'Bachelor' creator Mike Fleiss to produce TBS' 'Gilligan's Island' reality show adaptation
By Reality TV World staff, 04/27/2004
Cable's TBS network has announced that The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss, who at this point is probably closing in on Mark Burnett for the title of the busiest reality show producer in Hollywood, has signed on to executive produce the network's previously announced reality show adaptation of the classic Gilligan's Island sitcom.
Fleiss, who in addition to his Bachelor/Bachelorette shows for ABC also produces High School Reunion and upcoming series Superstar USA and Big Man On Campus for The WB as well as the upcoming The Will series for CBS, will produce two eight-episode editions of the series for TBS. The first installment is expected to premiere this fall.
"Bringing Mike Fleiss in to executive produce Gilligan's Island fits perfectly into our strategy of working with the top talent in television to produce first-rate reality series that resonate with the young, comedy-loving audience we're targeting," TBS executive Steve Koonin stated in announcing the news. "We are thrilled to have Mike on board and are eager to see the incredible ideas he brings to the series."
"I grew up watching the original Gilligan's Island on TBS, so being asked to executive produce this new reality series version is like a dream come true," said Fleiss. "I look forward to working closely with TBS to bring this unique reality concept to life."
Gilligan's Island, the reality series, will feature a group of people who embody the essence of the characters they represent. The series will star a real-life skipper, first mate, millionaire couple, movie star, Kansas farm girl and professor, who, as on the original show, will work together to try to get off the island. Episodes will be modeled after some of the situations that occurred in the original series. The creator of the original Gilligan's Island sitcom, Sherwood Schwartz, and his son, Lloyd Schwartz, will also serve as executive producers.
Fleiss' Next Entertainment will produce the series, in association with Telepictures Productions. Warner Bros. International Television Distribution will be selling the international format rights to the series, as they have for Next Entertainment/Telepictures Production's The Bachelor.
Gilligan's Island began life as a Saturday-night sitcom in 1964 and immediately became a breakout hit. When the series went into syndication, it continued its success, spawning an animated series and several TV movies.
Next Entertainment, which Fleiss formed in 1999, produces not only reality series for television, but also big-screen entertainment. Last year, Fleiss topped the box office charts by producing a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He is currently in production producing and directing The Quest. In addition to his popular reality hits such as The Bachelor, Fleiss has also seen his share of unsuccessful series, having produced FOX's original scandal-filled Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire? and 2002's dreadful Are You Hot? ABC series.