In the history of Classic TV sitcoms, there would seem to be few that have had the staying power — or managed to reinvent themselves — as Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch have. Both shows were introduced in the 1960s — Gilligan in ‘64, Brady in ‘69 — and they still continue to capture the imagination, with periodic rumblings of a Gilligan movie and, of course, the Brady reality series that’s coming to HGTV. Both shows, having been created by the late Sherwood Schwartz, represent a fascinating phenomenon.
“And that fascinated my dad, too,” laughs Lloyd Schwartz, Sherwood’s son, who is the keeper of the flame, if you will. He’s the guy safeguarding both properties as best he can. “Not to get too maudlin, but I’m being truthful when I say that this was a deathbed promise I made to my dad. That overrides everything in terms of what we do with them. And there’s activity on both of them, always, though I can’t be more specific at this point.”
One thing he can be specific about is the fact that Sherwood actually saw both series as being similar to each other. “In essence, people from different places have to come together and make it work,” he says. “That’s what Gilligan was. In that case, he wanted to get people from very different strata of life and put them together in such a way that they couldn’t get away from each other and had to make it work. That’s the same thing with a family. Once you put a family together, you can’t get away. I think many people respond to that basic idea. He always said, ‘God, we’ve got to get along. We’re all in this together,’ and he was talking about the world in general. I think that’s why they’ve resonated for so long.”
Scroll down for more facts about, and Lloyd’s insights into, Gilligan’s Island, as well as the long-gestating Gilligan’s Island: The Motion Picture.