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Brady Bunch Hour, The (ABC 1977, Florence Henderson, Robert Reed)

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In the 1970’s, it seems like everyone had a variety show of his or her own, from Don Knotts to The Starland Vocal Band. This glut led to fierce prime time competition, as each program tried to outdo the next in the search for a perfect combination of laughs, catchy tunes and glitz. Some succeeded, some flopped, but few had the fascination value of TV’s The Brady Bunch Hour. This amazing program brought a beloved sitcom back to life as a jaw-droppingly gonzo variety extravaganza, and the result was a show that is still talked about today.

The Brady Bunch Hour was the brainchild of Sid and Marty Krofft, the Saturday morning titans behind such beloved fave-raves as H.R. Pufnstuf and The Bugaloos. The Kroffts made a successful jump to prime time during the mid-1970’s with Donny and Marie, and this inspired them to do another variety show. They found the subject they needed when a guest appearance by the former cast members of The Brady Bunch drew big attention and ratings on Donny and Marie. The Krofft brothers quickly signed up The Brady Bunch crew for a variety special of their own. When it did well, the decision was made to give the Bradys their own full-time variety hour.

Brady Bunch Hour

The Brady Bunch Hour made its debut in January of 1977, featuring every member of the original cast except Eve Plumb (Jan), who was replaced by Geri Reischl. The basic premise of the show was this: the Bradys were chosen to star in their own variety program, and the groovy fam moved to a beach house in sunny California to make this happen. Domestic scenes and backstage moments of the Bradys were intercut with the actual show itself, which consisted of elaborate skits and musical numbers performed either solo or as a family. The Brady Bunch Hour never made it clear where the variety show ended and the domestic comedy began, letting it all run together into one surreal, stream of consciousness blast of music and comedy.

Each week, The Brady Bunch Hour would feature special guest stars, including everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Vincent Price. Rip Taylor also showed up as nosy neighbor Mr. Merrill, the only non-Brady regular (we count Alice as an honorary Brady). These guests added plenty of showbiz spice to the mix, but The Brady Bunch Hour’s highlight was its endless succession of outrageous musical production numbers. These elaborate song-and-dance epics often featured the entire cast performing. As a bonus, the main set of the show featured a swimming pool occupied by the Kroffette Dancers and Water Follies, a team of lovely ladies who would bolster the Brady’s performances with elaborate synchronized swimming routines.

The Brady Bunch Hour was the victim of frequent timeslot changes, so it never got the opportunity to connect with its audience, ending after only eight episodes. The show has never been syndicated, but episodes occasionally pop up on cable channels and in DVD compilations. Just the same, this show remains firmly entrenched in the memory of Bradyphiles for its over-the-top outpouring of variety show antics.

production details
USA / ABC – Sid and Marty Krofft Prods. / x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 January – 25 May 1977

cast
Florence Henderson as Carol Brady
Robert Reed as Mike Brady
Ann B. Davis as Alice
Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady
Barry Williams as Greg Brady
Geri Reischl as Jan Brady
Christopher Knight as Peter Brady
Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady
Mike Lookinland as Bobby Brady
Rip Taylor as Mr. Merrill

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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TV

Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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