TV producer Mike Fleiss says he is a huge "Gilligan's Island" fan and leaped at the chance to turn the beloved 1960s sit-com into a reality series.

Recalling the day the original show's creator Sherwood Schwartz and representatives from TBS approached him about "turning that great franchise into a reality show," Fleiss admitted, "I was honored by that.

"They haven't made (episodes) in 40 years, so they felt like it was time to do something with it and reality is a such a successful genre right now they thought that would probably be a good move."

"The Real Gilligan's Island" challenges castaways resembling the show's characters to find their way off a tropical island.

Fleiss said he was surprised by the staggering number of people who tried out for the show.

"The show, it's been a while since it's been on the air, but it still resonates as much as it ever did and it is sort of alarming to see how many American men identify with the character of Gilligan."