Did you ever notice the wrong Ginger and Mary Ann appear in the first Gilligan's episode?

Look for the original pilot cast in ''Two on a Raft.''

Read to Me

The first episode of Gilligan's Island was not the first episode of Gilligan's Island. Americans met the Skipper and the other kooky castaways on September 26, 1964, when the Sherwood Schwartz sitcom made its debut with "Two on a Raft." In that series premiere, audiences saw the SS Minnow leave its Hawaiian harbor for a three-hour tour that, as we all know, lasted three seasons. 

But, similar to Star Trek and its rejected pilot "The Cage," Gilligan's Island had a failed false start.

A year prior, Schwartz had written and filmed a pilot for his wacky lost-at-sea concept. This episode, "Marooned," featured significant differences from the final product. The ship sailed in the Caribbean, for starters. A wildly different theme song (composed by John Williams!) followed suit with a calypso vibe.

Oh, and there were different actors in familiar roles. Tina Louise, Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson were nowhere to be found.

Kit Smythe played Ginger. John Gabriel, perhaps best known as WJM-TV sportscaster Andy Rivers on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, portrayed the Professor. The blonde Nancy McCarthy bounced on the beach as… "Bunny"?

McCarthy, Gabriel and Smythe (left to right) with Alan Hale Jr. in ''Marooned''

Schwartz retooled the casting, characters and setting to craft the Gilligan's Island we all known and love. "Marooned" was stowed away unseen for three decades.

Well, not entirely.

Like any thrifty production, Gilligan's Island recycled. "Two on a Raft" used a few shots from "Marooned." Carefully examine the moment when the Skipper awakes following the boat wreck. You can see it in the image at the top of this post.

The rest of the passengers doze on the deck. Indeed, the sleeping sailors are Smythe, McCarthy and Gabriel.

McCarthy on 'Dobie' and Smythe on 'Bewitched'

Neither the alternate Ginger nor "Bunny" did much else on television. Though, they did appear in some classic series. You can spot McCarthy twice on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and My Three Sons. Smythe briefly but memorably played a friend of Samantha, "Gertrude," in season one of Bewitched. She was also on a Gunsmoke.

Imagine how different their careers — and pop culture — might have been had they stayed on the island. They might have at least met the Harlem Globetrotters.

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NanC 2 months ago
I knew John Gabriel from playing Seneca on Ryan's Hope.
ncadams27 2 months ago
The problem with colorization is that B&W shows weren’t just shot in B&W, they were meant to be shown in B&W. The lighting, sets, wardrobes, etc. were optimized for B&W film. The same with filming in color. Colorization takes what was intended for B&W and paints over it as if no one will watch anything in B&W knowing that color exists. Same with music that was recorded in mono and turned into a simulated stereo. PS: I am also not a fan of TV and movies that use digital cameras. They look harsh.
1memyselfandI 2 months ago
I Love M*A*S*H! I can watch M*A*S*H over and over again! I never get tired of watching M*A*S*H!
I would like to see "Our Gang" and "The Little Rascals" on Me TV regularly!
iloveoldtvshows 2 months ago
MeTV if you are doing a new schedule drop mash and put happy days on there instead or bring in the Addams family or the munsters,
The Munsters I like to watch. I don't like the Adam's Family very much!
AddamsFamily !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UTZAAKE 2 months ago
John Gabriel appeared in a pair of Season 5 Kate & Allie episodes.
JDnHuntsvilleAL 2 months ago
Millennial getting paid to rewrite stuff already discussed and then hiding it in a INCORRECT HEADLINE????? The show was the PILOT. The "first episode" was the one with the "correct" cast and was a remake of the pilot.

Most shows undergo cast changes from pilot to first episode. This is nothing new nor interesting.

grandpa5741 2 months ago
Very interesting facts about the show.
stephaniestavropoulos 2 months ago
What was this? Another slow news day?!?! Seems to me like METV has already posted a story on the differences between the pilot, to the rest of the series. Both about the actors, and what was around them.
Dizzydude 2 months ago
Im sad to see my three sons go but after bub and Mike left it was not as good.
GregBrobeck Dizzydude 2 months ago
My Three Sons isn't going anywhere. Gilligan's Island is replacing The Beverly Hillbillies on Monday.
Dizzydude GregBrobeck 2 months ago
I will still watch until it foes to color lol
Dizzydude 2 months ago
I always loved Happy Days the first season was the best.But when they changed Fonzie from being laid back like James Dean to him bouncing around and saying things like woh and correctamundo and fabamundo.no one said things loke that in the 50s they ruined his character. He looks like a beanie rooster walking around!
grandpa5741 Dizzydude 2 months ago
100% agree, Fonzie went from being cool to not cool. Used to be a very good show when he spoke less.
Dizzydude grandpa5741 2 months ago
Yea your right Henry winkler did a movie i think it was night shift thats about all he ever did
wvpirate Dizzydude 2 months ago
Henry Winkler is still very active and has won 15 awards and has had 31 nominations. He was also the producer of MczGyver. Check out IMDb for details.
1memyselfandI wvpirate 2 months ago
Henry Winkler is an awesome person!
Dizzydude 1memyselfandI 2 months ago
I like him I just hated they changed his character
cperrynaples 2 months ago
BTW, that episode ISN'T color! Ted Turner dyed it 30 years ago and that's what you're seeing! Really MeTV, put these shows back in B&W when they run next week!
dmagoon cperrynaples 2 months ago
BTW, like weekday newspaper comics (usually), TV episodes that debuted in black and white are at least natural.
The 1st season was b&w.
EXACTLY! That's how they were made and that's how MeTV should show them!
Showing both versions I feel is better, because we can see what was supposed to be in color that black and white may miss. Each person has their preference and showing both is best.
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