THE INVENTOR OF BAD TV

WHAT WOULD THE '70S HAVE BEEN WITHOUT SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ?

TELEVISION IN THE 1960s and early '70s did not lack absurdities. It was a time when viewers were entertained by a flying nun, a buxom genie and a suburban witch who twitched her nose. Yet of all the ridiculous TV shows of the era, two stand out for their enduring, unfathomable allure: The Brady Bunch, the sitcom about an adage-spewing stepfamily cavorting on an Astroturf lawn, and Gilligan's Island, the tale of seven mismatched castaways on an island that seemed oddly close to Hollywood. Both shows had a goofy otherworldliness painfully out of step with their tumultuous times. Both spawned fanatical...

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