A television sitcom from the 60s, about 7 castaways stranded on an uncharted desert island.

Featuring the following:

  • Gilligan (Bob Denver 1935-2005) - (aka Willy Gilligan), the bumbling first mate who caused the problems, but sometimes stumbled into the solution, too.
  • The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr. 1918-1990) - (Aka Jonas Grumby), the large dour "leader" of the castaways, he made most of the plans - not that they ever worked.
  • Thurston Howell, III (Jim Backus 1913-1989) - The millionaire who always seemed to have an extra suit, or some other luxury, and was just waiting for the yacht club to come rescue him and "Lovey".
  • Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer 1900-1991) - (aka Eunice Wentworth "Lovey" Howell), adoring wife of the millionaire, she, like he, was often oblivious to their plight.
  • The Professor (Russell Johnson 1924-2014) - (aka Roy Hinkley, Jr., Ph.D.), the most sensible and intelligent of the group, he could make almost anything out of coconuts and palm leaves.
  • Mary Ann (Dawn Wells 1938-??) - (aka Mary Ann Summers), the ever-practical farm-girl, but still subject to periods of rampant femininity.
  • Ginger (Tina Louise 1935-??) - (aka Ginger Grant), the Marilyn Monroe-esque actress who was always ready to croon a love song to soothe a savage beast.
"Gilligan's Island" premiered in September of 1964 and lasted three seasons (until it was cancelled at the last minute in 1967 in favour of "Gunsmoke"), producing 36 black-and-white episodes and 62 color installments. An "unaired pilot" filmed in 1964 was aired on TBS in 1992, with John Gabriel as the Professor, Kit Smythe as Ginger, and Nancy McCarthy as Bunny (later changed to Mary Ann). An animated cartoon version, "The New Adventures of Gilligan," was televised from 1974-1977, with most of the original cast doing the voices. Mary Ann was voiced by Jane Edwards, and Ginger by Jane Webb. Another cartoon series, "Gilligan's Planet," was launched in 1982, again with most of the original cast - including the return of Dawn Wells as Mary Ann AND Ginger! In 1973, Sherwood Schwartz tried the formula again, this time on land, with a lost wagon train instead of a shipwreck. Not surpisingly, the syndicated clone, Dusty's Trail (starring Bob Denver as the Gilligan-like wagon scout, Dusty) only lasted half a season.

There were also three TV-movie sequels:

  • Rescue From Gilligans Island (1978) - After surviving a freak tidal wave, the castaways are rescued and taken home to a heroes' welcome, only to discover that life is now much more complicated than when they left. Getting stranded again almost seems like a relief for them.
  • The Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979) - After being rescued yet again, the castaways turn the island into a resort, where they get visits from people like Tom Bosley and Marcia Wallace.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981) - The famous basketball players drop by the island just in time to save the castaways from losing the resort to a mad scientist and his army of robots, by challenging them to a game of - what else? - basketball. No - this isn't a cartoon.

"Gilligan's Island" is also noted for having one of the most recognizable theme songs in television. More Americans know the theme to Gilligan's Island than know the American National Anthem.

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip..."

References:
http://us.imdb.com/ - The Internet Movie Database
http://www.gilligansisle.com/ - The Gilligan's Island Fan Club

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