Robert Reed said Mike and Carol Brady ''came off as ninnies''

Clearly, Reed didn't feel very much like his character

 The Brady Bunch was a crucial component in an ever-heightening ratings war. While it was never a top-10 hit, The Brady Bunch was positioned as one of the cornerstones of ABC's prime-time comedy assault on the other Top 3 networks. In this battle for television domination, producers often times bent artistic will to better suit network needs.

Especially when the show entered syndication, The Brady Bunch and the way it was marketed seemed intended for a newer audience. While prime-time ABC placement meant the sitcom was meant to be appointment family viewing, as it was repackaged for re-airing, The Brady Bunch targeted a younger demographic.

To hear series patriarch Robert Reed put it, though, it wasn't always that way. He'd know. As Mike Brady, Reed starred in each of the series' five seasons. He was there from inception to re-run and gave his thoughts on the show in a 1977 interview with the Baltimore, Maryland Evening Sun. By that time, the show had re-aired for three years. 

"The Brady Bunch is mostly for kids now. Times have changed. But even then, however, the square and stereotype image was sometimes too much for Florence Henderson and me. We came off as ninnies, with the kids solving our problems. 

"I rewrote some of the scripts toward the end. But don't get me wrong, it brought me fame and money. And I loved the real-life kids on the show."

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15 Comments

Cougar90 3 months ago
Sherwood Schwartz reportedly once said his second choice for Mike Brady was Jeffery Hunter. That would have been a more believable selection for the show, plus less headaches behind the scenes.
cperrynaples Cougar90 3 months ago
Hunter was also the first choice for Star Trek! He died just before TBB premiered!
Pacificsun cperrynaples 2 months ago
He would seem a little straight-laced for the silly Brady Bunch. And Reed known for more range yet not quite Shakespeare. JH whether first choice for ST:TOS or just plain available, possibly. Yet he was missing the right chemistry for ST's trio as well (meaning, heart, intellect and hero). The Cage was a decent test of his personality which IMO was monotonous. His wife by the way lobbied for a higher salary and worked him out of that opportunity (if WS had to pass).
Bapa1 Cougar90 2 months ago
I think Gene Hackman was also up for the role.
Pacificsun cperrynaples 2 months ago
He was the first "available" leading actor in ST:TOS; not necessarily the first choice. Since WS was a prolific "working actor" before becoming a recognizable "Star."
bradyguy Bapa1 2 months ago
Hackman was Creator/Producer Sherwood Schwartz' first choice to play Mike. But he was an unknown and the studio said no...

It worked out okay for old Gene...
bradyguy Cougar90 2 months ago
If you can play Jesus...you can play Mike Brady.
Pacificsun 3 months ago
Oh please, do we need to hear anything from spoilsport Robert Reed regarding BB. It's not like he unemployable. He did quite well in Mannix playing a sensible role. So Writers, please give us something with a little more depth, and don't insult our intelligence.
cperrynaples Pacificsun 3 months ago
Yes, and we all KNOW he was gay and refused to appear in the final episode yet remained on the set!
harlow1313 Pacificsun 2 months ago
>"don't insult our intelligence."< I suspect that watching METV, and posting here, gives others a pretty good idea about that. Face it, we're not exactly Shakespearian scholars, or members of The Baker Street Irregulars.
bradyguy cperrynaples 2 months ago
Wait...WHAT?? Robert Reed was gay?

LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Robert Reed must have looked like a ninny to Sherwood Schwartz and Network Executives at times with his antics when The Brady Bunch was first filmed. However he was always kind and generous to the other cast members according to articles about the series.
Bapa1 3 months ago
They ALL came off as ninnies.
GOOSEYGOOSE9 3 months ago
I used to watch this and the partridge family on friday nights
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