Frances “Gidget” Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, a psychology student. Gidget spends most of her free time at the beach, hanging out with friends and surfing. She also has a knack for getting in and out of trouble. Gidget speaks to the audience during her journey to adulthood, letting them know exactly what’s on her mind and what she’s discovered about life.
Episode 01: Dear Diary-Et Al
In the pilot episode, Gidget falls in love with two things: surfing and her surf boy Jeff. Life’s swell until Gidget’s protective older sister Anne, reads her diary and assumes her highly imaginative confessions are true.
Gidget was based on the 1959 movie of the same name and starred Sandra Dee in the role as Gidget. The sitcom was first seen in September of 1965 and centered around Francine Lawrence. Francine was her real first name but everyone called her Gidget. She lived with her father, Professor Russ Lawrence, who was a widower in Southern California. Stories revolved around Gidget and her life as a teenager growing up on the Pacific coast.
Recurring characters included, Anne Cooper, Gidget’s sister, who tended to take the role of mother and was often overprotective of Gidget. John was Anne’s psychology student of a husband who often read much to much into situations. Larue was Gidget’s best friend while Jeff was Gidget’s boyfriend who was talked about more than he was seen since he was away at college.
ABC pulled the plug on the series in the spring of 1966 due to the fact that the series hadn’t found an audience. This was an unfortunate event, because that summer, ABC aired reruns, and finally an audience was found. However, it was too late, the series had already been canceled. Reruns boosted the series’ popularity in the 80′s which resulted in a new series, The New Gidget.
This series introduced a young Sally Field to the television audience and led the way for her next TV role as Sister Bertrille on another ABC sitcom, The Flying Nun.
Cast and Crew:
Sally Field, Don Porter and Lynette Winter
Creator: Frederick Kohner
Production Company: Screen Gems Television
Original Air Date: 1965
Audio & Video: Mono – Color
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