Question: I was interested to see how Gidget came about. Did you know Frederick Kohner wrote at least six other Gidget books? I have Gidget Goes New York, published in 1968. There were also a few Gidget TV movies Gidget Grows Up, Gidget Gets Married and Gidget's Summer Reunion. I believe there was also a short-lived TV show in the mid '80s, The New Gidget. Do you know who starred in that show? Love your column, by the way. It is always full of interesting facts. Diana, Sylvan Lake, Alb., Canada
Televisionary: And I love your question, especially since it's chock full of information. (Careful, though, Diana if that type of thing catches on among my readers, I'll be out of a job.)
The show you're thinking of, which was indeed called The New Gidget, was a syndicated series that kicked off with one of the movies you named, a two-hour 1985 offering called Gidget's Summer Reunion. From 1986-88, 44 episodes were produced.
Caryn Richman starred as a grown-up Gidget, who was nearing 30 and married to Moondoggie (Dean Butler), who worked as a city-planning architect. Gidget headed up a travel agency and the two lived near Santa Monica, but the real focus of the series was Gidget's niece Danni (Sydney Penny) and her pal (Lili Haydn). Others in the cast included William Schallert as Gidget's dad, Jill Jacobson as her friend Larue and David Preston as Murph the Surf. Also along for the ride was Richard Paul as Wilton Parmenter, but I must admit I cannot for the life of me remember why his character bore the name of Ken Berry's character from F Troop.