He recognized the iconic Brady Bunch house as an opportunity for renewal.
March 2, 2020
For many, The Brady Bunch theme music evokes an image of an ensemble cast—two parents, six siblings, a housekeeper, and the inanimate, yet ever-present Brady house itself.
And this is what Robert Wimbish, senior director of programming for HGTV, thought of when the head of Discovery Inc. asked for big ideas to engage a larger viewing audience for the network.
Wimbish, who had brought the high-profile show The Property Brothers to HGTV, had read that the house used for filming the outside of the Brady family home was for sale.
“I thought, what if we bought it and fixed it up to look exactly like the show, both inside and out?” he says. “The same day, the idea went up to the top of our corporate food chain and they said, ‘Buy it immediately. Do whatever it takes to get it.’”
And they got it. Wimbish, who earned his communication degree from Virginia Tech in 1990, oversaw logistics, the hiring of talent, and budgeting for The Very Brady Renovation. The show brought together Brady cast members, designers and builders from the network, and HGTV celebrities to recreate the Brady household, originally filmed on a soundstage, in the real house.
Wimbish said his studies and extracurricular pursuits in college gave him the skills he needed to make all the collaborations involved with the project work. “Virginia Tech taught me teamwork,” he says. “I learned how things can come together beautifully when you’re working with others.”
Wimbish started in television news in Richmond, Virginia, before filming music videos for a Nashville production company. He then worked at Country Music Television, an Indianapolis production company, and, for more than a decade, Scripps Networks, now Discovery Inc., before moving to the creative side of HGTV.
Projects such as The Very Brady Renovation draw from all his experiences, he says. One moment he might budget for an addition, and the next he might provide approvals for 3D-printed props.
“When you’re trying to replicate something so vivid in so many people’s minds,” he says, “you don’t want to get it wrong.”
Written by Leslie King