‘Gilligan’s Island’ Creator Sherwood Schwartz Had a Hands-On Role in Cartoon Spin-Off

by Victoria Santiago

Sherwood Schwartz drove a hard bargain. After things went awry with an animated spin-off of The Brady Bunch, he made producers adhere to his specific guidelines for a similar spin-off for Gilligan’s Island.

He communicated his expectations for the animated The Brady Bunch show and Filmation agreed to his terms. However, they soon went back on their word. Since the shows were animated, he wanted the storylines to be more imaginative. He didn’t want to cover anything that could’ve been done in the live shows. Filmation chose to do storylines that were realistic. Schwartz was not happy. When they approached him again to animate Gilligan’s Island, he was unsure and reminded of how they didn’t listen to him the first time. He made sure that Filmation stuck to what they agreed to when animating Gilligan’s Island.

He said he wanted to see every single script and approve it before they could make an episode out of it. This was because his name would be attached to the show. He wanted to make sure it would fit into the Gilligan’s Island universe instead of being a weird outlier. Thankfully, Filmation agreed to all of Schwartz’s terms and stuck with them this time. Their animated series, The New Adventures of Gilligan, actually ended up being one of two animated spin-offs for the series. The other was called Gilligan’s Planet. That cartoon ended up being the last Sunday morning cartoon that Filmation created. Afterward, they shifted their focus to syndicated content. In total, there were nine spin-offs of the popular show.

You can watch part of Sherwood Schwartz’s interview below, and see his full interview here. He didn’t sound too happy with Filmation.

Sherwood Schwartz Had Many Problems With ‘Brady Kids’ Spin-Off

The Brady Bunch had a lot of spin-offs, just like Gilligan’s Island. The majority of this interview clip is Schwartz detailing what exactly went wrong with the animated series The Brady Kids. The cartoon first aired in 1972 and ran until 1973. The voices of many popular characters from the live show were present in the cartoon. Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, Susan Olsen, and Mike Lookinland all voice acted on The Brady Kids.

During his 1997 interview with Television Academy, Sherwood Schwartz touched on how Filmation went against his wishes. “They said they would do as I say, but they didn’t … They did some stories about school and the principal and this and that. I said, ‘That’s not what we agreed to, I agreed to something else entirely,'” Schwartz said.

Although that’s what he mentions in the interview, he had other issues with the show. He didn’t like that the parents weren’t in the animated series. Neither was a very popular character, housekeeper Alice Nelson. That just contributed to how little the studio communicated with Schwartz. Thankfully, Filmation seemed to learn their lesson and communicated properly with the TV show creator for later projects.