s delightfully single and has lots of friends – “I look for a little bit of innocence and intelligence in a girl…I still don’t like gigglers…I like tactful girls who behave discreetly.” Chris is quick to point out, tho, that being tactful and discreet does not mean making up lies or excuses- it means being gentle with the truth! Chris also likes his girls in appropriate attire, but especially likes them when they’re wearing turtleneck sweaters and pants in rich, earthy colors.

Chris loves music and all kinds of sports. His all time fave musicians are the Beatles-he says nobody can match what they’ve got! He also enjoys the Eagles and the Beach Boys. As for sports, Chris loves soccer, football, water-skiing, and scuba diving (he was just certified). He does have to be careful about water sports, however, because of a chronic sinus condition.

During his time away from the Bradys, Chris kept in touch with Maureen, Barry and Florence Henderson (“Carol Brady”). When he got to work on the first day of production for the variety special, he was expecting to see lots of changes in the Bradys he’d lost touch with- and boy was he ever surprised! As Chris stood shaking hands with Robert Reed (“Mike Brady”), a young woman kept trying to talk to him and he started to wonder who this pushy person was. You can probably guess the rest already – it was none other than baby sister “Cindy,” Ms. Susan Olsen!