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Gilligan’s Island was canceled in favor of Gunsmoke

Gilligan’s island is a popular classic TV show. The series about seven shipwrecked people ran from 1964 to 1967 on CBS. However, the comedy would have run longer if fate had turned out differently.

In September 1964, Gilligan’s island Premiered on the CBS network. The series about seven shipwrecked passengers living on a deserted island seemed like a far-fetched idea. However, the show became an instant hit.

Each week, viewers tuned in to see the castaway fun, which consisted primarily of Gilligan (Bob Denver) thwarting the group’s rescue efforts. The show was initially part of the Saturday night lineup before moving to Thursday and eventually Monday night. Although the show’s ratings declined, it was still popular with viewers. However, after three seasons, the network canceled the sitcom.

RELATED: The ‘Gilligan’s Island’ pilot actually featured 2 secretaries

Season 3 finale Gilligan’s island aired in April 1967, but little did fans and cast know it would be her final episode. According to, the Who was set to return and replace for another season gun smoke.

The western drama was another popular show for the CBS network. It aired in 1955 and won multiple Primetime Emmy Awards. By 1967, the James Arness series was still enjoying success in its 12th season. However, CBS considered canceling the show.

But thanks to Babe, wife of network president William S. Paley, gun smoke was saved. Babe was a fan of the series and urged her husband to keep it on the air. As a result, Gilligan’s island was canceled and gun smoke was moved to the sitcom’s Monday time slot.

One has to wonder what would have happened if Gunsmoke had been canceled instead Gilligan’s island. Despite the last minute switch, both shows have earned a rightful place in TV history. After the renewal in 1967 gun smoke ran for eight more seasons. After 20 seasons, the final episode aired on March 31, 1975.

RELATED: ‘Gilligan’s Island’: Creator Sherwood Schwartz chose the show’s name from a phone book

As for Gilligan’s islandDespite its short run, it remains a cherished TV classic. Fans saw most of the original cast reunite for three TV movies and two animated series. While the small comedy has had competition from bigger shows, it has made its mark in television and pop culture history.

Fans of both shows can watch them on cable channel MeTV and streaming services like Amazon Prime, Philo, and Pluto TV.

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