Surviving Gilligan's Island
Film information

Directed by

Paul A. Kaufman

Produced by

CBS Entertainment Production
The Kaufman Company
Landscape Entertainment

Written by

Duane Poole

Release Date(s)

Aired on CBS-TV on October 14, 2001 (U.S. premiere)

Running time

100 minutes



Preceded by

The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island


Surviving Gilligan's Island is a 2001 made-for-television docudrama film based on the 1964–1967 CBS television sitcom "Gilligan's Island" with actors playing scenes in the making of the series. Airing on October 14, 2001, the film stars Bob Denver, Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson.


The plot of the film depicts the attempts of "Gilligan's Island" producer Sherwood Schwartz to make "Gilligan's Island." It portrays the networks turning him down as well as the filming of the pilot episode. It also portrays the changes the cast went through after the pilot episode received negative feedback. Bob Denver, Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson share stories about the show, and its status in pop culture and the question of whether Ginger or Mary Ann was more attractive. An informal poll of twenty-one people was conducted, in which Mary Ann won by a single vote.


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Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • The full title of the movie is "Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredible True Story of the Longest Three-Hour Tour in History."
  • Dawn Wells steps out from behind the scenes to help establish the Mary Ann pig-tails.
  • Cast member Tina Louise, who portrayed Ginger in the series, did not participate in the film.
  • Comedian Jerry Van Dyke appears in an interview segment. Both Van Dyke, Bob Denver and Alan Hale have appeared on "The Andy Griffith Show."
  • The film has been released on both VHS and DVD with special features including footage of the casting of the performers, a trivia game and other information about the behind-the-scenes look of scenes.


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