The Brady Bunch In The White House

(Note:  “The Brady Bunch In the White House” aired on November 29, 2002)

The Brady Bunch in the White House” is finished.  I can’t wait for everybody’s reaction as Mike Brady gets sworn in as President.  I am truly thrilled with the film, and am so proud of the work that went into it by all concerned.  From the very beginning this was a special project.  I may be wrong, but I don’t think there are many situations like the one that I found myself in.  My father having created the original show “The Brady Bunch”, the torch then being passed to my brother Lloyd and me.  Lloyd and I wrote the movie, Dad served as Executive consultant. Lloyd was also executive producer, and my husband, Laurence, was the composer.  Now that is what I would call a “family” show…..really done by a family.

Lloyd and I had so much fun working on the script that most of what I can remember is laughing for hours.  It just flew onto the word processor.  You don’t have to be a big Brady Bunch fan to enjoy the movie, it stands on it’s own, and I think it is very funny. But, the more you know about the show, the funnier you will find it.   Growing up around the show, we had a great time slipping trivia in here and there.  For instance, In the pilot episode of The Brady Bunch, when they are getting married, the preacher refers to Mike as “Michael Paul Brady”.  20 years later in an episode of The Brady’s, he is referred to as “Michael Thomas Brady”.  You cannot imagine how many letters we got pointing out that there was a mistake with his middle name. So, in our movie, when Mike Brady is being sworn in as President of the United States, he is sworn in as “Michael Paul Thomas Brady”.  I have no idea how many, if any, people will notice, but there are lots of fun things like that slipped in. The movie has it’s share of more obvious references, too.

Sometimes when a writer has finished a script and it leaves their hands, it can go through a process where, when you come to the final product, you can barely recognize the work.  Thankfully, or should I say amazingly, that did not happen in this case.  With Lloyd at the helm protecting the script, and with no interference by Network Executives who “know better” we found ourselves in a rare circumstance in Hollywood.  We got the movie we wanted.

Actually that is not really fair to the actors….we got even better.  I have always been a fan of Shelley Long’s work, but I think this time she outdid herself.  It was so exciting to see our words come to life by an actress who could give it even more than was on the page.  She brought style and nuance, and what can you say, the woman practically channels Carol Brady.  Gary Cole captures Mike so beautifully, his vocal inflections, demeanor and logic, he was also wonderful.  Plus we have a great group of kids.  We were very lucky in the casting.

The only thing I regret is that I didn’t go to Toronto to watch some of the filming. It isn’t often that I get the chance to see something, especially a movie, that I have written, be filmed, and I am sorry I missed it.  During that time Laurence and I were very busy with the release of “Different Times”.

By the time you get this newsletter we will probably know the air date for the movie, and we will post it on our web site. The network seem very happy with it, so happy that they ordered another one which Lloyd and I have already started writing.  I hope that you get a chance to see “The Brady Bunch in The White House”, and if you do that you will let me know what you think.