It was fifty years ago this month that the TV series The Brady Bunch premiered. It ran for five years, and has been in syndication ever since. HGTV is celebrating that milestone with a huge project: renovating the Brady Bunch house to look exactly as it did on your TV screen all those years ago. The six actors who played the Brady kids participated in the project with HGTV stars in A Very Brady Renovation, a four-part miniseries premiering tonight. Now, remember, the show was not filmed at the house, which was only used for establishing exterior shots. The house became way more familiar to the audience than to the actors, who worked in a studio miles away. Therefore, the "renovation" involves a complete gutting and redesign of the interior.
Shepherded by HGTV's favorite camera hogs, "The Property Brothers" (Jonathan and Drew Scott), and with help from the stars of "Restored by the Fords," "Hidden Potential," "Flea Market Flip" and "Good Bones," the project involves turning the one-story house into a two-story house, to add some 2,000 square feet of new living space without changing the essential street view.
"Just know that if any of this is wrong, we'll be put out to dry," Drew Scott warns his HGTV colleagues. "All of America will know exactly what this house is supposed to look like."
In fact, all of America pitched in: The hunt for vintage furnishings became an online group effort, with collectors proudly volunteering their wares - down to the decorative plastic grapes on a coffee table and a curio cabinet that stands between the dining room and kitchen. Other treasures were unearthed in deep storage at Paramount.
And what becomes of the house, once finished? Turning it into a museum won't work for the neighborhood, which has suffered enough Brady mania. HGTV is giving away a week's stay at the house as part of a promotional contest, but beyond that, the network's plans for the property are unknown.