The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

05 Mar
Eric Greenberg

Hit the Road, Zach?

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | No comments

For some reason, I still think of “Scrubs” as the new kid on the block. Maybe because it’s so different from everything else on TV. Maybe because I didn’t really get into it until it started airing in reruns on Comedy Central a few years back. The strange reality is that it’s actually the longest running sitcom on television. It’s also one of the best. So I was thrilled that after lots of speculation to the contrary, “Scrubs” was picked up for a seventh and final season and would get the send off it deserves. But that was so ten months ago. Since then we had a little detour called the writers’ strike that again left a proper series finale in jeopardy.

In 1974, Barry and the Brady cast wrapped up an episode called “The Hair-Brained Scheme” in which Greg buys hair tonic from Bobby that turns his hair orange before his high school graduation. You know the show. You may even know it was the final episode of ”The Brady Bunch.” But that’s hindsight. At the time, it was simply the end of the fifth season. It wasn’t until a few months later that Barry got a call from an ABC executive telling him the series was cancelled.

I have no idea how things might have been different had Sherwood Schwartz known it was the end of the line. Maybe they would have played up Greg’s high school graduation a bit more. Maybe Robert Reed, who sat out because of script objections, would have reconsidered. I’m sure you guys have plenty of ideas, which you can feel free to comment on. In any case, it would have been nice for the Brady team and the fans to have had that last moment together during the original series run.

Unfortunately, this happens too often. Classics like “Married With Children” and “WKRP in Cincinnati” are just a few others that have ended the same way. The truth is, many actors don’t even get the courtesy of a phone call. Watch enough “E! True Hollywood Story” type shows and you’ll hear about actors showing up to work and being turned away at the gate or even hearing the news from a fan. It’s pretty pathetic and a rare instance in which celebrities sometimes get treated worse than the average American worker.

Because of the writers’ strike, the last several episodes of “Scrubs” were not completed. With a shortened TV season (and five still to air), it became unclear if NBC would still want them. Then good news came when ABC Studios, which produces the show for NBC, apparently vowed to make the remaining shows either way. There was even talk of putting a series finale straight to DVD if it came down to it. Now, this last week’s latest headline is that ABC wants to take the show off NBC’s hands and pick it up for another full year. Not surprisingly, NBC doesn’t sound crazy about the idea. It’s all getting very complicated. However this plays out, I like the enthusiasm of the production company and cast. I especially like how much Zach Braff seems to care, considering he has a pretty good film career going for him.

TV is a business. No doubt about it. Most shows don’t get a “M*A*S*H” type send off because the ratings just don’t warrant one. ”Scrubs” may have never gotten the Nielsen numbers the network hoped for, but NBC stuck with it (even if it wasn’t fully behind it). So did quite a few fans. After seven years of tuning in, they deserve some payback. No matter who’s fault it is or how it happens, I hope they get it this time.    

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