NEW YORK – Who knew two SS Minnows were shipwrecked on a deserted island in a terrible storm? Yes, viewers tuning into TBS' (search) "The Real Gilligan's Island," (search) which premieres Nov. 30, will see double.
The reality show take on the classic stranded-on-an-uncharted-island sitcom features two Gingers, Mary Anns, Gilligans, Skippers and so forth.
The teams go head-to-head in challenges inspired by plots from the '60s show, executive producer Mike Fleiss told The Associated Press. The castaway counterpart who loses is sent packing.
"It's Ginger versus Ginger, Mary Ann versus Mary Ann, Professor versus Professor and so on until we have our final seven," Fleiss said. "Then the game changes."
The twist wasn't revealed until the castaways were on the island, in a secret location in the Gulf of Mexico. The casts lived separately in villages that were reminiscent of the CBS show, which aired from 1964-67.
In the original "Gilligan's Island," the small charter boat Minnow had been on a three-hour sightseeing tour when it was caught in a storm and wrecked on the shore of an uncharted South Pacific island.
"It looks just like the original set," Nicole Eggert, 32, one of the movie-star Gingers, told the AP Tuesday. "We had bamboo huts that were right on this beautiful beach. It probably looks more glamorous than it really was. Just like in the show, I shared one with Mary Ann."
Eggert's teammates are Mark "Gooner" Groesbeck, 31 (Gilligan); Amanda Dodson, 21 (Mary Ann); Eric Anderson, 36 (the Professor); Bill Beaven, 47 (the Millionaire); Donna Beaven, 45 (the Millionaire's wife); and Jim Murray, 55 (the Skipper).
The other Ginger is model-actress Rachel Hunter. Her teammates are Chris O'Malley, 20 (Gilligan); Kate Koth, 21 (Mary Ann); Pat Abbott, 64 (the Professor); Glenn Stearns, 40 (the Millionaire); Mindy Stearns, 35 (the Millionaire's wife); and Bob Fahey, 52, (the Skipper).
Eggert ("Baywatch" and "Charles in Charge") wasn't playing Ginger, originally portrayed by Tina Louise. She was being herself — albeit living on a beach in a glittery gown.
"I had to wear the gown almost the whole time," Eggert said. "It was very distracting and hot as hell."
Self-admitted klutz Groesbeck was star-struck when both Gingers were revealed.
"When I met her for the first time, I was like, `Wow, that's Nicole Eggert,'" said Groesbeck, who's a big "Charles in Charge" fan.
"And then when we saw the second team, I was like, `Ah, that's Rachel Hunter.'"
So in this surreal "Gilligan's Island" world, who would you want to date? Movie-star Ginger or sweet country girl Mary Ann?
"That's a difficult question," O'Malley said. "Ginger's just beautiful. She's absolutely gorgeous. But Mary Ann. She's younger. I had a bit more of an attraction to her."
Does this mean an uncharacteristic fling between Gilligan and Mary Ann?
"Yeah, there's a little bit of romance," O'Malley hinted. "You'll have to watch the show to see."
Fleiss spilled a bit more.
"After 40 years of sexual frustration of Gilligan never even coming up to bat," he revealed, "the drought is over."
Sex on "Gilligan's Island"? How very modern.