50 years since I Dream of Jeannie premiered

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It was 50 years ago this week that Barbara Eden said “Yes, Master” to Larry Hagman’s Major Nelson in the classic sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.

The series, created by Sidney Sheldon, appeared in September 1965 and ran for 5 years and 139 episodes. It was inspired by the 1964 film, The Brass Bottle, featuring Tony Randall -but Sheldon replaced the male djinn with the ravishing blonde, Eden, who had also appeared in the film. The first season consisted of 30 episodes filmed in black and white.

It also starred Bill Daily as Captain/Major Roger Healey and Hayden Rorke as Colonel Dr. Alfred Bellows.

During television’s conservative ’60s, Jeannie and Major Nelson lived under the same roof, but slept in separate quarters -with Jeannie confined to her bottle, usually at the behest of her Master trying to keep her identity a secret. However the sexual tension was resolved by the fifth season when the pair wed -much to the dismay of Barbara Eden. It was enough to kill off the series.

US censors were also determined that Eden’s belly-button never be portrayed on screen, carefully concealed with her harem costuming.

The show’s memorable theme music, composed by Hugo Montenegro, was introduced in the second season after Sheldon was unhappy with the first. It was later sampled in “Sucker DJ (A Witch for Love)” (Ben Liebrand remix) which reached #1 in Australia in 1990.

 

12 Comments:

  1. There’s something magical about all the shows that are now reaching their 50 year milestone. Last year it was Bewitched, Gilligan, Adams Family and The Munsters. This year Lost in Space, Jeanie, and I’m guessing next will be Get Smart and next year Batman. Remember when we had just four chanels and between 4 and 6.30, these shows were on. TV heaven.

  2. Iconic innocent era where fun was clean, not like the smut we get on today’s comedies. Some of the one liners in these sort of shows are pure genious. Comedies today just don’t have the wit like these old shows had. They must have had some great writers.

  3. Nice tribute to an iconic series; It was, along with Gilligan’s Island, my favourite show growing up. For its time, as well as Bewitched, the effects were great, if not laborious for the crew and actors. Barbara was pregnant with her only son in the first series and they have to shoot around her baby bump; not easy with that harem outfit. A classic show.

  4. Some of the props used in I dream of Jeannie were also used in Bewitched, both shows being filmed concurrently in adjacent sets by Screen Gems.The series had to end after the pair wed to avoid plageurism accusations by the producers of Bewitched.

  5. As someone who never watched the show in it’s original run I still love it, even if the special effects are a bit cheesy and some of the attitudes a bit out dated it’s still a laugh and hey Barbara Eden in that outfit, no wonder it’s still on TV 50 years later.

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