10 I Dream Of Jeannie Secrets You Need to Know
We loved that show! The interaction between the main characters played by Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman made for many evenings of laughter as Jeannie the genie winked, giggled, and wiggled her way into our hearts. Major Tony Nelson stumbled upon a bottle when his space capsule fell back to Earth. He rubbed it and out popped Jeannie, who had been trapped for 2,000 years. For the next five years she tried so very hard to please the man who saved her from an eternity of drifting at sea. However, I bet you don’t know all the secrets of this primetime TV show from 1965. Here’s a few nuggets of info for everyone who is still Dreaming of Jeannie.
1. That Theme Song Wasn’t There for Season One: That catchy little Carribbean dance that matched Jeannie’s sexy wiggle wasn’t written by Hugo Montenegro until Season Two, when they also started shooting it in living color. For the first season, the show switched between a few different tunes as they tested out their audience.
2. Happily Ever After Wasn’t What Barbara Eden Wanted: In the final season, Major Nelson and Jeannie tied the knot–which is awkward if you happen to be an immortal who lives in a bottle. The lead actress didn’t buy the plot, and it appears neither did America. The show was canceled in 1970.
3. Jeannie Had a Baby?: No! However, Barbara Eden was carrying her own child during the filming of the first ten episodes of the show. It’s a good thing her costume involved voluminous scarves…they hid the baby bump!
4. Jeannie Was a Lion-Whisperer: When the cast had a lion written into the script during the first season, Barbara Eden seemed to know all about how to handle them, offering advice to the rest of the crew. Larry Hagman was not so eager. When he walked on set for the first time with the lion, the big cat roared and Hagman ran away.
5. Was that a spectre of Spector?: Big-time record producer and convicted of murder in 2003, Phil Spector made an appearance on the TV show in 1968, as he was supposed to be helping Jeannie with her music career. Maybe it’s a good thing that didn’t work out for her.
6. Monkeying Around with Jeannie: You know your show is a big hit when boy band “The Monkees” references you on their own show. During one episode of their show, the boys find a bottle on the beach and decide to rub it to see if there’s a genie inside. When one pops out, Davy Jones says, “Wrong show!” Can you hear them laughing?
7. JR was Unhappy Even When He Was an Astronaut: Larry Hagman played an unhappy oilman in the show Dallas some ten years after Jeannie aired. However, he was practicing the scowl while filming the comedy by drowning his sorrows with champagne and pot. Unfortunately, his alcohol abuse led to him receiving a liver transplant in 1995. Sorry Jeannie couldn’t make her master all better.
8. Big Plot Change: Originally the show said Eden’s character had been placed in her bottle by The Blue Djinn as punishment, who she refused to marry. Somewhere along the line Jeannie insisted she came from a long line of genies…which was it? Or did the producers wish to avoid any mention of domestic abuse? Seems political correctness was a problem even back then.
9. Major Nelson Did Some Real Research: Since Hagman’s character was an astronaut who found the genie bottle upon his return to Earth, the cast all visited Cape Canaveral and met some real live astronauts to better understand their characters. After Eden helped to launch a weather satellite in full Jeannie regalia, the case went out to supper with Buzz Aldrin–before he got to walk on the moon.
10. The End of the Black and White Era: I Dream of Jeannie was the last regular network show shot in black & white during its first season. The NBC peacock had been designed to show off the new color television technology and the network committed to airing all their regular shows in color. It was a good thing, as Jeannie’s wardrobe of exotic scarves deserved to be showcased in all its technicolor glory.