One component slapstick, one component survival show, one part buddy comedy, and also all components goofy "60s classic, Gilligan"s Island is one of the most popular and also well-known situation comedies of all time. The 1964-1967 sitcom pertains to seven castaways — five passengers and also two crew members — who plan to embark on a relaxing, casual satisfied cruise. But that three-hour tour conveniently turns devastating when the weather starts acquiring rough and sends the S.S. Minnow the end to sea, wherein it comes to rest ~ above a far island not uncovered on any map however which provides plenty the coconuts on i beg your pardon the shipwrecked seven can survive.

You are watching: How many seasons of gilligans island


Those left to fend for themselves and also each various other are a disparate bunch. There"s bumbling first mate Gilligan (Bob Denver), the irascible Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.), tycoon Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus), his wife and true love Lovey (Natalie Schafer), display siren Ginger (Tina Louise), the inventive Professor (Russell Johnson), and plucky mar Ann (Dawn Wells).

So simply sit right ago and you"ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful sitcom. Here"s the untold reality of Gilligan"s Island.


*
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
The premise the Gilligan"s Island is simple — seven people from different walks of life are required to rely on each other for your survival after being stranded top top a remote tropical island. It"s usually the exact same idea explored by later on shows prefer Survivor and also Lost, yet for the mid-1960s, it to be high concept and bizarre when contrasted to the landlocked household comedies of the era, such together The dick Van Dyke Show, My 3 Sons, and also The Andy Griffith Show.


It"s a comedy about the after-effects of a traumatic event, and also sprang from a thought that creator Sherwood Schwartz had been transforming over in his head for years. During a course on public speaking at brand-new York University, as he recalled in Inside Gilligan"s Island, Schwartz and also his other students to be tasked v writing a one-minute speech about the one items they would certainly take v them if stranded on one island. Schwartz came to be a TV writer and also landed jobs on number of shows, however when it come time to come up with his very own comedy, he went back to the idea the a remote island, and how it can be sociologically interesting to present a varied team of world stuck together, calling the "a society microcosm and also a metaphorical shaming of world politics in the sense that when important for survival, correctly we can all gain along."


*

Even though creator Sherwood Schwartz thought about the ideas and also themes behind Gilligan"s Island because that a long time, the didn"t exactly nail the principle on the first try. ~ above November 22, 1963, Gilligan"s Island shoot its pilot episode, i m sorry was sent out to CBS for consideration to come to be a regular series for the adhering to fall. While the network did order an ext Gilligan"s Island episodes, the display that would go into production looked a lot different than the one suggested by the pilot.


According to TV Obscurities, the personalities of Ginger and also Mary Ann, dong a movie star and also Midwestern farmer"s daughter, originally took the type of secretaries named Ginger and also Bunny, play by Kit Smythe and Nancy McCarthy instead of Tina Louise and also Dawn Wells. The Professor was as smart and also smug together he"d wind increase in the long haul, yet portrayed by actor john Gabriel instead of Russell Johnson. Also the inciting occurrence was a little off — the castaways obtained lost on a "six-hour ride," no a "three-hour tour."

That pilot then disappeared. After ~ reading around the episode in a Gilligan"s Island publication in the beforehand 1990s, one employee of cable terminal TBS went in search of it, and also made part calls to the that company office, Turner Entertainment. The negatives, which had actually sat untouched for 30 years, were discovered in the archives of the Turner-owned MGM/United Artists movie library. TBS then aired the episode, for the very first time, in October 1992.


*

Had hunting Stromberg, Jr., the executive in charge of new programming at CBS in the mid-1960s, been able come execute his suggestion, Gilligan"s Island would have had an eighth regular member that the actors — a aboriginal of the island, not one more person left stranded through shipwreck. In his book Inside Gilligan"s Island, creator Sherwood Schwartz recalled watching the show"s pilot episode through Stromberg. As soon as they gained to the component where Gilligan climbs a tree to survey the island searching for resources or indicators of life, Stromberg excitedly suggested that the character should find a dinosaur, which Gilligan could then walk around on a leash and also treat choose a pet. "Just picture it!" Stromberg supposedly said. "It"s ours answer come Mr. Ed!"


Because a high-ranking CBS executive said it, Schwartz and his fellow producers had actually to dutifully game the idea of putting a dinosaur right into their show. They also inquired with Disney, which had actually just emerged a method to seamlessly place animated numbers into live-action footage. What eliminated the dinosaur top top Gilligan"s Island: the was method out the the show"s budget.


*

Even if one"s recollections the Gilligan"s Island room foggy at best, one can at least probably sing the show"s theme tune in full. Not just is it supremely attractive (and maybe deeply installed in the cumulative psyche from decades of reruns), but it lays the end the name and also distinguishing properties of all of the comedy"s characters succinctly and clearly explains the show"s premise — a necessity, since Gilligan"s Island had a lot more facility set-up than, say, Leave it come Beaver.


Folk acts prefer the Kingston Trio were large in the mid-1960s, and also they"d regularly perform on the TV music display Shindig! amongst them: a trio referred to as the Wellingtons. ~ CBS ordered alters to the Gilligan"s Island pilot, creator Sherwood Schwartz decided to come up through a theme tune to describe the show, and also wrote the folky "The Ballad that Gilligan"s Island" through composer George Wyle. The session to record the track was i ordered it last-minute and also with subpar equipment, yet it didn"t issue — CBS chosen the song and agreed to use it.

Schwartz contempt reworked the tune for season 2, and also a group dubbed the Eligibles tape-recorded the near-soundalike version, return the Wellingtons did do it onto Gilligan"s Island proper. Lock guest-starred together the Mosquitoes, a Beatles-esque band that transforms up ~ above the island.


*
Vince Bucci/Getty Images
The actors who eventually won the seven roles of the castaways on Gilligan"s Island ended up being forever and most closely connected with their work on the 1964-1967 sitcom. V the exception of The numerous Lives the Dobie Gillis veteran Bob Denver, nobody of the performers were household names prior to being sent off to the fictional island, and some weren"t also slated to be part of the original cast. 


Jerry valve Dyke, a TV veteran and four-time Emmy nominee because that Coach, to be urged through his company into signing on. "That"s the joke: i turned that down and also took My mom the Car," the told Popdose, introduce to TV Guide"s pick for the worst scripted show ever made. Tootsie and also 9 to 5 star Dabney Coleman bombed his display screen test come play the Professor, if All in the Family legend Carroll O"Connor just narrowly missed out on the chance to pat the Skipper. Former bombshell Jayne Mansfield pass on the chance to play Ginger, the Movie Star, if fellow display vixen Raquel Welch shed the function of mar Ann to Dawn Wells.


The name of the delivery on Gilligan"s Island, the one that obtained tossed approximately by waves and also lost in ~ sea just to to wash up ~ above a tiny isle, is a pretty an excellent joke that functions on multiple levels. The small vessel with an are for seven is called the S.S. Minnow, accordingly named ~ a tiny, easily overwhelmed kind of fish. It simply so happens that "minnow" is a practically identical word come "Minow," the last name of 1960s-era Federal communications Commission chairman Newton Minow. 


In 1961, the freshly appointed regulator gave a decided to the nationwide Association of broadcasters in which the insulted the medium of television, labeling it a "vast wasteland" that insignificant, disposable, and also even harmful content. The speech made waves in the TV industry. "The shocking consequences of the designation of obligation by Mr. Minow and also the FCC provided ABC, CBS, and also NBC pure authority over whatever that comes into your life room ~ above network television," Gilligan"s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz created in Inside Gilligan"s Island. Schwartz"s minor but pointed act of rebellion: He called the ineffectual ship on his sitcom after Minow.


Lists of 7 items are a recurring theme in history, religion, and culture. Ancient Rome was constructed on seven hills, there to be "Seven Wonders" the the human being at one point, and also there room "seven deadly sins," universally understood to comprise the many damaging and damning acts well-known to man. An additional famous seven: that"s how many castaways were stranded in sky on Gilligan"s Island. It"s simply too delicious and coincidental to neglect that the variety of deadly sins corresponds with the quantity of characters on a goofy, innocuous "60s sitcom. That led to a rumor, if not metropolitan legend, that each of the 7 deadly sins to be perfectly represented by a various Gilligan"s character, and also that the island itself represented Hell — whereby they to be placed because of their transgressions, and from i beg your pardon they can never escape.


Amazingly, according to NPR, Gilligan"s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz admitted the the "seven deadly sins" aspect, at least, was in reality true. The characters and their deadly flaw room as follows: the smarty-pants Professor to be guilty of pride, wealth-accumulating Mr. Howell to be covetous, Ginger to be lusty, Mrs. Howell endured from anger, the Skipper involved in gluttony, mar Ann represented envy, and also lazy Gilligan to be the embodiment that sloth.


Gilligan"s Island has one that the many memorable theme songs (and opening sequences) in TV history, although it adjusted ever so slightly following the show"s very first season. ~ explaining how 5 passengers and also two crew members wound up on an uncharted desert isle, cast members were introduced with your character name or summary — Gilligan, the Skipper, the "Millionaire," his wife, the "Movie Star" — and also then the singers abruptly uttered "and the rest," v no by-name intro for either the Professor or mar Ann. In subsequent seasons, however, the track ends through an acknowledgment the the sixth and also seventh castaways and shots of actors Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells.


According come TV collection Finale, Tina Louise had actually a i in her contract dictating the she obtained the last billing in the credits, explaining why she (Ginger, the "Movie Star") was the last called actor, followed by "and the rest." however Bob Denver, the genuine star of Gilligan"s Island, had actually a i in his contract that reportedly superseded Louise"s. He could pick the billing and also asked CBS to include Johnson and Wells. The network said no come that, so Denver asked because that last billing. Since it would certainly be odd to list the title character last, CBS relented and produced a new credit succession acknowledging "The Professor and also Mary Ann."


While that was never ever a an essential hit or nominated for an Emmy Award, viewers really enjoyed Gilligan"s Island. It was a height 25 show in every of its very first two seasons prior to slipping to 47th ar in year three. In spite of the short ranking, that still hosted a 30 "share," definition 30 percent of all TV viewers ~ above Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Tuned right into Gilligan"s Island. At any kind of rate, the numbers were great enough to justify renewing the sitcom because that a fourth season.


But climate Gunsmoke gained in the way. According to Ben Costello"s Gunsmoke: an American Institution (via Tulsa World), CBS cancelled the once-popular western in early 1967 ~ 12 seasons, leave it off the loss schedule. Gilligan"s Island cast member Alan Hale, Jr. (The Skipper) likewise appeared on the show, and he available his upset sympathies come Gunsmoke writer Paul Savage. That complained that a display of together stature should continue, and also that if any type of CBS display should walk it was "that turkey" he starred on – Gilligan"s Island. Together it turned out, a CBS executive had decided to remove Gunsmoke when CBS chairman william S. Paley to be on vacation. As soon as Paley was earlier at his desk, he un-canceled Gunsmoke – his wife"s favourite show – and also moved it to a brand-new night, Mondays, displacing Gilligan"s Island appropriate off the air.


Because Gilligan"s Island to be prematurely canceled, that didn"t finish with closure — viewers were left to wonder if the castaways were ever before rescued. Reruns of the show proved come be together a perpetual and beloved fight in syndication that there remained an extensive interest in a Gilligan"s Island upgrade by the so late 1970s. In the 1978 made-for-TV movie Rescue from Gilligan"s Island, the castaways develop a giant raft come escape the wrath that a tsunami on the island, whereupon they"re lastly discovered and also return come civilization. Through the finish of the movie, however, they"re earlier on the old island, setup up the events of the 1979 TV film The Castaways top top Gilligan"s Island, whereby they"re stranded for a while until they decision to usage Thurston Howell III"s money to turn it into a deluxe resort. 


This brand-new Gilligan"s Island trilogy concluded in 1981 through the made-for-TV film The Harlem Globetrotters ~ above Gilligan"s Island. The dazzlingly talented basketball hot-doggers were very popular in ~ the time, and also after winding increase the island, they assist Gilligan and company defeat an evil businessman who desires the beneficial mineral rights to the island... By beating the villain"s team that basketball-playing robots. That"s a bizarre premise, but it could have been even weirder and more dated — the producers had to adjust course after initial co-stars, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, had actually to drop out over a scheduling conflict.


Gilligan"s Island pan desperate for any kind of kind the content concerned the show — or who wanted to understand what came to be of those seven unfortunate castaways — can look come kiddie fare. In 1974, alphabet debuted The new Adventures that Gilligan top top its Saturday morning schedule. 2 dozen episodes of the series, which discovered Gilligan, the Skipper, and also the rest still grounding on the island, aired and also re-aired for 3 years. Most of the original cast voiced the animated versions that their personalities (except Tina Louise as Ginger), and also the cartoon included a brand-new character: Gilligan"s wacky pet monkey, Stubby. Man Gilligan returned to ABC Saturdays in the 1982-83 season in the form of Gilligan"s Planet. The Professor built a spaceship to gain off the island, but it functioned too well, leading the corridor to obtain not only shed in space, yet stuck when again on an uncharted island top top some far-off exotic planet full of extraterrestrial fauna and flora.

See more: How Many People Died On Deepwater Horizon, Deepwater Horizon Explosion


A live-action reboot was additionally in the functions at one point. In 2010, Warner Bros. Announced that it had begun pre-production of a Gilligan"s Island movie. Producers courted Michael Cera come play the location role, yet the film never got made.