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Nonetheless, the outstanding success of the United Artists film (the 11th-highest-grossing film of 1968) was a factor in ABC's decision to order episodes for the series.After receiving a commitment for 13 weeks of television shows from ABC in 1968, Schwartz hired film and television director John Rich to direct the pilot, cast the six children from 264 interviews during that summer, and hired the actors to play the mother role, the father role, and the housekeeper role.A compromise was reached whereby Carol's marital status (whether she was divorced or widowed) was never directly revealed.
While the series was never a critical or ratings success during its original run, it has since become a popular staple in syndication, especially among children and teenaged viewers.The end credits feature an instrumental version of the theme song's third verse.In season one, it was recorded by the Peppermint Trolley Company.Mike Brady (Robert Reed), a widowed architect with three sons, Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland), marries Carol Martin (Florence Henderson), who herself has three daughters: Marcia (Maureen Mc Cormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen). Included in the blended family are Mike's live-in housekeeper, Alice Nelson (Ann B. (In the pilot episode, the girls also have a pet: a cat named Fluffy.Fluffy never appeared in any episodes following the pilot.) The setting is a large, suburban, two-story house designed by Mike, in a Los Angeles suburb.To the right are three blocks with the boys from the oldest on top to the youngest.To the left are three blocks with the girls from the oldest to the youngest.In the first season, awkward adjustments, accommodations, gender rivalries, and resentments inherent in blended families dominate the stories.In an early episode, Carol tells Bobby that the only "steps" in their household lead to the second floor (in other words, that the family contains no "stepchildren", only "children").Thereafter, the episodes focus on typical preteen and teenaged adjustments such as sibling rivalry, puppy love, self-image, character building, and responsibility.Noticeably absent was any political commentary, especially regarding the Vietnam War, which was being waged at its largest extent during the height of the series.