“And that’s the way we remade the Brady House…” chimes the theme song of “A Very Brady Renovation,” the upcoming HGTV series that follows the recreation of the classic TV set inside the L.A. property which served as the home’s on-camera exterior.
It’s just the latest stop as the nostalgia train keeps on, keeps on, keeps on moving long after “The Brady Bunch” wrapped up its initial five-season run in 1974. The series has spawned spin-off shows, movies, albums, a variety hour and a cartoon, not to mention the millions of dollars of merchandise sold around the series. But this latest update proves far superior to any “Brady Bunch” lunch box.
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“This has been a special one because we didn’t have to play Bobby and Cindy — we could be ourselves. And it’s the 50th anniversary [of the premiere],” “Brady Bunch” actor Mike Lookinland explained to reporters at the exclusive unveiling party on Thursday night, before co-star Susan Olsen interrupted, “It’s almost by divine guidance or something.”
All six “Brady” actors — Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Lookinland (Bobby) and Olsen (Cindy) — walked the red shag carpet outside the Garland Hotel at the groovy 70’s-themed bash, partying just a few blocks from 11222 Dilling St — the now famous address of the “Brady House.” HGTV purchased the home for $3.5 million in 2018 before enlisting the now-grown up “Bradys” to bring authenticity to the renovation project a few weeks later.
“I was interested because it was a different take on ‘Brady,'” Plumb said, before Knight weighed in, adding, “There wasn’t really an explanation, so we were working off our own imagination of what they might do.”
Knight admitted he was initially skeptical. “I thought it was absolutely impossible. Clearly it seemed that the goal was going to be to create the ‘Brady’ house that everyone knows — that we worked on as a set. But to do that, it had to have the stairway. And if you had the stairway, how do you not destroy the front elevation, which is what America thinks of the ‘Brady’ house?”
Once the actors signed on, they were paired off with HGTV hosts — “Property Brothers” Jonathan and Drew Scott, “Good Bones” stars Mina Starsiak and Karen E Laine, “Flea Market Flip’s” Lara Spencer, “Restored by the Fords” siblings Leanne and Steve Ford and “Hidden Potential’s” Jasmine Roth — participating in the demolition and rebuilding of the home, while offering up their invaluable insight into their TV world. The result — a near-perfect replica of the “Brady house” and everything in it.
Of walking back into the house after the renovation, Knight said “you don’t just remember, you literally forget that we’re not on the set because it’s that’s close, and it brings back a lot of memories.”
“The memories are so powerful, the nostalgia is so strong — and this is a period of time we’ve talked about for our entire lives. It’s not like we lived it and it went away, it stayed with us all this time,” Williams added. “But to see the house put together like that, I think brought it all right to the forefront.”
The experience was also very emotional for the cast, especially when considering the fact that co-stars Robert Reed, Ann B. Davis and Florence Henderson (who died in 1992, 2014 and 2016 respectively) couldn’t share this experience with them.
“I’m wearing this tonight in honor of her,” McCormick said, pointing to a heart-shaped necklace that was a gift from Henderson and sharing that there’s an acrylic heart-shaped paper weight that belonged to the late actress on display in the home. “I entered the master bedroom with Mike Lookinland…and they told me on camera that that was hers and that got me [emotional].”
Inside the event, guests including HGTV’s Tarek El Moussa, Kate Flannery and the former homeowner’s granddaughter Kelsey McAllister snacked on popcorn and sipped “Brady Punch” alongside the cast, as they enjoyed a sneak peek screening of the series. As for the future of the house, HGTV is hosting a contest where guests can win a six-night stay, but there have been no permanent plans announced for the location.
When asked what they hope becomes of it, McCormick was quick to respond, “I hope they give it to me.”
Good luck fighting off Marcia Brady — it is her house after all.
‘A Very Brady Renovation’ premieres Sept. 9.