Here's why Robert Reed wasn't in the final episode of The Brady Bunch

Reed had decided enough was enough.

While the cast and crew didn’t necessarily know it then, the episode “The Hair-Brained Scheme” would be the last in the ever-popular Brady Bunch series (Well, maybe not quite so popular at the time of their cancellation). However, absent from the episode is Brady family patriarch Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed. Well, in Barry Williams’s autobiography, Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg, it was revealed that it was Reed’s choice not to be featured in the episode because...it wasn’t very good.

Williams described the last episode of the series and said, “We Bradys limped through our final episodes with a plot Robert Reed found so unbelievable and stupid that he flatly refused to appear in it.” In the actual episode, Greg suffers through a hair mishap, courtesy of his brother, and nearly has to suffer through his graduation with orange hair. But in classic Brady fashion, they’re able to fix it before the big day, and all is right in the Brady universe once more.

At the end of the episode, Carol adds in a haphazard explanation as to why Mike Brady isn’t in the episode, and according to the episode plot, missed his son’s graduation. Apparently, Mike was out of town, and couldn’t make it to see Greg’s big day.

However, it seems that while Mike Brady was gone from the episode, he certainly wasn’t forgotten by the cast and crew during the day of filming. Williams also wrote that while Reed refused to be in the episode, he still insisted upon being on set during the actual filming. Williams wrote, “He [Reed] did, however, hang around the set while the episode was being shot, grumbling about its idiocy.”

In an interview with People Magazine, Reed said of the show, “It was just as inconsequential as it can be. To the degree that it serves as a babysitter. I’m glad we did it. But I do not want it on my tombstone.”

Sherwood Schwartz, creator of The Brady Bunch, also remembered Reed’s issue with the episode in an interview with The Television Academy Foundation. He recalled that Reed called the story “outlandish,” “unbelievable,” and “ridiculous.” If that wasn’t enough, Schwartz also recalled Reed’s declaration on the morning of the shoot: “I won’t do the show.”

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45 Comments

Fedacct 1 month ago
That’s just being a diva. He’s the one that signed up for the show. He knew what it was about and what the scripts would be like.
hardcharger75 5 months ago
ALL the plots were pointless and cringy like that! The UFO episode ended with Bobby and Cindy trying to sneak out to a skinny dipping party until Alice catches them!
GEMof72 5 months ago
That was a dumb reason not to do the show. It’s not like the show was that deep. 😒
LarryMMM 5 months ago
Stupid episodes with "Cousin Oliver" didn't help I'm sure
CouchPotato987 8 months ago
I could understand Robert’s discontent with the last shows plot. The entire final season wasn’t very good anyway. Once the show introduced cousin Oliver (Robbie Rist) into the cast, the show went downhill, quick.
Rob 8 months ago
I watched a lot of TBB as a kid. Now I wonder why the front entryway and living room area of the house was so large and the other rooms were so small!

hardcharger75 Rob 5 months ago
The bedrooms were each shared by the three boys and three girls, so they were small. But Mike Brady was an architect so a spacious living room made perfect sense.
Suzies1952 8 months ago
I didn’t like nor did I then or now watch the Brady bunch, never liked the actors, story line or anything about that show, there’s enough in me tv I still watch though, can’t like everything!
DethBiz 8 months ago
For all his success, Reed always seemed like a very unhappy person from all the stories I have ever read about him.
CoreyC 8 months ago
Robert Reed hated The Brady Bunch in the beginning but he loved the kids. Sherwood Schwartz said that TBB was meant to escape the realities of the Vietnam War and the civil unrest of the time period. The Brady Bunch should have ended at the end of the fourth season cause the kids outgrown their roles and the writers ran out of storylines.
Pacificsun 8 months ago
My factious guess is that Reed was having a bad hair day, himself. And of 117 episodes made, his stands out as not being in it. What did it serve, after the fact. Didn't slow Schwartz down. Didn't even spoil Reed's career. But made him appear childish. Not that I'm a rabid fan of BB. But there were lots of kids who seriously made mistakes with their hair. And created all kinds incidents for themselves. Just the way LITB was written. The emphasis was on the "emotion" of the thing. Pointing out a teen being humiliated and self-conscious. Shakespeare didn't need to write the episode. But was it any better or worse than The Love Boat. In the day, it was called escapism. And Reed was late to the Party.
LadyLibra901 Pacificsun 7 months ago
Well said 💯
Antenna2 8 months ago
It never was my favorite show - I always thought The Partridge Family was better...
LadyLibra901 Antenna2 7 months ago
I grew up watching all of these shows still watch every now and again for when i need some nostalgic good TV when it was more wholesome
cperrynaples 8 months ago
They left out the fact that Robert Reed's boyfriend was there [C'mon even Barry KNEW he was gay]! Fun Fact: The making of this episode inspired an one-hour drama that ran on Fox!
Pacificsun cperrynaples 8 months ago
Really. Where does all that appear?

And nobody was, or is.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 8 months ago
[ It's nice they knew he was happy, bright, merry, lighthearted]To give credit to the word when it had one meaning.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 8 months ago
😊

Appreciated!
LoveMETV22 8 months ago
Sherwood Schwartz must have been a very patient individual. He recounts a lot of history about the series in the interview he did with The Television Academy Foundation, not just the final episode but the series on the whole. Robert Reed was very factual on details in many episodes and would cause delays in filming to fact check superfluous information. On the whole though it was a fun series.

Pacificsun LoveMETV22 8 months ago
Those in-depth interviews are priceless. They circumvent (or deny) all the rumors floating around. When those there, offered facts.
Runeshaper 8 months ago
I wonder if he truly regretted that decision after finding out that it would be the last episode. Kind of sad that he wasn't in it, even if he thought it was “outlandish,” “unbelievable,” and “ridiculous.”
Bapa1 8 months ago
I read, this incident was one of the causes of the show's cancellation. But falling ratings were the main culprit. Florence Henderson's two daughters made an appearance in this episode.
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Kramden62 MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
It was their second album, "Up to Date." I now have it on CD.
Kramden62 MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
The original vinyl and tape versions was entitled "Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch" and the CD reissue is entitled "Christmas with the Brady Bunch." It *is* the same album.

There was even a single taken from that album - Cindy (Susan Olsen) singing "Frosty the Snowman." Needless to say, it failed.
MrsPhilHarris Kramden62 8 months ago
I’m so surprised I hadn’t heard of it. Frankly I never really cared for their singing.
MrsPhilHarris Kramden62 8 months ago
I see the comment. It is still there.
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