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Inside Gilligan's Island: A Three-Hour Tour Through The Making Of A Television Classic Paperback – April 15, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The creator of Gilligan's Island tells all-from the tenacious pitching of his concept to writing, casting, filming, and beyond. One can't help but like this man who good-naturedly refused to give up on the gently satiric microcosm of society that ultimately became a popular hit. Schwartz, who also created The Brady Bunch, doesn't seem to take himself or the entertainment world seriously enough to lose his perspective on life. As a result, his anecdotes are told with charming panache, and the rough times (particularly the harrowing executive meetings) are given a light touch. In short, there aren't many better storytellers than Schwartz. Devotees will delight in the photos and episode synopses. Of course, the audience for this work will be limited to fans and TV nostalgia buffs. An excellent acquisition for circulating libraries.
Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Schwartz defends the intellectual content of Gilligan's Island (his brainchild, after all) by pointing to serious themes in the show's scripts. "The philosophic aspects were subliminal, buried in the broad comedy," he admits, "but they were there." Well . . . maybe, but Gilligan's ultimate value is entertainment. As Schwartz points out, even though most critics hated the sitcom, the viewing audience loved it. (No stranger to critical rejection and audience approbation, Schwartz went on to create The Brady Bunch, which like Gilligan lives on in reruns and is far more culturally significant than its creator intended.) Herein, we learn as much about Schwartz and his view of what TV can and should do as about the struggle to bring Gilligan to some network's schedule. Along the way, Schwartz describes dealing with network brass, relates how tentative cancellation of Gunsmoke may have led to that of Gilligan (odd as it seems, Gilligan was on only three seasons; what with all those reruns, it sure seems it originally ran for much longer), and makes the case for gentle, funny entertainment. Mike Tribby

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (April 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312104820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312104825
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,213,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Simply put this is the best book about the TV industry I ever read. Most of the time we think of the 7 cast members of Gilligan's Island but once you read this book you'll forever know that Sherwood Schwartz was the reason for the show's success. Did you know that they turned the pilot down 3 times? Did you know the Executives wanted Gilligan to have a pet dinosaur. Did you know the only reason it was canceled was some big CBS Mucky Muck wanted Gunsmoke to continue and chose the Gilligan Island time slot to put it in. Did you know TV Executives in the 60's at CBS were idiots? Read this book! God Bless Sherwood Schwartz!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Whatever you think of "Gilligan's Island" (a classic "idiot" sitcom comes to my mind) you have to appreciate that the show's creator Sherwood Schwartz is the one that wrote "Inside Gilligan's Island." The volume promotes itself as "A three-hour tour through the making of a television classic," and within these pages fans of the show will find out where the Howells got all those clothes, learn if Gilligan and the Skipper ever got hurt when the coconuts hit them on the head, discover what was "Lovey's" real name, and shudder to find out what kind of a pet the studio almost gave Gilligan. All of the cast members, even Tina Louise, make brief appearances in the book's Forewords, and the pages are filled with the rare publicity stills you would hope to find, including some nice color shots.
"Inside Gilligan's Island" is worth reading for students of television simply for the story of how Schwartz got the show on the air in the first place, which includes the "original" calypso version of the theme song ("Off Florida coast many hundred miles, Is tropical sea full of tropic isles...") and the "complementary" casting of Dawn Wells and Tina Louise (whatever disparaging comments you may rightful inflict upon this television show the Mary Ann or Ginger choice is now a time honored right of passage for adolescent males in this country). Actually, most of the book is devoted to the story of how "Gilligan's Island" got on the air. The show does not actually do so until chapter 22 of 35. Despite all the jokes about the show, it was a hit that managed to win its time period the first three years on the air despite being on three different nights and three different time periods.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rundquist on August 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is packed with information about Gilligan's Island . This book tells how Mr. Schwartz picked each member on Gilligan's Island. It to him awhile to find the right Skipper. But then he went to a resturant he found the perfect Skipper! This book is great you have to read it to put how good the book really is in words!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Ingemi VINE VOICE on April 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Inside Gilligan's Island is an interesting but not spectacular book on the creation of a television phenom. If you are a Gilligan fan it will likely be a must read. If you are not it will be a mixed bag for you.
Mr. Schwartz does a great job describing the battles to get the show made and gets the pages turning as we wonder if his series will ever be what he wants it to be.
Unfortunately as the book reaches its later chapters it is evident that he has run out of things to say. The last three chapters are a positive chore to read.
The epidsode guide is interesting and is many of the behind the scenes production stories, this likely differs greatly from the cast members stories which deal more with the actual production etc.
Throughout the book however it seems that Mr. Schwartz is preaching. Now when he put wanted to make a social point with the series he wrote it funny (such as using his own example the implicet respect for marriage see episode 68 Mr. & Mrs.) and taught the lession without giving a speech, we get the speech in the book and its just dulls you away.
I did like the book, I don't know if I'd like it enough to buy it again, but I like it enough to read it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery L. Voyles on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you're going to buy this you probably want the inside scoop on how the show came to be made and what it was like while it was being made. That's what you get. ON the downside, I found the writing style to be very strange. If I was critiquing this as a story someone had written and submitted for review online, I probably would have moved on and critted another story because this one would have seemed a hopelessly huge undertaking to crit. There was one part where there were some frogs near a door. In a normal story maybe you'd read a mention of this once but in this story he keeps going on and on about the frogs. Its just really weird in its style. But it tells the story of the show and that's why I got it so I'm giving it 5 stars for accomplishing what I wanted it to do.
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