Starring Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells, it aired for three seasons from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967, but it would never go off the air thanks to syndication.
There were a total of 98 episodes, with the first season in black and white, plus two versions of the opening theme song “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle” with the second adding the lyrics, “the Professor and Mary Ann.” Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson made a joke of it and would sometimes address each other in correspondence as “the rest.”
Creator Sherwood Schwartz, who also created The Brady Bunch and It’s About Time, has always favoured theme songs that describe the premise.
Schwartz designed the characters to represent parts of society but CBS was not in favour of them remaining stranded. Once the ratings slipped, Gilligan and his friends were du to be rescued and continue their adventures off the island.
But the show was so successful, as Wikipedia notes the United States Coast Guard even received telegrams from concerned citizens, pleading for them to rescue the people on the deserted island.
Eventually the show was cancelled to make way for the long-running Gunsmoke.
The show also spawned several telemovies such as Rescue from Gilligan’s Island (1978) and sequels, including the animated Gilligan’s Planet.
These days just Tina Louise and Dawn Wells are still with us, with Wells (who still looks fabulous) plugging a book this week in a video you can see here.