TV Interviews Should Stop Using the Brady Bunch Format



The Brady Bunch TV series was a caricature of a large blended American family and only aired from 1969 to 1974. But while it was popular entertainment, no one ever thought it would have a lasting impact on American TV journalism.

While the show worked as a parody of old-style family sitcoms, some TV news networks decided to adopt part of this show’s format when they started developing their new, more politicized versions of TV journalism in the late 1980s, especially when it came to creating mini-sensational right-left political interviews.

To make their news shows more palatable to an audience with shorter attention spans to

match the deliberate repetitiveness of the news shows, some anonymous producers came up with the idea that the more guests that can be crammed into an interview, the more time they can kill and the better the ratings. It did not matter if the interview segments were coherent or moderated; the goal was to have opinionated guests, regardless of their credentials.  

And while this same Brady Bunch news interview format is still used today by FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, it remains largely a format for political shills (largely political strategists or staff from think tanks) to get their partisan airtime.

The best thing is that viewers know this is all for the show, not substance. Any adult who has seen Kelly Anne Conway or Rudy Giuliani on the air knows what they will say before speaking.  The only people who don’t seem to get this are the network producers who continue to use this practical joke format on the American public.

The Brady Bunch TV series broadcast for five seasons and, after its cancellation in 1974, went into syndication in September 1975. Hopefully, TV execs at FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, who continue to push this useless interview format, will understand that it does not promote informed discussion. And even the Brady bunch was more entertaining.

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Chuck Epstein has managed marketing communications and public relations departments for major global financial institutions and participated in the launch of industry-changing financial products. He also has written by-lined articles for over 50 publications, five books and served as editor and publisher of nation’s first newsletter on the topic of using the PC for personal investing and trading. (“Investing Online, 1994-1999). He also is a marketing consultant, writer and speaker on topics related to investor protection and opportunities in the very dynamic cannabis industry. He has held senior-level marketing, PR and communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Lind-Waldock, Zacks Investment Research, Russell Investments and Principal Financial. He has won national awards from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA) and his web site,, was named best small blog in 2009 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).


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