Gidget (TV series)Gidget Genre Sitcom
Format Color Created by Frederick Kohner (novel) Starring Sally Field
Lynette Winter Country of origin United StatesNo. of episodes 32 Production Running time 25 minutes (per episode) Broadcast Original channel ABCOriginal run September 1, 1965– April 21, 1966External links IMDb profileTV.com summary
Gidget is an American sitcom first broadcast on ABC from September 15, 1965 through April 21, 1966. The series is a Screen Gems production about a surfing, boy-crazy fifteen-year-old southern California girl and her widowed father, an English professor at UCLA. Sally Field starred as Frances "Gidget" Lawrence with Don Porter playing her father Russell Lawrence. Gidget was among the first regularly-scheduled color programs on ABC, but did poorly in the Neilsen ratings and was cancelled at the end of its first season. The show gained some popularity in reruns and was released to DVD in 2006.
- 1 Characters
- 2 Plot
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Production details
- 5 Reception
- 6 Subsequent history
- 7 Merchandise
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- Frances "Gidget" Lawrence, daughter to Russell Lawrence and sister to Anne Cooper. She is an always barefoot teenage girl living in southern California, who loves to go to the beach to watch boys, and goes surfing. Her boyfriend "Moondoggie" attends a college on the east coast, but the two have agreed to date others while separated. Played by Sally Field.
- Russell Lawrence, widowed father to Gidget and Anne, is an English professor at UCLA. Russell dates several lovely women during the series' run. Played by Don Porter.
- Anne Cooper, Gidget's sister and Russell Lawrence's oldest daughter, is married to John Cooper. Anne plays the maternal figure in Gidget's life. Played by Betty Connor
- John Cooper, a psychology student and husband to Anne, is Gidget's brother-in-law. Gidget regards him as a clueless square. Played by Pete Duel
- Larue, Gidget's awkward best friend and confidante. Played by Lynette Winter.
- Siddo, a surfer and Gidget's friend. Played by Michael Nader
- Jeff "Moondoggie" Matthews, a college student and Gidget's out-of-town boyfriend. Played by Stephen Mines
- Randy, a surfer and Gidget's classmate. Played by Rickie Sorensen
- Toby, a surfer and Gidget's friend. Played by Bob Beach
- Among the recurring roles were those of Gidget's girlfriends, played by Bonnie Franklin and Barbara Hershey.
PlotDon Porter and Sally Field.
Gidget is about the father-daughter relationship between Frances "Gidget" Lawrence and her father Russell Lawrence. Episodes follow Gidget's adventures in school, at home, and on the nearby beaches. Russell Lawrence has much ado guiding his daughter through her fifteenth year while his married daughter Anne and her husband John offer child-rearing advice. Gidget's friend Larue sometimes takes part in her escapades. Episodes typically end with Gidget receiving moral instruction from her father and gaining wisdom from her zany experiences.
- Main article: List of Gidget (TV series) episodes
Production detailsGidget, June 1966
The television series was based on Frederick Kohner's 1957 novel Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas. The novel was inspired by the adventures of the author's teenage surfer daughter Kathy, and was adapted into a 1959 movie starring Sandra Dee, James Darren, and Cliff Robertson. In 1965, Columbia Pictures' television wing Screen Gems made the decision to produce a weekly, half-hour television series intended as a sequel to the 1959 film. Frederick Kohner served as a script consultant on the television series.
Gidget was filmed at the Columbia/Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California. The edifice used for the Lawrence house is on the back lot known as the "Columbia Ranch". The structure has served as the Baxter house on Hazel and on Desperate Housewives. Gidget's home is situated next door to the principal residence on Bewitched, which was in production at the same time. In some episodes, Samantha and Darrin Stephens' house is visible in exterior shots from Gidget's front yard.
Gidget was the prototypical beach bunny, running around barefoot,and enjoying life in the sun. Though 18-year-old Sally Field defeated 75 other teenage girls for the title role, she exaggerated her surfing experience. The young actress had none and took lessons just to be able to pretend to surf for the cameras.
The series faced stiff competition from The Beverly Hillbillies on CBS and The Virginian on NBC, two established shows with strong followings. Due to low ratings, ABC canceled Gidget in the spring of 1966. The series gained an audience during the summer of 1966, thanks to reruns, however, ABC wanted to find another vehicle for Sally Field, leading to the creation of The Flying Nun in 1967. Field later stated that while she loved working on Gidget, she despised The Flying Nun.
Gidget remained in syndication for several years, boosting the series' popularity and spawning a cult following. Two telemovie sequels were produced Gidget Grows Up and Gidget Gets Married. Gidget received airtime again in the early 1980s, furthering the show's popularity. Another telemovie was produced Gidget's Summer Reunion, followed in 1986 by the syndicated sitcom, The New Gidget.
- Surf culture
- Psycho Beach Party, a film by Charles Busch parodying the teen beach party movies of the sixties
- ^ Gidget by Frederick Kohner  (2001) Berkley Publishing Group.
- ^ a b Gidget: The Complete Series  (2006). [DVD set]. New York: Sony Pictures.
- The Real Gidget, essay by Deanne Stillman about Kathy Kohner Zuckerman
- In Malibu, Gidget's Up Interview with Zuckerman, Washington Post, September 16, 2005
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