Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in Southern California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, an obtuse but lovable psychology ...
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Francine (Gidget) is desperate: her parents want to force her to come with them on vacation to Hawaii - just during the two weeks when her beloved "Moondoggie" is home from College. When he... See full summary »
George Baxter was a highly successful corporation lawyer who was always in control of everything at the office, but almost nothing at home. When he returned from the office at day's end, to... See full summary »
From the hills of West Virginia, Amos McCoy moves his family to an inherited farm in California. Grandpa Amos is quick to give advice to his three grandchildren and wonders how his neighbors ever managed without him around.
Frances, now 17, is still in love with Moondoggy. She can persuade her parents to allow them a journey to Rome, together with two of her and two of his friends. However they have to take an... See full summary »
Jessie Royce Landis
Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in Southern California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, an obtuse but lovable psychology student. Gidget spends most of her free time, hanging out with friends and surfing at the beach. She also has a knack for getting in and out of trouble. Gidget speaks to the audience during her journey to adulthood, letting them know exactly what's on her mind and what she's discovered about life. She also receives moral instruction from her father and gains wisdom from her experiences. Written by
The series did poorly in the ratings when aired it against hit shows like The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), The Virginian (1962), and Gilligan's Island (1964). ABC cancelled it but then, the series had high ratings during the summer as teens had finally discovered it. ABC considered it too late to renew the series so instead they developed a new series for Sally Field. The result was The Flying Nun (1967) which aired for three seasons. See more »
Gidget originated as a character created by noted screenwriter Frederick Kohner based on his own daughter for the novel "Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas". Gidget is a portmanteau of "girl" and "midget". The novel follows the adventures of a teenage girl and her surfing friends on the beach in Malibu. Columbia Pictures purchased the filming rights and released three movies between 1959 and 1963. In 1965, it was picked up by Screen Gems for a sitcom executive produced by legendary developer Harry Ackerman. Ackerman was simultaneously producing "Bewitched" and the house on Gidget is situated beside the "Bewitched" home. The exterior and kitchen on "Gidget" was lifted from that of "Hazel", which was in it's final season at the time. Field, who was 18, made her TV debut by beating out 75 other girls for the part of Gidget. She lied of her surfing experience and had to learn how to even pretend to surf for the camera.
Reflecting upon the series, "Gidget" had various appealing aspects, but rarely did they all fire at the same time. Some of the more well-written shows, in my opinion, were devoid of comedy ("Now There's a Face"), and some of the funnier shows devoid of being well- written ("We Got Each Other"). The series' highlights are when they do meet to some degree at the end of its run, as in "Take a Lesson" and "A Hard Night's Night". As such, after mostly dragging along for the season, I feel the series was finally hitting its stride near the end.
Like many one-season series, the characters were generally more likable than the plots they were in. Gidget was an identifiable happy-go-lucky well-meaning teen figure with a knack for getting into trouble. Her father was a stoic character lacking dimension. Still yet, they shared a nice father/daughter relationship that gave emphasis for moral lessons on the show with first-person narration that felt as if inside Gidget's diary of teen drama. Anne, too, had little character development. Her husband John was a much-needed touch of comedy, even if it felt like watching a carbon copy of Darren Stephens from the show's sister production "Bewitched". The show worked best for me when it utilized John's character in sitcom settings, rather than a light teen comedy with Gidget paired exclusively with her best friend Larue.
The series faced strong competition from other notable series and was canceled by ABC in 1966 after 32 episodes. Entering the summer, the network realized the show had reached a strong teen following. Being too late to renew Gidget, they worked quickly to place Field in a role she disliked in "The Flying Nun". Nevertheless, Field's screen presence was established.
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