Friday, July 3, 2015

Forgotten TV: The New Gidget (1986)

20 years after the original series signed off, Gidget was brought back in a brand new series, spun out of a TV-movie, produced a year earlier to mark the original series' 20th anniversary.

The New Gidget marked the return of former Screen Gems executive producer Harry Ackerman, who shepherded the remake, as he did with the original. The fact that the new series was syndicated allowed it to go beyond its forebear, as it lasted two seasons this time.

Of course, Gidget is now all grown up and married. Caryn Richman took over the role played by Sally Field in the original series. With Field off making movies, you'd think they'd have thrown a bone and brought her back for a cameo? Nope. William Schallert (ex-The Patty Duke Show) steps in for Don Porter as Gidget's dad, with Dean Butler (ex-Little House on the Prairie) as Moondoggie, aka Jeff Griffin, Gidget's husband.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't see much of this show any more than I did the original, so there's no rating. For this holiday weekend, we find Gidget and company on board for a 3-hour cruise. The crew? Special guest stars Alan Hale, Jr. & Bob Denver (ex-Gilligan's Island)!!!

The open with Gidget trying to write with a colonial-era quill pen was a bit much, though.


magicdog said...

I used to watch the show each week - it was actually pretty good. Yes, there was caned laughter in it, but most everything else about the show was very likeable. Richman made for a good grown up Gidget and the rest of the cast worked well together.

You forgot about Sydney Penny who played Gidget's niece, "Dani" who was the daughter of her older sister Ann and BIL John. She went on to work in soaps. More recently, she turned up on "Pretty Little Liars". She was rather likeable as a "Gidget" for her generation - even having a "LaRue" in the form of "Gail" played by musician Lili Hayden.

I'd seen the Gilligan's Island tribute and it was pretty funny. I think Alan Hale passed away not too long after his appearance. What was especially meta was for Bob Denver to pay a mini tribute to the character of Maynard G. Krebbs in that very episode as well!

hobbyfan said...

It was during this period that the "Gilligan" crew began to resurface doing guest gigs like this. Happened on "Alf", too, as I recall.

I'd have mentioned Sydney Penny, except that I don't watch "Pretty Little Liars", and hadn't followed up on her.

The fact that New Gidget lasted two seasons makes you wonder why ABC gave up on the original after 1, though. Then again, Sally Field came right back with Flying Nun, and got 3 out of that one.

Lynnda said...

I really wish they would put this out in dvd

hobbyfan said...

So do a lot of folks.

Rick said...

Yes, I would be very happy to see DVDs, or even a streaming option.