Little-known facts about 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Brady Bunch'

Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch
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Little-known facts about 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Brady Bunch'

In the opening credits, the S.S. Minnow is shown leaving the harbor in Hawaii, where the American flag was at half-mast, due to the fact that the scene was filmed on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

first season intro

The lagoon set for 'Gilligan’s Island' was routinely drained when it wasn’t in use and operated as a parking lot.

The S.S. Minnow was named after former FCC head Newton Minow, who once called television “a vast wasteland.”

It was Schwartz’s way of getting back at him ...

When he was interviewing the child actors for roles on The 'Brady Bunch,' Sherwood Schwartz would place toys on his desk to see if the children became distracted by them or remained focused on the conversation. It was a way for him to see if they had the concentration necessary to work on the show.

In fact, things got so bad that Schwartz wrote him out of the final episode of the series, and nearly had him removed from the set, but changed his mind so as not to upset any of the younger cast members.

While it eventually went on to become a ratings giant in syndication, 'The Brady Bunch' was never renewed for a full season until its last. ABC only requested 13 episodes at a time.

While the Brady kids provided the vocals for the show’s theme song during the last four seasons and released a number of albums as a group, actors Christopher Knight and Maureen McCormick were featured on the 1973 album Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick, which was a huge commercial flop.

Both 'Gilligan’s Island' and 'The Brady Bunch' have a unique Lucille Ball connection.

Ball’s 1939 film Five Came Back was about 12 people whose South America-bound plane crashes in a jungle, leaving them marooned on an island inhabited by headhunters.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming box-office success of Ball’s 1968 film, Yours, Mine and Ours, convinced ABC execs that The Brady Bunch would be a hit.

By Dre Weston

As one of television's most celebrated producers of all time, Sherwood Schwartz is remembered for his contributions to several programs, including I Married Joan and The Red Skelton Show. And while those titles may not be as famous today, there's little doubt that two others created by Schwartz-among the most popular shows in the history of television-most certainly are: Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch.

Gilligan's Island, which aired from 1964 to 1967 on CBS, starred Bob Denver (Gilligan), Russell Johnson (the Professor), Tina Louise (Ginger), Alan Hale, Jr. (the Skipper), Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III), Natalie Schafer (Lovey Howell) and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann). It told the story of a group of castaways who were forced to live together on a deserted isle after a rough storm left them shipwrecked and presumed dead by the rest of the world. The show kept viewers entertained for 98 hilarious episodes and three television movies.

The Brady Bunch depicted the story of a widowed father of three boys and a single mother of three girls who marry with hopes of living in perfect harmony under one roof. It starred Robert Reed (Mike Brady), Florence Henderson (Carol Brady), Ann B. Davis (Alice), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Eve Plumb (Jan), Susan Olsen (Cindy), Barry Williams (Greg), Christopher Knight (Peter) and Mike Lookinland (Bobby). From 1969 to 1974, the family members navigated their way through countless trials while always managing to be there for each other when it mattered most.

Ironically, the ratings for both programs weren't very strong during their initial runs. In fact, no episode of The Brady Bunch ever finished in the top 30; Gilligan's Island fared better in its first season, ranking as high as 17, but its ratings declined over the next two seasons. Fortunately both sitcoms found new life in syndication, which turned them and all of their cast members into pop-culture icons. As we celebrate these Sherwood Schwartz classics, DoYouRemember presents memorable clips and little-known facts about Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch.

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