Gilligan's Island (season 3)

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Gilligan's Island (season 3)
GilligansIslandseason3.jpg
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 30
Release
Original network CBS
Original release September 12, 1966 (1966-09-12) – April 17, 1967 (1967-04-17)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
List of Gilligan's Island episodes

The third and final season of the American comedy television series Gilligan's Island commenced airing in the United States on September 12, 1966 and concluded on April 17, 1967 on CBS. The third season continues the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive and escape from an 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. The season originally aired on Mondays at 7:30-8:00 pm (EST).

Originally, it was planned for the series to be renewed at the conclusion of its third season, but at the last minute, CBS decided to renew their older show Gunsmoke (which soon vaulted to the top five in the rankings) and drop Gilligan's Island. This came as a shock to both the cast, crew, and series creator Sherwood Schwartz. At the time of its cancellation, the series was ranked 44th out of 101 shows in total. Immediately following the cessation of the show, it was sold into syndication, wherein it became a major success. However, Schwartz was forced to hire lawyers and audit United Artists film studio because they did not pay royalties in a timely fashion.

Critically, the season was initially brushed off, but contemporary reviews have seen the season in a much more positive light. Many critics have also commented on the season's use of guest stars and dream sequences. On July 26, 2005, the complete season was released on DVD by Warner Home Video subsidiary Turner Home Entertainment; the set included all 30 of the episodes, along with commentary on "The Producer" and several other bonus features.

Production[edit]

Executive producers for the third season of Gilligan's Island included William Froug and series creator Sherwood Schwartz.[1] Filming of the season took place at the CBS Radford Studios complex in Studio City, Los Angeles California.[2] This complex contained 17 sound stages, as well as special effects and prop departments.[3] On one stage, a lagoon had been constructed by the production company "at great expense".[4] According to Bob Denver, the crew would spend half of their days filming scenes in the lagoon. Shots and sequences involving the characters' were filmed in a different soundstage.[4] After the series' cancellation, the show's lagoon was not dismantled, and it remained in place until 1995, when it was converted into a parking lot.[2][4]

Cast[edit]

The series employed an ensemble cast of seven main actors and actresses.[5] Denver played the role of the titular First Mate Gilligan, a bumbling, naive, and accident-prone crewman who often messes up the castaways chances of rescue. Alan Hale, Jr. portrayed The Skipper, captain of the S.S. Minnow and the older friend of Gilligan. Jim Backus appeared as Thurston Howell III, a millionaire, and Natalie Schafer played his wife, Eunice Lovelle Wentworth Howell. Tina Louise played the role Ginger Grant, a famous movie star. Russell Johnson portrayed Professor Roy Hinkley, Ph.D., a high school science teacher who often uses his scientific background to try to find ways to get the castaways off the island. Dawn Wells played Mary Ann Summers, wholesome farm girl from Kansas.[6] Charles Maxwell was the uncredited voice of the radio announcer, who the castaways would often listen via their radio.

A man with a hat and cane looks into the camera and smiles.
Comedy actor Phil Silvers appeared as Harold Hecuba in the episode "The Producer".
A man looks at the camera and smiles
Rory Calhoun played the role of Jonathan Kincaid in the episode "The Hunter".

The season also featured several notable guest stars. Comedy actor Phil Silvers appears as the film director Harold Hecuba in the episode "The Producer".[7] John McGiver plays the role of Lord Beasley in the episode "Man with a Net".[8] Eddie Little Sky appears as a native in both "Voodoo" and "Topsy-Turvy".[9][10] Vito Scotti reprises his role as Boris Balinkoff in the episode "Ring Around Gilligan"; he had previously appeared in the second season episode "The Friendly Physician".[9][11] Allan Jaffe and Roman Gabriel—a Los Angeles Rams quarterback—appear as natives in "Topsy-Turvy".[9] Don Rickles plays the role of the criminal in "The Kidnapper".[12] In the episode "Take a Dare", Strother Martin portrays George Barkley, a contestant on the titular game show.[13] In "The Hunter", Rory Calhoun plays the role of Jonathan Kincaid, and Harold Sakata portrays his assistant, Ramoo. Denny Miller plays the character Tongo, and Janos Prohaska plays the gorilla in the episode "Our Vines Have Tender Apes".[14] Miller had previously appeared in the show as lost surfer Duke Williams in the first season episode "Big Man on Little Stick".[15] In the episode "Splashdown", Chick Hearn, George Neise, Scott Graham, and Jim Spencer all play astronauts or officials of NASA. Jim Lefebrve, Al Ferrara, and Pete Sotos play headhunters in the episode "High Man on the Totem Pole".[15] Midori and Michael Forest appears as Kalani and Ugundi, respectively, in "Slave Girl". In "The Pigeon", Sterling Holloway plays the role of Burt the prisoner.[16] Finally, in "Gilligan the Goddess", Stanley Adams plays King Killiwani.[17]

Broadcast history[edit]

Ratings and syndication[edit]

The season originally aired Mondays at 7:30-8:00 pm (EST) on CBS.[1] According to Arbitron, the season's first episode, "Up at Bat", received an 11.8 rating and a 23 share. Arbitron—later renamed Nielsen—ratings were audience measurement systems that determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the U.S. At the time, this meant that roughly 11.8 percent of all television-equipped households, and 23 percent of households watching television, were tuned in to the episode.[18] Despite a drop in the ratings when compared to the previous two seasons,[19] Gilligan's Island was still performing solidly in its third year and helped build "excellent" lead-ins for the series that aired directly afterwards on Monday nights.[20] At the time of its cancellation, the series was ranked 44th out of 101 shows in total.[21][22]

Following the season's end, and the series' cancellation, the show was sold into syndication by United Artists film studio, where it was particularly successful; at one point, it became the most syndicated television series to air.[23][24] However, after four years in syndication, United Artists still had not announced to Schwartz that the series had turned a profit. Schwartz, familiar with the budgets that had been required to film the episodes, doubted this claim and audited the studio. To finance this endeavor, he used his earnings from his ABC series The Brady Bunch; this conflict later caused him to joke that every television writer or producer needs two hits in which "the second one [provides] the money for the lawsuit on the first one."[23] Eventually, Schwartz and the studio reached an agreement without going to trial.[23] While Schwartz made large sums of money due to syndication earnings,[23][25] Wells revealed that the cast of the show never received any compensation.[25]

Cancellation controversy[edit]

The series was cancelled largely because CBS chief executive William S. Paley did not want Gunsmoke to go off the air.

CBS executive Mike Dann had congratulated Schwartz on the renewal of Gilligan's Island while the show was in the midst of filming its third season. Schwartz then revealed the news to the cast and crew, to much celebration. Dawn Wells and Russ Johnson even purchased new homes, feeling satisfied with the future of the show supposedly secured. However, after several weeks, Schwartz never heard back from CBS Business Affairs, the department officially tasked with announcing the renewal of the show,[20] even though the series appeared on the network's planned schedule for the following year.[26] Schwartz soon learned that when William S. Paley, the chief executive who contributed largely to CBS's success, had learned that his and his wife's favorite television series, Gunsmoke was being canceled due to falling ratings, he demanded that the network find a way to re-add the drama into the 1967–68 United States network television schedule.[27] Desperate, the program associates at CBS went into an "emergency session" and decided to cancel a new series called Doc, along with Gilligan's Island, and reschedule Gunsmoke in their place, at 7:30 (EST) on Mondays. Paley, who did not enjoy Gilligan's Island, found this plan acceptable. For Gunsmoke, this was a resounding success; the series rebounded, gaining an entirely new audience, vaulting to the top five in the Nielsen Ratings for the 1967–68 season (far exceeding previous ratings for Gilligan's Island) and staying in the top ten for six consecutive seasons, finally being cancelled after a total of eight additional seasons.[28]

Reception and release[edit]

Reception[edit]

Initially, the season—along with the series as a whole—was met with critical scorn, but was extremely popular with "the young crowd".[21] Contemporary reviews have been largely positive, with many commenting upon the season's use of guest stars and dream sequences. Stuart Galbraith IV of DVD Talk noted that since "the series had exhausted every reasonably plausible story situation that could be derived from its limited premise, of seven castaways shipwrecked on an uncharted island in the Pacific […] the show's writers looked for any excuse to cut loose […] and by the third season this seemed like every other episode, dream sequences became the modus operandi."[29] He concluded that, "at its best the show offers immensely likable characters in broadly funny situations that are, in the end, timeless."[29] Paul Gaita of Amazon.com wrote that Schwartz "and the writers definitely appear to pour on the steam in season 3 to produce some of the series' most imaginative episodes, many of which break out of the island sets through dream sequences".[30] He noted that many unique episodes and the season's perchance for guest stars "make this final season a worthwhile addition to any Gilligan groupie's collection".[30]

DVD release[edit]

On July 26, 2005, the complete season was released on DVD by Warner Home Video subsidiary Turner Home Entertainment. The release included all 30 episodes on three discs, with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The set also included close-captioning, and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. Extras include a season introduction by Schwartz, episode commentary for "The Producer", and the short documentary Gilligan's Island: A Pop Culture Phenomenon.[30][31]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by[32] Written by[32] Original air date[31]
691"Up at Bat"Jerry HopperRon FriedmanSeptember 12, 1966 (1966-09-12)
Gilligan is bitten by a bat, and he believes he is turning into a vampire. This invokes a dream by Gilligan that he is Dracula; Ginger is his vampire "wife"; Mary Ann is old woman housekeeper; Mr and Mrs Howell are travelers; Skipper is Dr Watson and Professor is a dimwitted Sherlock Holmes Detective!
702"Gilligan vs. Gilligan"Jerry HopperJoanna LeeSeptember 19, 1966 (1966-09-19)
Gilligan has a double - a Soviet agent sent to discover the true mission of the castaways. Bob Denver played both Gilligan and his double
713"Pass the Vegetables, Please"Leslie GoodwinsElroy SchwartzSeptember 26, 1966 (1966-09-26)
A crate of radioactive experimental vegetable seeds washes ashore. The castaways plant them, and they grow remarkably fast. Then they begin to sit down to a garden banquet, each castaway feasting on his or her favorite veggie, before they discover the "radioactive experimental" part of the crate they came in. Most notably, Mary Ann gets incredible eyesight (from eating carrots); Gilligan gets super strength (from eating spinach) and Mrs. Howell gets unlimited energy (from eating sugar beets). Can the Professor find a cure before the castaways become the healthiest dead people on the Island?
724"The Producer"Ida LupinoGerald Gardner & Dee CarusoOctober 3, 1966 (1966-10-03)

Egocentric Hollywood producer Harold Hecuba lands on the island for some rest and solitude. The castaways convince him to return to civilization by staging a musical production of Hamlet. Phil Silvers of Gladtaseya Productions (which filmed Gilligan's Island) guests stars as Harold Hecuba.

In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode #52 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[33]
735"Voodoo"George CahanHerbert Finn & Alan DinehartOctober 10, 1966 (1966-10-10)
A witch-doctor has come to the island and stolen a personal item from each castaway and is now casting voodoo spells over dolls that resemble them. Mary Ann and Ginger get tickled and cannot stop laughing. Gilligan and the Skipper cannot get apart from each other. Everyone's feet start to burn. The Professor, who does not believe in voodoo, is turned into a zombie.
746"Where There's a Will"Charles NortonSid Mandel & Roy KammermanOctober 17, 1966 (1966-10-17)
Mr. Howell decides to put the castaways into his will. Grateful, they try to plan a surprise party for him, but a number of unfortunate happenstances convince Mr. Howell they want to murder him for the money.
757"Man with a Net"Leslie GoodwinsBudd GrossmanOctober 24, 1966 (1966-10-24)
Lord Beasley, a world famous butterfly collector, comes to the island in search of the world's rarest butterfly, the pussycat swallowtail. The castaways pull out all the stops to help him find one.
768"Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow"Tony LeaderBrad RadnitzOctober 31, 1966 (1966-10-31)
Gilligan wakes up with white hair, then he wakes up bald. It is not long before the Skipper becomes afflicted too.
779"Ring Around Gilligan"George CahanJohn Fenton MurrayNovember 7, 1966 (1966-11-07)
Mad scientist Dr. Boris Balinkoff (Vito Scotti) is back. This time his scheme is to turn the castaways into hypnotized robots he will use to assist him in looting Fort Knox. "Igor" is represented by a monkey.
7810"Topsy-Turvy"Gary NelsonElroy SchwartzNovember 14, 1966 (1966-11-14)
Gilligan bumps his head and sees everything upside down. The Professor concocts a potion to cure him but instead Gilligan sees multiple images. To make matters worse, headhunters come to the island and capture everyone but Gilligan. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel plays one of the headhunters.
7911"The Invasion"Leslie GoodwinsSam Locke & Joel RappNovember 21, 1966 (1966-11-21)
When a locked official briefcase washes ashore, the castaways are dying to find out what is inside. Gilligan dreams that he is Good Guy Spy 0014-can he outwit Mr. Evil (Mr Howell); Evil agent Lovey (Mrs. Howell); Evil agent 1 (Skipper); Evil Agent 5 (Ginger); Evil agent 10 (Mary Ann). A spoof of James Bond 007.
8012"The Kidnapper"Jerry HopperRay SingerNovember 28, 1966 (1966-11-28)
A kidnapper is loose on the island, holding first one, then another castaway for ransom. They set out to trap him at his own game.
8113"And Then There Were None"Jerry HopperRon FriedmanDecember 5, 1966 (1966-12-05)
The castaways are disappearing one by one. Inspired by a comment of the Professor's, Gilligan begins to wonder if some mental dysfunction could be turning him into another Mr. Hyde.
8214"All About Eva"Jerry HopperJoanna LeeDecember 12, 1966 (1966-12-12)
A plain Jane named Eva Grubb comes to the island to escape society. But when the girls give her a makeover, it turns out that Ginger has a double. And soon it is trouble for all when she knocks out Ginger and tries to be her. Eva fools everyone during a party but is exposed when Ginger escapes. She later escapes on her power boat, leaving behind a message saying she was going back to Hollywood to resume Ginger's career. Tina Louise played a dual role as Ginger and Grubb.
8315"Gilligan Goes Gung-Ho"Robert ScheererBruce HowardDecember 26, 1966 (1966-12-26)
The castaways decide to establish law and order on the island, with the Skipper as the island Sheriff and Gilligan as his deputy. Unfortunately Deputy Gilligan takes his new responsibility too seriously, and, as a result, everyone ends up in jail...including, eventually, himself! {A similar story takes place on The Andy Griffith Show when acting Sherriff of the Day Barney Fife locks up the entire town of Mayberry!}
8416"Take a Dare"Stanley Z. CherryRoland MacLaneJanuary 2, 1967 (1967-01-02)
The Take-A-Dare radio show has put a contestant on a deserted island to survive for one week without any help from anyone. If he can do this he will win $10,000. Trouble is, the island the contestant is on is not exactly deserted. Strother Martin guest stars.
8517"Court-Martial"Gary NelsonRoland MacLaneJanuary 9, 1967 (1967-01-09)
When they hear on the radio that the Maritime Board has pinned the loss of the Minnow on the Skipper, the castaways recreate the shipwreck to uncover the truth. When the blame seems to shift to Gilligan, he runs away.
8618"The Hunter"Leslie GoodwinsBen Gershman & William FreedmanJanuary 16, 1967 (1967-01-16)
Big game hunter Jonathan Kincaid lands on the island. Disappointed to discover no game to hunt, he decides to hunt "the Most Deadly Game", also known as Gilligan. If Gilligan can elude him for 24 hours then he will rescue them. Gilligan survives but there is no rescue, Kincaid is fearful of going to jail if they told anyone about the hunt so he leaves them on the island. Later the castaways hear about how Kincaid shoots 100% at a trap shoot but has a mental breakdown and has to be taken away in a straitjacket to a mental hospital mumbling "Gilligan". A spoof of The Most Dangerous Game.
8719"Lovey's Secret Admirer"David Orrick McDearmonHerbert Finn & Alan DinehartJanuary 23, 1967 (1967-01-23)
Mrs. Howell has a secret admirer, to Mr. Howell's outrage. So the Professor invents a lie detector, and this and a trap combine to reveal the truth. All the attention causes her to dream that she is Cinderella.
8820"Our Vines Have Tender Apes"David Orrick McDearmonSid Mandel & Roy KammermanJanuary 30, 1967 (1967-01-30)
Tongo the Ape Man, actually a movie actor researching a role, visits the island. He tries to fool the castaways into believing he is really a "savage" jungle lord (a la Tarzan), but the island's resident gorilla gives him away.
8921"Gilligan's Personal Magnetism"Hal CooperBruce HowardFebruary 6, 1967 (1967-02-06)
Gilligan and his bowling ball are magnetically attached to each other after Gilligan is struck by lightning. The Professor's cure turns Gilligan invisible.
9022"Splashdown"Jerry HopperJohn Fenton MurrayFebruary 20, 1967 (1967-02-20)
The Professor determines that a manned American spacecraft will pass directly over their island. They set out to build a signal to let the astronauts know they are there. The unmanned spacecraft that the astronauts are to rendezvous with accidentally lands on the island. The Castaways decide that Gilligan and Skipper will use the spacecraft to try to get help-but they do not know that the spacecraft will self destruct!
9123"High Man on the Totem Pole"Herbert ColemanBrad RadnitzFebruary 27, 1967 (1967-02-27)
Skipper and Gilligan find a totem pole in the jungle, and the head at the top of the pole is a dead ringer for Gilligan, leading him to believe he is a Kupakai headhunter. Trouble begins when real Kupakai warriors show up and discover that someone has defaced their sacred pole.
9224"The Second Ginger Grant"Steve BinderRon FriedmanMarch 6, 1967 (1967-03-06)
Mary Ann bumps her head, and now she thinks she is Ginger. So now, it's a mix up for the castaways. Ginger is Mary Ann, and Mary Ann is Ginger. But when the Professor hypnotized Mary Ann, she still thinks she is Ginger, but Gilligan thinks he is Mary Ann.
9325"The Secret of Gilligan's Island"Gary NelsonTeleplay by: Bruce Howard
Story by: Bruce Howard & Arne Sultan
March 13, 1967 (1967-03-13)
Gilligan finds a stone map that tells how to get "off" the island.
9426"Slave Girl"Wilbur D'ArcyMichael FessierMarch 20, 1967 (1967-03-20)
Gilligan rescues Kalani, a Matoba native girl, from drowning, and she vows to be his slave for life. When her ex, Ugundi, shows up on the island and challenges Gilligan to a duel to the death, "for life" may be a short stint.
9527"It's a Bird, It's a Plane"Gary NelsonSam Locke & Joel RappMarch 27, 1967 (1967-03-27)
A James Bond-like jet pack lands on the island. The castaways believe they can use it to signal the Navy search party looking for it. Even with the jet pack Gilligan as usual messes up any rescue attempts.
9628"The Pigeon"Michael KaneTeleplay by: Brad Radnitz
Story by: Jack Raymond & Joel Hammil
April 3, 1967 (1967-04-03)
When a homing pigeon comes to the island, the castaways begin to correspond with the bird's owner, who is an inmate at Alcatraz. Naturally he doesn't take their messages seriously. Sterling Holloway guest stars as Bert the Convict.
9729"Bang! Bang! Bang!"Charles NortonLeonard GoldsteinApril 10, 1967 (1967-04-10)
A crate full of modeling clay washes ashore and the castaways waste no time in molding it into things they need, including fillings for Gilligan's teeth. A playful monkey shows them that, once hardened, the clay is a deadly explosive, set off by the slightest bump.
9830"Gilligan, the Goddess"Gary NelsonJack Paritz & Bob RodgersApril 17, 1967 (1967-04-17)
A Chief from a nearby island, King Killiwani, comes in search of a 'White Goddess' to take back to his island to marry. Will he settle for "Gillianna"?

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Berard and Englund (2009), p. 126.
  2. ^ a b "CBS Studio Center". Seeing-Stars.com. Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ "CBS Buys Republic Lot". Broadcasting. February 27, 1967. Retrieved November 18, 2013.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c Walstad, David (August 7, 1995). "Civilization Takes Over 'Gilligan's' Lagoon". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Tucker (2010), p. 89.
  6. ^ Schwartz (2009), pp. 49–64.
  7. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 299.
  8. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 301.
  9. ^ a b c Schwartz (1988), p. 302.
  10. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 300.
  11. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 298.
  12. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 307.
  13. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 308.
  14. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 309.
  15. ^ a b Schwartz (1988), p. 286.
  16. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 312.
  17. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 313.
  18. ^ "The Numbers Game, Part One". Broadcasting. September 19, 1966. Retrieved November 18, 2013.  (subscription required)
  19. ^ Stoddard (1996), p. 306
  20. ^ a b Schwartz (1988), p. 196–197.
  21. ^ a b Lowry, Cynthia (March 8, 1967). "'Gunsmoke Restored'; 'Gilligan Dropped". The Free Lance–Star. The Free Lance–Star Publishing Company. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ "'Gunsmoke' Will Return to Schedule". The Morning Record. Record-Journal Publishing Company. March 8, 1967. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c d Schwartz (1988), p. 204–206.
  24. ^ Morowitz (2003), p. 117.
  25. ^ a b "Dawn Wells: 'Gilligan's Island' Actors Weren't Paid Syndication Royalties, And I Never Hooked Up With The Professor". Huffington Post. AOL. February 15, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Fall Schedule Announced by CBS". Broadcasting. February 27, 1967. Retrieved November 18, 2013.  (subscription required)
  27. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 200–201.
  28. ^ Schwartz (1988), p. 202–203.
  29. ^ a b Galbraith IV, Stuart (July 7, 2005). "Gilligan's Island – The Complete Third Season". DVD Talk. Internet Brands. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c Gaita, Paul. "Gilligan's Island: The Complete Third Season". Amazon.com. 
  31. ^ a b Gilligan's Island: The Complete Third Season (booklet). Hopper, Jerry, et al. Warner Home Video. 
  32. ^ a b Schwartz (1988), pp. 299–313
  33. ^ "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997. 

References[edit]