Fans believed that the name of the ship that brought us to Gilligan’s Island, the S.S. Minnow, was based on the name of a fish. But producer Sherwood Schwartz claimed that the name was inspired after Newton Minow, who sat at the time as the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Newton changed TV forever when he made his famous scathing speech against television shows. The phrase with which he described television—a “vast wasteland,” would forever be attached to his name and still shows up as the first suggested result when you Google his name. In 2011, Minow told Advertising Age having more choice of shows was the most significant improvement in TV in the decades since his famous speech, which makes it “less of a wasteland.”
Bob Denver also had a fantastic career following the show
In addition to his iconic role as Gilligan, Bob Denver went on to have a very successful career. Still, he made sure to respect the character by performing as either Gilligan or some parody of Gilligan every few years in shows such as Baywatch, The Simpsons, Meego, ALF, and many more including lending his voice for various animated shows.
Most of Denver's acting career was in television and even appeared in several films and on Broadway. He also made a modest income by making public appearances, often dressed up as Gilligan. In 1992, he played Gilligan to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a West Virginia fundraiser for the organization. Denver passed away on September 2, 2005, and we hope wherever he is right now, he’s making others laugh there too.
No number four
While it was a big surprise that the show ended so suddenly – the show was canceled while the cast was on vacation, as we know – for a long time it was rumored there were scripts for the planned fourth season that would have had Tina Louise's character Ginger being rescued.
At the same time, two additional female characters were going to join the cast. However, this has been debunked. Louise has even gone on record by saying that while she didn't enjoy the show, she wasn't planning on leaving and would have been a part of the fourth season.
“The New Adventures of Gilligan”
After the live-action show ended before season four even got off the ground, the powers that be decided there was more money to be made with the brand, and so created “The New Adventures of Gilligan,” an animated show with the exact same premise and characters.
The show ran for two seasons and approximately a year – September of 1974 to October of 1975. It had twenty-four episodes, and most of the cast reprised their old roles. While the animated episodes are basically the same as the live-action plots, the biggest addition was an anthropomorphic monkey by the name of Stubby, who befriends Gilligan.
Jim Backus, who played Thurston Howell III, was unable to act for the third movie due to Parkinson's disease. Sherwood Schwartz refused to recast the role, stating he didn't want to hurt Backus by making it seem like he was replaceable. Instead, he wrote Howell III out of the film and replaced him with Thurston Howell IV, the original character's son, played by David Ruprecht.
The son managed the island resort in place of his father. While this did contradict the original series, which stated that the Howells had no children, Schwartz was too impressed with Ruprecht's Howell-like persona, which did not directly imitate Backus, to leave him out.