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How I Escaped from Gilligan's Island
And Other Misadventures of a Hollywood Writer-Producer
William Froug

Popular Press, A Ray and Pat Brown Book

"Bill Froug is a born storyteller with a rich treasury of stories to tell about a career that led him to the highest reaches of television production, where his sense of humor remained gloriously intact."—Roger Ebert

In the early 1950s writers were leaving radio en masse to try their hand at another promising medium—television. William Froug was in the thick of that exodus, a young man full of ideas in a Hollywood bursting with opportunities. In his forty-year career Froug would write and/or produce many of the shows that America has grown up with. From the drama of Playhouse 90 and the mind-bending premises of The Twilight Zone to the escapist scenarios of Adventures in Paradise, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, and Charlie's Angels, Froug played a role in shaping his trade. He crossed paths with some of the memorable personalities in the industry, including Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Agnes Moorehead, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Blake, Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Aaron Spelling, and Sherwood Schwartz.
Froug reveals a post-WWII America giddy with the success of its newest medium—yet sobered at moments by strikes and union politics, McCarthyism and anti-Semitism. It was a world of hastily written scripts, sudden firings, thwarted creativity, and fickle tastes. And yet, while clearly exasperated with many aspects of Hollywood, Froug was a man utterly in his element, his frustration with the industry ultimately eclipsed by his dedication to his craft.

"If you really want to know what it's like behind the scenes of network television, this book is not to be missed. Bill Froug was there from the start. He was not a fly on the wall; he was at the head of the table when decisions were made and battles were fought. But what makes this book stand out among the other memoirs is Froug's honesty and lack of an agenda. He tells the true story even when he is hurt by it, and the story he tells is fascinating—not only for television fans and scholars but for anyone who has turned the dial on a television set or pressed that power button on the remote."—Stuart M. Kaminsky, Northwestern University, author of Writing for Television

Emmy-winning William Froug is professor emeritus and former chair of the School of Theater Arts, Film, and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written five popular books on screenwriting, including The Screenwriter Looks at the Screenwriter, Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade, and Zen and the Art of Screenwriting.

To schedule an interview with the author or to request a review copy of the book, contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email: publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu


Cover of Froug's book shows an illustration of a TV floating in the ocean, the screen showing a younger Froug, with sharks circling it.

October 2005
LC: 2005005442 PN
336 pp.   6 x 9
16 b/w photos

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ISBN 978-0-87972-873-1
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