Inside Gilligan’s Island

From Creation to Syndication


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SKU: 9780786463688 Categories: , ,

About the Book

While every new TV series has to face some problems, no show had to overcome greater obstacles than Gilligan’s Island. In spite of that, no series has achieved greater success, as measured by the fact that Gilligan’s Island has given rise to three TV movies, two animated series, and is the most rerun program in the entire history of television. Now, Sherwood Schwartz, creator, writer, and producer of Gilligan’s Island, tells the life story of the show: from the labor pains of scripting, casting, and production to its golden years of afternoon reruns. Fascinating history that could be known only by the show’s creator is enhanced by wonderful photos, sketches, and other illustrations from the author’s personal collection, as well as the guest forewords by all seven “Castaways.” An appendix lists plots, writers and directors for every episode. All this behind-the-scenes information makes the book a special treat, not only for fans, but for anyone interested in an inside look at the television industry.

About the Author(s)

The late Sherwood Schwartz lived in Beverly Hills, California.

Bibliographic Details

Sherwood Schwartz

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 342
Bibliographic Info: 100 photos, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [1988]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6368-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8488-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      xi
Forewords      xiii
Introduction      xv

1. The Importance of Being Illiterate      1
2. The Home Front      7
3. The Longest Journey Starts with the Dreaded Blank Page      11
4. One Ten-Cent Phone Call      21
5. In the Beginning Was the Word      26
6. The Songbird from Passaic      31
7. Sometimes Smoke Gets in Your Eyes      42
8. Where, When, How and with Whom      44
9. Gilligan, the Skipper Too, the Millionaire and His Wife, the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann      49
10. The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Crickets      69
11. Everybody Remembers That Day      76
12. Left at the Post      82
13. You Can’t Win ‘Em All      84
14. Left at the Post Again . . . and Again      89
15. Setting Gilligan’s Island Free      91
16. A Meeting at Mount Olympus      106
17. Another Meeting at Mount Olympus      121
18. Yet Another Meeting at Mount Olympus      127
19. One More Meeting at Mount Olympus      132
20. Always Be Nice to Your Script Editor      136
21. Life on the Stage      140
22. Gilligan’s Island Hits the Airwaves, and Vice Versa      161
23. A Captain Should Go Down with His Own Ship      173
24. Send Help Before It’s Too Late      184
25. Pratfalls and Philosophy      190
26. “Whatever Happened to Gunsmoke?”      196
27. Big Julie Rolls the Dice      204
28. Gilligan Gets Animated      207
29. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Men’s Room      211
30. Rescued After Fifteen Years      217
31 The “Castaways” Hotel and the Globetrotters      234
32. Priceless Rewards      244
33. Present Mirth Hath Present Laughter      256
34. The Three Musketeers      264

Epilogue      271
Appendix 1: Episode Synopses      272
Appendix 2: Synopses of Gilligan’s Island Movies and Specials      308
Index      315

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “one can’t help but like this man…his anecdotes are told with charming panache…there aren’t many better story tellers than Schwartz. An excellent acquisition”—Library Journal
  • “rewarding…a…memoir from one of the most successful writer-producers…important…sparklingly written…warmly recommended”—Choice
  • “tells a classic tale of the television process and its difficulties”—USA Today; “what’s really useful about ‘Gilligan’s Island’ are the book’s two appendices…marvelous synopses”—Variety
  • “one of TV’s most popular series…tells the life story of the show”—New Books in the Communications Library
  • “traces the problems in establishing the series through to its success on network television and even greater success in syndication”—Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
  • “easy, entertaining reading…excellent collection of photos”—The Tab (Boston)
  • “may be the most engrossing book we have ever had in our hands…witty…fascinating firsthand account…an episode index that points out the basic themes or morals behind each plot”—The TV Collector
  • “the entire life story of the show…fascinating”—Wilson Library Bulletin
  • “[among] the most popular syndicated shows of all time…part of a flowering of wacky television humor that took place in the early Sixties…interesting information”—Rolling Stone