Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Here's the story... of a man named Sherwood..."

Sherwood Schwartz: Why TV Addicts Mourn Him

Yesterday's passing of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz at the age of 94 certainly doesn't qualify as a tragedy: He lived a long, rich life filled with success and the love of family, friends, and fans (as he notes here).

And yet, when the news of his death broke (over Twitter, of course), there was a palpable and somewhat surprising sense of loss for pop-culture junkies who count themselves as Gen X-ers or baby-boomers. And that's because, while Schwartz wasn't a beloved actor or legendary director, for many of us he was the original "showrunner" — before we even knew what that word meant.

Like Sid and Marty Krofft or the Children's Television Workshop, his name was seared onto our kiddie eyeballs as evidence that the characters we loved on the small screen were the products of one person's imagination. After all, besides the Brady clan looking up and down at each other from within their tic-tac-toe prison cells, what's the one image you remember from each episode of the show? "Created and Produced By Sherwood Schwartz," plastered over a still picture of the Bradys' A-frame mid-century abode at 4222 Clinton Way.

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