'Gilligan’ Scores As Escapist Fare

Putting a reality face on a vintage sitcom had to leave executives at the “very funny” network smiling last week.

The Real Gilligan’s Island got off to a strong start for TBS last Tuesday with a pair of episodes, before Wednesday’s installment took a step backward with viewers.

The highly promoted show — in which two sets of “castaways” who personify the characters on the 1960s CBS sitcom are stranded on an island and challenged to find a way off — scored a 3.0 household rating with its premiere on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. and some 4.03 million viewers 2-plus, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The following installment at 9 p.m. recorded a 2.9 household mark and 3.68 million viewers.

The first hour was the No. 1 show in basic cable among all key adult, female, male and demos, households and persons 2-plus. The 9 p.m. episode premiere was ad-supported cable’s top program in its time slot among key adult, female and male demos 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, according to network officials.

The numbers, though, fell significantly for the premiere of the series’ third installment the following night. Viewership totaled 2.78 million, off 31% from the first episode and 24% from the second. The Real Gilligan’s Island on Dec. 1 delivered 1.56 million adults 18 to 49, a 43% decline from the initial installment.