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 ... See full summary »

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1966   1965  
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Frances Elizabeth 'Gidget' Lawrence (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
...
 Professor Russell Lawrence (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
Lynette Winter ...
 Larue (26 episodes, 1965-1966)
...
 John Cooper (23 episodes, 1965-1966)
Betty Conner ...
 Anne Cooper / ... (22 episodes, 1965-1966)
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

15 September 1965 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (32 episodes)

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Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Frances "Gidget" Lawrence: Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry, and your mascara runs.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Sally Field/Tony! Toni! Tone! (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Wait 'Til You See My Gidget
Music by Jack Keller
Lyrics by Howard Greenfield
Performed by Johnny Tillotson
Copyright 1965--Screen Gems Music Co.
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User Reviews

 
As if living inside a teen's diary
11 September 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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