Gilligan’s Island

Gilligan’s Island is an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz and originally produced by United Artists Television.  The situation comedy series featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells.  It aired for three seasons on the CBS network from September 26th, 1964, to April 17th, 1967.

Originally sponsored by Philip Morris & Company and Procter & Gamble, the show followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive (and in a later movie escape from) the island on which they had been shipwrecked.  Most episodes revolve around the dissimilar castaways’ conflicts and their failed attempts (invariably Gilligan’s fault) to escape their plight.
Gilligan’s Island ran for a total of 98 episodes.  The first season, consisting of 36 episodes, was filmed in black and white.  These episodes were later colorized for syndication.  The show’s second and third seasons (62 episodes) and the three television movie sequels were filmed in color.
The show enjoyed solid ratings during its original run, then grew in popularity during decades of syndication, especially in the 1970s and beyond when many markets ran the show in the late afternoon after school.  Today, the title character of Gilligan is widely recognized as an American cultural icon.
The two-man crew of the charter boat S. S. Minnow and five passengers on a “three-hour tour” from Honolulu run into a tropical storm and are shipwrecked on an uncharted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.  The island was close enough to Hawaii to clearly pick up Hawaiian AM radio transmissions on a portable receiver.  Executive producer Sherwood Schwartz believed in avoiding exposition, so he composed the sea shanty–style theme song, “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle”, as a capsule summary of the castaways’ predicament.  This was done so that first-time viewers would instantly understand the premise.  He took the same approach with the themes to The Brady Bunch and It’s About Time.