On Sept. 26, 1964, Gilligan's Island debuted at 8:30 pm on CBS. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.
The premiere episode, launching the new half-hour situation comedy series, came in smiling with a merry melody, glamor and drenched with tropical sunshine. A sampling of nautical nonsense that promised gags, gals, guffaws also helped set stage, hopefully, for success while novelty song lyrics, voiced over picture, chorused the series idea, where it was going, why, and identified each castmember. Stars Bob Denver and Alan Hale, the musical illustration explained, were first mate and skipper, respectively, of a small, ocean-going excursion boat. Starring also were passengers Jim Backus, millionaire, and his wife, Natalie Schafer, along with movie starlet Tina Louise. Russell Johnson, the professor, and Dawn Wells were featured.
Denver and Hale, the invisible harmony group advised, were taking the others on a three-hour sightseeing- cruise out of Honolulu. The pacific glimmered. No