‘Gilligan’s Island’ Creator Sherwood Schwartz Opened Up About Show’s Lasting Appeal

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Mike FANOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Sitcoms like Gilligan’s Island are called classics in that they’re timeless and even as decades pass, they’re still frequently watched. Sherwood Schwartz, the show’s creator, opened up years ago about why he thinks people are still watching more than 50 years after it concluded.

Back in 2013, Sherwood Schwartz sat down with Del Reisman for The Writer Speaks to talk about all things Gilligan’s Island. After talking about the show’s ratings and how it performed, Schwartz began talking about its lasting appeal. According to him, a big reason for its popularity is the simple fact it’s never been taken off the air. Coupled with that is the fact so many channels in different cities are constantly playing episodes.

“The show has never been off the air,” Schwartz said. “The day it went off the air in primetime, they went into syndication. And now, I read an article, I’m always reading articles about my shows. I read an article that every half-hour you could see Gilligan’s Island in another city. Every half-hour in someplace in the United States.”

Schwartz then joked that if you made your travel plans carefully, it would be possible to watch 48 episodes of Gilligan’s Island in one day. “I don’t think anybody’s tried that,” he mused afterward.

The sheer frequency the show is played would be a big factor in keeping current fans satisfied and bringing in new ones. Additionally, with it being available on streaming services with the press of a button, virtually everyone has access to the show, should they want to watch.

Sherwood Schwartz Said ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and ‘The Brady Bunch’ Were the Same Thing

Though we know Sherwood Schwartz created Gilligan’s Island, you may not be aware he was also responsible for The Brady Bunch. Stranger still, according to him, the show’s were the “same thing.”

At a glance, the comment may have you scratching your head, but Schwartz has a reason for saying it. In an exclusive 2018 interview with Closer Weekly, his son, Lloyd Shwartz, shared quite a few lesser-known facts about the two franchises. “In essence, people from different places have to come together and make it work,” Lloyd Schwartz said. “That’s what Gilligan was.”

Elaborating, Lloyd said the two shows revolved around uniting people from very different walks of life. Further, the parties brought together were done so in a way they had to remain together. “In that case, he [Sherwood Schwartz] 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,” Lloyd stated. “That’s the same thing with a family. Once you put a family together, you can’t get away.”