‘Gilligan’s Island’ Made a Cheeky Appearance in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’

by Keeli Parkey

Did you know that “Gilligan’s Island” once made an appearance on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”? Well, it did.

However, the way the classic comedy about a group of shipwreck survivors living on a deserted island appeared on the classic workplace comedy might surprise you. To put things in perspective, according to IMDB.com, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” aired from 1970 until 1977. “Gilligan’s Island” aired on television from 1964 until 1967.

So, how did the workplace sitcom incorporate “Gilligan’s Island” into an episode? According to an article on MeTV.com, its appearance takes place during the third season of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” The episode is titled “Who’s in Charge Here?”

In this episode, Lou Grant (played by Ed Asner) receives a promotion from the powers that be at the WJM television station in Minneapolis. Grant had been working as a producer for the station. Thanks to the promotion he moved up to be program manager. His promotion makes Mary Richards (played by Mary Tyler Moore) believe she could be in line to take Lou’s producer job.

‘Gilligan’s Island’ Makes Appearance

As part of his new job as program manager, Lou chooses to shake things up at WJM. What he does is rework the station’s schedule. He moves the news program to another time. During a scene where Mary and her co-worker Murray (played by Gavin McLeod) attempt to help Lou, viewers can see just what shows are airing on WJM.

If you look closely enough you will see that “Gilligan’s Island” is airing on the network at 3 p.m. How cool is that? According to the article, the board shows “Homemaking with Mimi Kirk” airing before “Gilligan’s Island.”

This isn’t an actual show. Mimi Kirk is an actress who appeared in an episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” according to Me TV.com. Also, airing after the show about the survivors of the “three-hour tour” is “Coast to Coast.”

It’s not all that surprising that a reference to “Gilligan’s Island” would appear on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” According to the article, Alan Burns was a co-creator on both shows.

Ed Asner Earned Unique Emmys Accomplishment Thanks to Role at Lou Grant on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’

Ed Asner’s portrayal of Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” is one of the more memorable performances in the history of classic television. Thanks to the success of the sitcom, Lou Grant got his own television show. It was appropriately titled “Lou Grant. ” This show aired on CBS from 1977 until 1982. 

Ed Asner’s portrayal of Lou Grant was very well received on both of these famous television shows. According to information available on IMDb.com, the actor won an Emmy Award for his work as “Lou Grant” while appearing on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” This Emmy Award was for “Best Supporting Actor for a Comedy Series.”

Later, his title role on “Lou Grant” also earned Asner another Emmy. This Emmy Award was for “Best Lead Actor for a Drama Series.”