Home Entertainment Gilligan’s Island Got Approved By A CBS Exec Who Hated The Show

Gilligan’s Island Got Approved By A CBS Exec Who Hated The Show

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According to Schwartz, Aubrey thought it was impossible for audiences to care about seven people stuck on a remote island for any real length of time, but then audience reactions proved him very, very wrong. Schwartz explained:

“I presented the idea for ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ and he said, ‘No one’s going to keep coming back and watching these same seven people. And how many stories can you do?’ Well, I already had lots of stories; I knew how I wanted it to go. A lot of steps were involved, but finally, after I re-edited the film, it tested very well. And Aubrey knew he had to put shows on that tested well, so when he called me, he said, ‘Sherwood, I still hate your f***ing show – and I’m putting it on the air!'”

The road to getting the “Gilligan’s Island” pilot to test well was a frustrating one that involved CBS making edits behind Schwartz’s back, those edits going abysmally, and then Schwartz getting another final edit out that wowed audiences. That final edit impressed test audiences and sold them on the idea of the show, proving that persistence is half the battle in getting your work out there. In the end, Aubrey simply couldn’t say “no” to Gilligan and the gang, sending the Minnow off on a fateful voyage that would run for three seasons and make its mark on television history. 



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