One of the greatest underdog stories in Classic TV history is Gilligan\u2019s Island, the show with the iconic theme song about seven castaways who, following a shipwreck, end up on a deserted island. There these disparate characters \u2014 Gilligan, the Skipper, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann \u2014 have to learn to live and work together to survive. Savaged by critics, it nonetheless survived for three seasons and has been on the air for the past 26 years, at one point even bringing those castaways into space (we\u2019ll get to that shortly). You read that description of the show, and it sounds like the makings of a serious drama, doesn\u2019t it? Reinforcing that is series creator Sherwood Schwartz describing it as a social microcosm,\u201d which his son, Lloyd J. Schwartz, elaborates on: \u201cHe wanted to get people from very different strata of life and put them together in such a way that they couldn\u2019t get away from each other and had to make it work. That\u2019s the same thing with a family like The Brady Bunch . Once you put a family together, you can\u2019t get away. Many people respond to that basic idea. He always said, \u2018We\u2019ve got to get along. We\u2019re all in this together,\u2019 and he was talking about the world in general. I think that\u2019s why it\u2019s resonated for so long.\u201d RELATED: Before 'Gilligan's Island', Alan Hale Jr. Lived in the Shadow of His Father Make no mistake about it: Gilligan\u2019s Island was not even in the galaxy of a serious drama. It was \u2014 let\u2019s be honest \u2014 a silly sitcom with lots of physical humor and dopey jokes, but it was and remains so beloved. As does the show\u2019s cast, Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale, Jr. as the Skipper, Jim Backus as millionaire Thurston Howell III, Natalie Schaefer as his wife, \u201cLovey\u201d Howell; Tina Louise as movie star Ginger Grant, Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley and Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers. Where is the real Gilligan\u2019s Island located? (Ron Thal \/ TV Guide \/ Courtesy Everett Collection) Not to disillusion anyone, but while there was some location footage filmed in Hawaii for the series\u2019 premiere episode, the \u201creal\u201d Gilligan\u2019s Island was filmed at the CBS Radford Studios in Studio City, California. But for three seasons the audience never really thought it was shot anywhere but on an island, and their expectation \u2014 as was the cast\u2019s \u2014 was that that \u201cmagic\u201d would continue for a fourth, but it wasn\u2019t to be. At the very last minute, despite assurances from CBS to Sherwood Schwartz and the fact scripts were being written, the show was canceled and the cast went their separate ways. For a while. (Ivan Nagy \/ TV Guide \/ Courtesy Everett Collection) Flash forward to 1974 and the series has been doing great in syndication, with new people continually discovering it for the first time. In response, ABC decided to create an animated version of the show for Saturday mornings, thus the arrival of The New Adventures of Gilligan, which ran until 1977. (Amazon) With Sherwood Schwartz very involved, in many ways \u2014 despite the fact it was geared for a younger audience \u2014 it feels very much like a fourth season of the original show. The cast was back to voice their characters, with the exceptions of Tina Louise and Dawn Wells, Jane Webb voicing both of them. A total of 24 episodes were produced. Do they ever get off Gilligan\u2019s Island? (Warner Bros) Although the castaways eventually get off the island in a series of TV reunion movies that aired in 1978, 1979 and 1981, they found themselves back on it again for the 1982 Saturday morning cartoon, Gilligan\u2019s Planet. In it, the Professor somehow manages to build a rocket ship to get the castaways off the island, but, instead, they end up soaring into space and crash landing on an alien planet. Stranded, they have to make friends with the locals \u2014 including aliens and strange creatures \u2014 and figure out how to get home again. (Warner Bros) \u201cAt first I thought it was a silly idea,\u201d admits series editor Joe Gall. \u201cI mean, they couldn\u2019t build a boat to get off the island, but they could build a spaceship? But then I saw the concepts and designs and thought it could be cute. After all, cartoons are made for shows like this.\u201d Paul Dini, a veteran writer of comic books and animation, and the creator of Batman character Harley Quinn got his first assignment working on that show. Producer Lou Scheimer asked him if he\u2019d ever seen the original Gilligan\u2019s Island. Replying yes, he was told to write a script for the show. \u201cI had four days,\u201d he laughs. \u201cThere was a monster in it. That\u2019s about all I remember. Didn\u2019t have any interaction with the cast or know why CBS bought it other than it was a cartoon redo of a live series they owned that kids liked.\u201d (Everett Collection) Adds Gall, \u201cThe real strength of the show was our ability to get most of the original cast, with the exception of Tina Louise. Their line readings were consistently flat, but they were the genuine article. It worked in the sense that it accomplished exactly what it set out to do. It successfully recreated Gilligan\u2019s Island on a different world with similar plots to the original. It was a nice, harmless diversion.\u201d Let's check in on the incredible cast of castaways: For more of these throwback videos, check out our YouTube Channel!