In the 1960s, no one had his finger closer to the pulse of the great American television-watching public than Sherwood Schwartz, who has died aged 94. Schwartz created both Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, two shows that defied critical opprobrium to become hits, and through endless sequels and repeats in syndication have become icons of their era.
Looking back, it is possible to find some cultural weight in each. Gilligan, which, as its theme song, co-written by Schwartz, explained, was the tale of seven people on a "three-hour cruise" who wind up cast away on a lost island, was sold to the CBS network as "a microcosm, but a funny microcosm", and it made its debut in 1964.
As played by Bob Denver, the clumsy first mate Gilligan might be seen, when the show debuted in 1964, as a prototype hippie, interacting with