Appearing in the Neil Simon play Barefoot in the Park led to two new contracts at Paramount Pictures and ABC, both in 1968. When Paramount had decided to turn the television version of Barefoot in the Park into a predominantly African-American show, they planned for Reed to star in something else. The new series was entitled The Brady Bunch and featured a widowed man with three children from a previous marriage, marrying a widow, also with three children from a previous marriage. The series' creator, Sherwood Schwartz, said he was inspired to create the series after reading a news item in the Los Angeles Times stating that "more than 29 percent of all marriages included a child or children from a previous marriage". Schwartz thought the idea was ". . . the key to a new and unusual TV series. It was a revelation! The first blended family! His kids and her kids! Together!" (Although this situation had in fact been seen for years on The Danny Thomas Show, on which Reed had appeared as a guest star in 1959. )
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