Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Remembering Sherwood Schwartz, Creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch; MeTV Network's 'M*A*S*H On Me' Stunt

Sherwood Schwartz

Sherwood Schwartz, writer and creator of two beloved sitcoms from the 1960s and 1970s, Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, has died. He passed away peacefully in his sleep of natural causes at 4 a.m. Tuesday, July 12, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was being treated for an intestinal infection and underwent several surgeries. Mr. Schwartz was 94.

Schwartz's entertainment career began as a writer of jokes for Bob Hope's radio program, The Bob Hope Show, in 1939. He would go on to write for other radio programs in the 1940s, including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and The Alan Young Show. His television career began as a writer for I Married Joan, The Red Skelton Show (winning an Emmy Award in 1961) and My Favorite Martian. In 1964, he created Gilligan's Island, which starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells. The show followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive and ultimately escape from the island where they were shipwrecked. Although the show aired for only 3 seasons and 98 episodes on CBS from 1964-1967, it became a cult classic in syndication. Two animated series (The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet) and three TV reunion movies (Rescue from Gilligan's Island, The Castaways on Gilligan's Island and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island) were later produced. In 1966, he created the science fiction sitcom It's About Time, which dealt with two astronauts being sent back into prehistoric days.

His next big success came with The Brady Bunch. The 1969-74 ABC sitcom starred Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen and Ann B. Davis. The series revolved around a large blended family when a widow with three daughters marries a widower with three sons. Although the show was never a huge ratings or critical hit during its original primetime run, it became a cultural phenomenon in syndication over the years. The success of the show would lead to the animated series The Brady Kids, a variety series called The Brady Bunch Hour, the TV movie The Brady Girls Get Married and TV series The Brady Brides, A Very Brady Christmas TV movie, the TV dramedy The Bradys, and two theatrical movies. Schwartz's other television writing, creating and producing credits included Dusty's Trail (starring Bob Denver), Big John, Little John, Harper Valley PTA and Together We Stand. On March 7, 2008, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mr. Schwartz is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mildred Schwartz and their four children: sons Donald, Lloyd, Ross Schwartz, and daughter Hope Juber. You can watch an extensive interview with him from September 17, 1997 at The Archive of American Television. Read his farewell letter to family and fans here. We'll keep you posted if any tributes are planned. We thank him for entertaining us and bringing us so much laughter over the years. His iconic shows and those memorable theme songs will live forever. He will be greatly missed.

MeTV Network is deploying a special evening of "M*A*S*H on Me" this Sunday (July 17, 2011) saluting one of the best series produced for television. Beginning at 7/6c, five episodes from the iconic medical war series, including the pilot episode, will air. The movie, which started it all, will air at 8/7c. The episodes airing are: "Comrades in Arms (Part 1)," "Comrades in Arms (Part 2)," the feature film of M*A*S*H, "Pilot Episode," "Henry, Please Come Home" and "Abyssinia, Henry."
The TV series M*A*S*H regularly airs on MeTV Network weeknights at 7/6c and 10/9c, along with airings on Saturdays at 7/6c and Sundays at 7/6c and 11/10c.
To get ready for this mini-marathon, watch the promo.

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, October 22

Superstore - "Guns, Pills and Birds" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Amy (America Ferrera) assigns an uncomfortable Jonah (Ben Feldman) to the gun section of Cloud 9, Jonah abuses his right-to-refuse sale to anyone that causes concern, causing an open-carry protest to gather in the store. On principle, Glenn (Mark McKinney) attempts to purchase all of the store's morning-after pills, but finds himself in a moral dilemma when he can't afford them. Dina (Lauren Ash), Garrett (Colton Dunn) and Mateo (Nico Santos) hunt down a crow that has flown into the store.

The Thundermans - "Happy Heroween" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It's a major Halloween storm outside, but inside Colosso keeps the family spooked by telling three scary stories that are sure to terrify even the bravest of superheroes.

School of Rock - "Welcome to My Nightmare" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mr. Finn's class decides to celebrate Halloween in school after Principal Mullins, who hates the holiday, goes home sick. When she returns sooner than expected, they have to scramble to keep her from finding out the truth.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Saturday, October 22

  • Jim J. Bullock (Too Close for Comfort) - Jim talks about touring the U.S. in Kinky Boots on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
Sunday, October 23
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Catch Patti on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, October 24
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.