Question: One of my favorite shows from around the late '60s to early '70s took place on a deserted island, where a bunch of college-age students were marooned after their airplane crash-landed. Since they were stranded, they decided they were going to build a new civilization and not make any of the same mistakes the "establishment" made back home. I think it was called The New People or something along those lines. I'd love to know more about the series and who starred in it. Thanks a lot!
Answer: It was indeed called The New People and, though the legendary Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery) was credited as the creator, it was an Aaron Spelling affair. It enjoyed a very brief run on ABC, from September 1969 to the following January.
In what was apparently supposed to be an exploration of the utopian ideals and political and social thinking of the time, 40 college students returning from an Asian exchange jaunt among them Susan (Tiffany Bolling), Bob (Zooey Hall), Ginny (Jill Jaress), Gene (David Moses), Stanley (Dennis Olivieri) and George (Pete Ratray) found themselves marooned on an island after their plane crashed. As luck would have it, the island, located way out in the middle of the South Pacific, was a former government test site, so there were buildings, food and other creature comforts to be found.
An interesting enough premise, I suppose, but being network TV, it's not like William Golding was worried his Lord of the Flies would be knocked off its youth-spawned, social-commentary throne. As guest stars like Tyne Daly (Judging Amy), Richard Dreyfuss (The Education of Max Bickford) and Billy Dee Williams showed up and left, the series wandered through story lines involving pregnancy, disease, unsafe driving (seriously), gender roles, murder and law enforcement before it was canceled and they all became "The Gone People."