I’m Lisa — peppy, blonde, and stunning — Sophomore prom queen, five years running! — “Lisa”, “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase”
The unexpected shake-up of the Simpsons cast for the Smile-Time Variety Hour session is based on a similar decision made by ABC execs after one member of the Brady Bunch family refused to play along with the network’s spin-off, The Brady Bunch Hour (“Just an evening?”).
But though Eve Plumb was unable to reprise her role of Jan for the spinoff, many other actresses were willing to take her place, with up-and-comer Geri Reischl* ultimately getting the call-up for the BBH tapings.
As you can see, Reischl was superior to Plumb in almost every way. Not to mention a dead ringer for the young lady she replaced. Compare the previous photo with this one of Plumb:
Seamless. Unfortunately for Reischl, BBH only lasted for nine episodes before being taken out of production. And Plumb was quickly back in the catbird seat, taking the reins as Jan for a smattering of Brady movies, and, yes, The Bradys, a drama (!) centering around the Brady family as they abandoned the idealism of the ’70s and staggered into the metallic corridors of The Year Of Our Lord 1990.
This clip is worth watching if only for the smooth jazz take on the Brady Bunch theme. The time has come to put away childish things:
* Typing in fakejan.com in fact takes you to Reischl’s site.