‘A Very Brady Renovation’ – Actors with power tools
To the cast, the split-level ranch at 11222 Dilling Street in North Hollywood was nothing more than an image on a TV screen during opening credits. But to America, it was the home of “The Brady Bunch,” the beloved TV family that graced the ABC prime-time lineup Fridays from 1969-74.
And beginning Monday, Sept. 9, on HGTV, it will be the site of a full-scale remodeling project when the six surviving actors – Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby) and Susan Olsen (Cindy) – team with cablenet stars including Jonathan and Drew Scott, Lara Spencer, Jasmine Roth and Steve and Leanne Ford to give it the look of the on-screen home in “A Very Brady Renovation.”
Completed earlier this summer, the demolition and renovation job was an ambitious one that lasted a year. Rooms were re-created to match the original set, color schemes and furnishings were replicated, the backyard was redone, and even the iconic floating staircase was resurrected. A 2,000-square-foot addition was constructed so it wouldn’t change the familiar view from the curb.
The work was painstaking, but the idea was to make the actual house hew as closely as possible to its TV counterpart.
“I think there’s a larger picture that HG is embracing and forging,” Williams says, “which is the vision of what this means to people. Our anniversary is 50 years on the 26th of September. There are three generations that have been watching this show … that have an experience of this home, of this house that resonates in their lives.”
Each actor teamed up with an HGTV personality to work on a single area, be it the entryway (McCormick, Olsen and the Scotts), the den (Williams and Roth), Alice’s bedroom (Plumb and Spencer), the home’s exterior (Knight and the Fords) or the backyard (Lookinland).
“I did demo in the backyard because what was there had to go,” says Lookinland, who also built Tiger’s doghouse.
And of course, there will be the memories, which will include reminiscences and clips of late cast members Robert Reed (dad Mike), Florence Henderson (mom Carol) and Ann B. Davis (housekeeper Alice).
The Bradys may not be back in full, but at least their house will be.
“It is amazing because it is an exact representation of the house,” Plumb says. “HGTV has it down to the carpet and the knickknacks on the shelves.”
“There are doorknobs and plumbing fixtures from the 1970s in this house,” Lookinland says. “Our set was not a real house, obviously, and now it’s exactly the same but it is a real house. It kind of messes with your mind a little bit.”