After the worldwide success of the television show Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie was created. Thankfully it took off just as they had hoped for and the show ran for 5 years from 1965 to 1970. The show was about an astronaut who quite literally had a ‘Jeannie’ in a Bottle.
Fans of the show know the basic premise, but we are going to show you some things you may not have known. Everyone in the show hated one specific episode. This episode was so awful that it eventually led to the show being canceled. Read on to find out which episode it was, learn some little-known facts about the show and find out what the cast is up to today!
Hiding The Baby Bump
When you think of the show “I Dream of Jeannie” You automatically think of Jeannie’s little harem costume. While she was known for that signature outfit, you may not remember that Barbara Eden, who played the role of Jeannie, was actually completely clothed during the first 10 episodes of the show.
The reason why she was covered up for the first few episodes was that Barbara was pregnant! The writers decided to improvise. Instead of canceling the show altogether, they simply covered her up during those first few episodes. And thankfully they did so since the show became an instant classic.
Career Man To Family Guy
Larry Hagman was known as the character Tony Nelson on the show “I Dream of Jeannie.” His character was an astronaut. While he spent every night with Jeannie, during the day he worked for the government.
When the show started out writers made Tony a serious, and uptight character. They made him focused on his career instead of focused on Jeannie. As time went on, they wrote him to be more interested in Jeannie and in fact by the end of the series they even got married! Quite a change in character but definitely made sense for the plot.
"J. R." Ewing
Larry Hagman was a household name during the 1970s. After his claim to fame starring on “I Dream of Jeannie,” he continued to land leading roles in many films and TV shows. While he definitely got his start on “I Dream of Jeannie,” he is best known for his role of "J. R." Ewing in the show “Dallas.”
During the 1980s while he was starring in “Dallas,” he received a whopping 4 Golden Globe nominations. He also got 2 Emmy nominations for the show! Following “Dallas,” he had roles in other hit TV shows such as “Nip/Tuck” and “The Simpsons.” Sadly, Larry died in 2012.
Larry Hagm an 's Drinking Problem
Sadly, celebrities are oftentimes faced with drug addiction and alcoholism. Many famous people are also criticized for their behavior while under the influence as well since they are constantly in the spotlight.
Larry was dissatisfied with many things occurring on the set of “I Dream of Jeannie,” and he began to drink more regularly. He would drink on set and come to set drunk. His behavior started to get really weird. One time he appeared to the set ready to film, but he was wearing a full-body gorilla costume. Another time he showed up to film holding an ax and started yelling and screaming profanities.
Talk about awkward, Larry was actually never told that “I Dream of Jeannie” had been canceled. After the fifth season of the series finished filming, Larry took a much-needed vacation to South America. During this time, they canceled the show but neglected to inform Larry.
When he returned from his trip, he headed to the studio to pick up some things that he needed from his dressing room on set. When he arrived to set, a security guard at the studio told him that the show was canceled and that he no longer would be filming. He must have been quite angry!
Bill Daily- From Stand Up Comedy To Guest Star
Making regular appearances on “I Dream of Jeannie” was Bill Daily, who played the role of Roger Healey. Roger was, like Tony, an astronaut. The two were good friends on the show, and the character of Roger was always showing up in episodes!
The storyline of Roger and Tony was mainly focused on adding a good amount of comedy to the series. The episodes including Roger would usually be focused on Tony trying to hide Jeannie’s “powers” from him thus creating a nice storyline of silly dialogues and scenes. This was easy for Bill, as he was also a stand-up comedian prior to joining the cast of “I Dream of Jeannie.”
Following Bill’s success on “I Dream of Jeannie,” he landed the role of Howard Borden on “The Bob Newhart Show.” Most people remember Bill for his role as Larry on the widely famous comedy, “ALF.”
Bill, of course, took the opportunity to reprise his legendary role, Roger Healey, in both of the “I Dream of Jeannie” movies. Following the movies, he moved to New Mexico with his wife, Becky. Although he was semi-retired, he would do guest spots on local radio stations from 2006 to 2009. Sadly, in 2018 he passed away at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Phil Spector Actor Turned Murderer
Phil Spector had a small role on “I Dream of Jeannie.” He guest starred in an episode where Jeannie was trying to become a singer. Phil was a very famous music producer, so it was fitting that he played himself in this episode. During the episode, Jeannie and the cast refer to him as Phil Spector, but in the credits, his role is listed as ‘Steve Davis.” Pretty strange!
After his stint on “I Dream of Jeannie,” he was convicted of murdering an actress in his home. He is currently serving a 19-year prison sentence and will be eligible for parole when he is 88.
William Rorke or Hayden Rorke?
Despite being such a successful show, “I Dream of Jeannie” had a very small cast compared to other shows going on at the time. The only regular characters on the series were Jeannie (of course!), Tony and Roger. The only other character that made multiple appearances throughout the show was the character of Dr. Bellows, played by William Rorke. Dr. Bellows, like Tony, worked at NASA. He played the psychiatrist there.
Not much can be found about William Rorke because he went by a different name! He used his mother’s maiden name, Hayden, as his stage name, becoming Hayden Rorke!
Hayden Rorke After "Jeannie"
Rorke was not a stranger to the acting industry prior to landing his role on “I Dream Of Jeannie.” He got his start playing small roles on Broadway before transitioning to TV and film. Aside from “I Dream of Jeannie,” Rorke had roles in many films such as “Pillow Talk,” “Rope of Sand,” “An American in Paris,” and many more.
Rorke reprised his well-known role as Dr. Bellows in the 1985 “I Dream of Jeannie” TV movie. That would also be his final role. Sadly, William (Hayden) Rorke died in 1987 after a long battle with cancer. He was 76.
The Lion Whisperer
The lion that was on the “I Dream of Jeannie” set was VERY real. Yes, they had a REAL LIFE lion on their TV set. Thankfully Barbara Eden was dubbed the ‘lion whisperer’ since she was so good with the animal.
Hagman, on the other hand, was not so good with the lion. It was said that on set, Eden would tell Hagman to let the lion smell him and be very still before trying to interact with it. Hagman didn’t want to oblige to her rules and was said to have screamed: “I’m not making friends with any [bleeping] lion!”.
Black And White
The first season of “I Dream of Jeannie” was in black and white and had no theme song! The producers could never all decide on a theme song, so for the entire first season, they just did not have one! The producers also originally wanted season one to be in color, but the network did not think it was going to last for a second season, so they did not shell out for the expense!
When it was time for the second season to come out, the creators also debuted the show’s theme song for the first time! This was also the first time the show was shown in color! So many firsts took place during this iconic second season!
The Episode That Disappointed The Fans
The infamous wedding episode of “I Dream of Jeannie” was hated by not only the actors but also fans of the show. Everyone saw the wedding to be so far fetched and insincere, and the show was actually canceled pretty soon after this episode was shown!
Despite the hatred for this episode, NBC was trying to really hype it up. They even staged a fake wedding for Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman a week before the episode was going to air. NBC invited writers and press from all over the US to come to the wedding. Such an elaborate publicity stunt!
Eden Knows Her Stuff
It was very well known that the cast all hated the wedding episode. Eden was particularly against the wedding happening between her character and Tony. She went on to say that the marriage did not make sense since she was not even human. She was worried this would tarnish the show's credibility. She also believed that it would ruin the sexual tension that the show was always so focused on.
It was like she used her powers to predict the future, because, everyone hated the episode, even the fans! Sadly the show was canceled shortly after the episode aired.
Everything Looks Better In Color
By the time the first season of “I Dream of Jeannie” finished, all of the other networks had already made their way into transitioning their shows for color television. It was time for the show to debut in color. This happened with the start of their second season.
They also finally decided on a theme song at the beginning of the second season. The theme song and the fact that the show was in color was not the only new thing starting with season 2. They were also debuting a new introduction for the show which was an animation created by Friz Freleng who was famous for his cartooning on Looney Tunes.
Behind Closed Doors?
Due to the extremely strict censorship rules on television during this time, Jeannie had to be seen leaving the bedroom any time she entered the bedroom with Tony during the series. Yes, even if she was going to be leaving in smoke!
During the time “I Dream of Jeannie” was airing on television, most television shows would show two twin beds in the bedroom of any couples, even if they were married! It was very common for married couples never to be shown as sharing a bed in those times! Just another scandalous aspect of “I Dream of Jeannie!”
The Other Jeannie?
Did you know that Barbara Eden also played the role of Jeannie’s evil sister on the series? Somehow, most fans do not seem to know this despite the only change being her darker hair color! People would constantly write to her asking which actress played her sister on the show!
As if it wasn't confusing enough, the evil sister on the show who was also named Jeannie. In today's times, actors constantly play multiple roles in shows and movies. This is pretty common knowledge, but we guess it was not a popular back then making it a real mystery for fans of the show!
Cool As A Cucumber
We mentioned that Barbara Eden was quite the lion whisperer on set when they had the real lion with them. A funny little tidbit that happened during filming the episode was that at some point during the shoot, the lion made a huge roar. This Roar was so scary and so loud that every single person on set ran away.
Everyone was scared. That is, except Barbara. Everyone ran away thinking they were about to get eaten by a lion, but Barbara did not seem affected whatsoever. She just went up to the lion gave him a pet and talked to him softly. She was able to calm him down, and then they started filming again.
Not Ideal Conditions
Actors often times have to film in less-than-ideal circumstances. This was definitely the case for the first episode of “I Dream of Jeannie.” They filmed the first episode in Malibu, California In the dead of winter. The location was actually Zuma Beach, but It was supposed to be a deserted island somewhere warm tropical, definitely not California in winter!
You definitely would not be able to tell by watching the episode, but it was absolutely freezing on set. Eden admitted that she was freezing the whole time they were shooting, but it still remains her favorite episode!
What Actors Thought About Thier Characters
It is always interesting to hear what actors have to say about the characters they portray. Barbara has said that she always thought Jeannie was more of a tomboy, even though by looking at her you would not think so. Larry had said that Tony was a square who kept putting his career first before a beautiful girl who was putting moves on him.
Barbara and Larry’s opinions on their characters definitely explain the reason why they did not get married on the show for so long. That being said, both Barbara and Larry did not agree with the choice of their characters getting married and didn’t think it should have happened.
Jeannie was widely famous for her scandalous costumes on the show “I Dream of Jeannie.” Eden was always destroying her awesome costumes. Not on purpose of course! She just happened to be a very physical actress. She was always getting her heels caught in her costumes which led to them ripping. Anytime a costume was ripped, of course, it had to be replaced immediately.
The costume designers absolutely had their hands full with work on her constantly changing costumes. Because so many got ruined, unfortunately when the show was canceled they barely had any left as mementos of the show.
Historic TV Prop
Barbara Eden, of course, got to keep the famous original bottle that was used as a prop on “I Dream of Jeannie.” It was of course where she lived, so it seemed only fair that she got to keep it! She kept this precious memento in her bank vault for many years.
Jeannie’s bottle was widely known as one of the most popular props in all of television history, so it was no surprise that Barbara ended up donating it. She gave the bottle to the Smithsonian Institution which is in Washington, D.C. It remains there and remains ever so popular!
Old Jim Beam Bottle
Everyone knows Jeannie's famous bottle. It is where Jeannie lived in the show, and it was one of the most popular props of all time. But you will be blown away to find out what it really it!
The bottle was actually just an old Jim Beam bottle! This 1964 bottle of liquor was transformed into a world-famous TV prop! The prop department still spent a few hundred dollars to get the bottle decorated and painted perfectly, but it was still just that. Since they spent so much money on the bottle, it was known around set to be VERY careful with it, since they did not want to have to replace that!
No Belly Button Allowed
You know about the censorship regarding the bedroom rules in “I Dream of Jeannie,” but did you know there were even more rules that the network had to abide by? They also had censorship rules regarding the costumes. Specifically, Jeannie's costumes.
They were not allowed to expose Jeannie’s belly button at all during the show! The censors were very specific about their rules regarding her belly button, and it was not allowed to be seen in her costumes. The sexy costumes she wore did not pose a problem as long as her belly button was not exposed in any way.
Their Set Was Destroyed
When a television series is canceled or ends, you may wonder what happens to the set and all of the props that they used for the show. Back in the day during the filming of “I Dream of Jeannie” it was pretty common for studios just to burn down the set.
Once the network canceled “I Dream Of Jeannie,” they had to decide what to do with the set and the props. The producers of the show knew that it was going to be very expensive to store everything if that was what they wanted to do. They decided to burn down the set, to avoid the cost of storing all of the props. The cast and crew got to take whatever they wanted from the set before they burned it to the ground.
Jeannie The Cartoon
Once “I Dream of Jeannie” was canceled, the network had to replace the show. They replaced it with a Hanna-Barbera cartoon called “Jeannie” which was, of course, very loosely based on the show “I Dream of Jeannie.”
The cartoon aired on television for over two years. The plot of the cartoon was quite different than that of the show. In the cartoon, a teenager who was a surfer finds Jeannie’s bottle. Jeannie begins to protect the teenager from people at the high school he went to. The cartoon was filled with a star-studded cast of voice actors such as Mark Hamill, Julie McWhirter, and Bob Hastings.
Inspired By An Old Film
Did you know that the series “I Dream of Jeannie” was actually inspired by a movie? Sidney Sheldon was a producer of the show and wanted to base a television series off of a movie he loved called “The Brass Bottle.” The movie actually featured Barbara Eden!
Many people thought that “I Dream of Jeannie” was just a copycat of the widely successful show “Bewitched” but clearly that is not the case. This little-known fact proves that it was not at all a ripoff of that “Bewitched” after all! Sidney just really liked the idea of a show featuring a beautiful female Genie in a Bottle, and he brought it to life.
“The Monkees” Appearance
Just as though “The Beatles” had “A Hard Day’s Night,” “The Monkees” also had their own show. Their show was also on the same network as “I Dream of Jeannie” and they loved to take advantage of that.
They capitalized on this opportunity by constantly making references to “I Dream of Jeannie” and using prop references as well. They went so far as to find a genie lamp in one of their episodes, then make a joke when they find it and say “Imagine that —wrong show!” You can also see some Monkees albums shown in one episode of “I Dream of Jeannie.”
The Last Of Its Kind
Did you know that “I Dream Of Jeannie” was actually the last TV shows to be aired in black and white? It had its entire first season in black and white before moving to color. It was rumored that the smoke they used for Jeannie’s magic was only able to be pulled off in black and white. They did not think it would translate in color. The special effects were fixed, and then they changed to color for the second season in 1966.
There was also a rumor that NBC did not think the show would last, so they did not want to spend the $400 an episode that it would take to make it in color.
The show “I Dream of Jeannie” took place in the area known as Cape Kennedy, Florida. During the show, they even say that Tony’s address is 1020 Palm Drive which is an address in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
You will notice, however, that Roger Healey’s office is actually that of the Dryden Flight Research Center which is located in Los Angeles California at the Edwards Air Force Base. Also, you can spot the Hollywood Hills in the background of several episodes that were supposed to be Cocoa Beach! Also, the deserted island in episode one is actually a beach in Malibu!
Florida Shows Love To Jeannie
While the show may have been filmed in California, the mayor of Cocoa Beach Florida, where the show was said to take place, was sure a big fan of Jeannie! In 1996, Barbara went to speak at Space Days at the Kennedy Space Center 27 years after the series ended.
During this event, Joe Morgan, the mayor of Cocoa Beach Florida, gave Barbara a street sign that said: “I Dream of Jeannie Lane.” The sign was more than just a sweet gesture. The street sign was actually put up on a road off of Florida State A1A. It is a real place!
Jeannie’s Bottle Got A Makeover
A lot changed with the coming of the second season of “I Dream of Jeannie.” The show went from black and white to full color. They also added a theme song and an intro animation!
Jeannie’s bottle also underwent a change during this transition. They changed the bottle to a different color now that the show was in color. The original bottle was green in color and had gold leaves painted on it so that it would look antique. They also reference the green color during the first season. Once the show transitioned to color, the bottle was painted purple. Most people did not realize since they never actually saw the green bottle.
Re-Runs Break TV Records
After airing reruns on the WPIX network, “I Dream of Jeannie” came in at number one during its time slot! The show seemed to have started to gain popularity after it had originally aired. The show was not an instant success. It was never #1 rated when it got its start and it somehow never hit the number one spot with the television ratings.
The entire time it was playing in reruns, “I Dream of Jeannie” continued to be one of the most popular television shows. Networks began to play episodes back to back and in prime time slots. It even became the very first off-network show to surpass network competition. What an amazing feat for this little show!
Set in sunny Florida, “I Dream of Jeannie” was set in Cocoa Beach and Tony was supposed to be an astronaut from NASA. The show had all the astronauts working in Florida which they made work for the series, but it was not actually based on truth. At the time, NASA had moved their astronauts from Florida to Texas. So if Tony really did work at NASA, he would have been in Houston with the rest of them, training at the Manned Spacecraft Center.
Luckily, factual inaccuracies were typically overlooked since it was just a fictional TV show, and not supposed to be based on any sort of reality.
'Jeannie' Referenced In Charmed
Years after the series finale of “I Dream of Jeannie,” it continues to be an extremely popular television show. Another TV series that focused on the supernatural, “Charmed” even had an episode entitled “I Dream of Phoebe” where the character of Phoebe turned into a genie! She wore a similar costume to that of Jeannie’s, but it was blue instead of pink.
Check out this episode of “Charmed” to see the reference for yourself! It can be found during season 6 in episode 15! It is clear that “I Dream of Jeannie” is still relevant to fans and viewers even though so much time has passed!
“Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”
You may think that “I Dream of Jeannie” is a clever little play on words. However, that is not entirely the case! “I Dream of Jeannie” is actually part of a lyric from a song written in the 1800s. The song is called, “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” and it was by Stephen Foster.
While many people said that “I Dream of Jeannie” was just a copy of “Bewitched” They could not be farther from the truth. The show is actually based off pre-existing movies and songs. The line in the song that inspired the show “I Dream of Jeannie” was, “I Dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair.”
Jeannie Makes Guests Appearances
There were “I Dream of Jeannie” references in so many other TV shows and movies spanning a wide variety of time. One of these can be seen in the “A Very Brady Sequel” Brady Bunch TV special!
Barbara Eden appeared in the made for TV movie as Jeannie herself. She came as a guest to Mike and Carol’s wedding, where she introduced herself to everyone as Mike’s wife! Fans were totally shocked by this cameo! This was a funny cameo since the actress who played Marcia on The Brady Bunch also had a small bit part in one episode of “I Dream of Jeannie.”
No One Fact Checking
These days when you are watching your favorite television show you may catch small errors here and there, whether it be continuity errors or editing mistakes. But there are people specifically on set to make sure that these errors do not happen often.
Back in the day when shows like “I Dream of Jeannie” took place, these kind of errors were not really a big deal and there was no one making sure that they did not happen because paying an editor meant more money spent! One little error heard in the series was in the episode where Tony goes to Italy. He says that Jeannie would know Italy as Gaul - but that was actually the Roman name for France, not Italy.
When The Old Crew Reunited
Fans of “I Dream of Jeannie” were in for a major treat when the leading couple came back together during the filming of “Dallas.” Larry was a regular on this show, playing the character of J.R. Ewing. Barbara Eden came on the show for a five-episode stint as the role of Lee Ann De La Vega.
In Edens last episode of her 5 episode stretch, her character says that her maiden name is Nelson. This funny moment was actually a little joke about the widely hated marriage episode of “I Dream Of Jeannie” which of course, both Barbara and Larry hated as well.
Top 30 Show
The show “I Dream of Jeannie” only gained top 30 status after it had been canceled and was being shown in re-runs. However, with that being said, the series only hit the top 30 two times during its initial run. It hit number 26 one time, and that was the highest it would ever get. For the remainder of the run, it never even grazed the top 30.
You would think that when a show did not get good ratings at first, it would not do well in syndication, but that was certainly not the case whatsoever with “I Dream of Jeannie.”
No Blondes, Please
It is almost impossible to imagine Jeannie as a brunette. But while they were casting the role, the producers were looking to hire an actress who did not have blond hair for the leading role. They were already getting so much slack with people saying they were ripping off Bewitched. They did not want to have another blond lead. Her beautiful blonde hair almost prevented her from getting cast in this iconic role.
However, the casting directors had multiple rounds of auditions and no one suited the role better than Barbara. They decided to go against their initial idea and cast a blond anyway.
Barbara Eden- Our Favorite Genie
Barbara Eden was adored by her fans and also loved by the television critics! She got two Golden Globe nominations for her role as comedic legend Jeannie on “I Dream of Jeannie.”
It was easy to see that Barbara Eden is drop-dead gorgeous. It was said that the sexual tension she had with the character of Tony was something that really drove the show to success and was the cause of a lot of comedy in the writing. That is probably why when the writer decided to marry Jeannie and Tony, it was really the beginning of the end for the show, which ultimately led to its cancellation.
Barbara Eden In Harper Valley
When “I Dream of Jeannie” was canceled, everyone was, of course, upset; however, Barbara knew that was not the end of her career. She also had a feeling it would not be the end of her time as Jeannie - and she was right! She got to reprise her role two times in the made-for-tv movies which aired in 1985 and 1991!
Barbara also had a role on the TV series “Harper Valley.” She got to star once again alongside Larry Hagman in 1990 on five episodes of the series “Dallas.” She also got to go on a promo tour with Larry when the DVD of the series came out!
‘The Mad Monk Of Malibu’
Larry was known for having some drinking problems which led to some erratic behavior. His behavior was sometimes so wild that he was known as the “Mad Monk of Malibu.” One crazy story that stands out is that Larry rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to go grocery shopping- as if that wasn’t crazy enough he also did it while wearing a chicken costume.
Fame seemed to be getting to his head, so he took a brief hiatus from entertainment. He made his comeback with a role on the series “Dallas.” It was said that he was a little calmer at that point.
Jeannie’s Origin Story
Did you know the original backstory for Jeannie? Apparently, she was not always a genie! It was said that she was actually a mortal and when she would not marry Blue Djinn he banished her to live in a bottle as a genie.
The producers must not have liked that original claim, as they went on to change the story a few years later. They then stated that Jeannie was always a genie, and so was all of her family! Later when she refused to marry Blue Djinn - he banished her to the bottle. Which story do you think is more fitting?
"Jeannie's" Real Husband
In real life, Barbara Eden was married to actor Michael Ansara. He had a role on I Dream of Jeannie, as The Blue Djinn. In the storyline, it is stated that Genie is banished to the bottle when she refuses to marry the Blue Djinn. That must have made for some interesting moments on set!
The show had so many bit players and guest stars come on the show. They only had a handful of regulars, so most of the cast came in and out during the five-year-long run. It is fun to watch the series again knowing that Barbara was actually married to the actor playing the Blue Djinn!
Larry Hagman’s First Success
If you’re a fan of Larry Hagman, then you know that he got his first taste of fame on Broadway. After he made it on Broadway, he had a couple of minor TV roles before landing the starring role on “I Dream of Jeannie.”
He had stated that his theater training really paid off on his success both with “I Dream of Jeannie” and his other television shows. Acting was in Larry’s blood. His mom was also a Broadway actor. She had great success starring on Broadway in shows such as “South Pacific,” “Peter Pan,” and even “The Sound of Music.”
Almost No Other Women On Set
If you Remember we mentioned that the Producers really did not want to hire a blond for the role of Jeannie; however, Eden got it anyway due to her incredible auditions. The producers and creators really put a high value on her character, and this was seen in the fact that there were not many other female roles cast on the show.
Barbara Eden didn’t have much female competition throughout the show’s five seasons. Emmaline Henry appeared in a recurring role as Amanda Bellows, otherwise, the list of female roles was reserved mostly for bit parts on the show. Given that Eden wasn’t even supposed to have the role because she is a blonde, shows just how much value they put in keeping the focus on her character.
Barton MacLane's Sudden Death
There were not many recurring characters on the show aside from the two stars. So when one actor disappeared quite suddenly, it did not go unnoticed. The actor Barton MacLane was one of the other semi-regulars on the series (aside from the lead roles). Barton MacLane came down with a severe case of pneumonia and then suddenly passed away in 1969 during filming. Because of this sudden death, they were not able to really right any resolution into the show, and they just had to keep going.
He was known as a fantastic character actor with many TV and film credits under his belt before his untimely death.
Same Actor, Different Shows
You may know the actor Paul Lynde for his role as the crazy Uncle Arthur on the series “Bewitched.” But did you know, Paul also made three separate appearances on the show “I Dream of Jeannie?” There were not many recurring roles on the show aside from Tony and Jeannie, so Paul came on the show 3 different times in three different bit parts.
His first role was Harry Huggins, he then appeared in the show as a director from Hollywood and then finally as a tough, physical fitness teacher who makes fools out of Tony Nelson and Healy during an exhausting fitness class!
The Show’s Creator!
“I Dream of Jeannie’s” creator was a talented writer named Sidney Sheldon. Sidney knew exactly what the secret sauce was to make hit TV shows(and more)! Over the course of 3 decades, he created not one, but MULTIPLE hit TV shows!
Aside from his success with “I Dream of Jeannie,” he was also the man behind “The Patty Duke Show” which was on TV from 1963-1966 and the show “Hart to Hart” which also ran for six years! Additionally, he also wrote multiple top-selling novels such as “The Other Side of Midnight” and “Rage of Angels.” Sidney died in 2007, but he left a legacy that is absolutely unbelievable and will last forever!
Eden's Real Tragedy
It was well known that Barbara Eden was married to actor Michael Ansara. He even appeared in a role on “I Dream of Jeannie” as the Blue Djinn. They were married from 1958 to 1974. They had one child, a son called Matthew.
Sadly in 2001, their son Matthew died from a drug overdose. They did not make any of the details public regarding the death, and they kept out of the public eye during this time. They did announce the tragic passing of their son to the public, but that was the extent of them sharing that information. They preferred to keep this part of their life private.
Jeannie’s Magical Gestures
When you think of the show “I Dream of Jeannie” obviously Jeannie is the first thing that comes to mind! You probably remember the most iconic move in TV history, too. That would be how the character Jeannie used her magical powers. You will probably remember this move as her nodding her head and blinking one time.
This was not always the case though, originally the gesture was a bit different. Jeannie would make a series of eye flutters while also folding her arms. Slightly different but still a major change! We can definitely say that the series would not have been the same if this gesture was changed.
Playing For Two Teams
Did you know that Jeannie had an evil twin sister on the show? Her name, strangely enough, was also Jeannie! This sister character was created by a former “Bewitched” writer named James S. Henerson.
James was swiftly fired from the “Bewitched” writing team after someone, probably because another writer or producer discovered that he was writing for the two shows simultaneously. This was bad news since “I Dream of Jeannie” was often said to be a rip off of “Bewitched!” They did not want to have any similarities between the two shows, so he was fired right away!
The Nelson Home
Believe it or not, the cozy little home used as the Nelson Residence on “I Dream of Jeannie” is still standing today! Unfortunately, it is not used for filming any TV shows or movies. But it remains in use for other purposes on the Warner Brothers Ranch in California.
The iconic home that was used as Jeannie and Tony’s home is now used as the Operations office on the Ranch. While there have been a couple of minor changes to the exterior, the structure, for the most part, has been unchanged for 50 years! Thank goodness, since they ended up burning most of the set and props when they finished filming.
While the show “I Dream of Jeannie” was so far fetched, the show had one aspect that was actually close to real life! Tony Nelson was actually in the Air Force, and Roger Healey served in the Army. In real life the actor Hagman served his country in the US Air Force while Bill Daily spent his years of service in the US Army. He had been an artilleryman in the Korean War.
This real-life experience was so amazing to have while playing their roles. Surely it helped in their character development and the delivery of their lines!
Hagman Discusses His Addictions
It was very well known that Larry was caught many times drinking a lot and being drunk while he was filming. What you may not have heard, however, is that Larry has also stated that he was high on various drugs while he was filming many scenes.
Barbara Eden even shared in her autobiography entitled “Jeannie Out of the Bottle” that Larry said that he never regretted his drinking on set and his drug use while filming. He did, however, worry about how these things were impacting his health and wanted to keep himself healthy.
Not So Factual
Like we said earlier about editing mishaps and continuity errors, another funny one can be seen in an episode where Tony is changing his rank from Captain to Major. In this episode, he is seen wearing the wrong rank!
On his uniform, he has these little silver clusters - which are meant for a Lieutenant Colonel. During season 2 though, his clusters changed color to gold which is actually for the rank of Major. This error may seem small, but it is actually surprising since Larry really did serve off-screen, so he should have caught that little error, and we are surprised that he did not!
NBC premiered the reunion film “I Dream Of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later” Fifteen years after the famous series had ended. It was the first of not one, but two reunion films made that were based on the show “I Dream of Jeannie.”
In 1991, six years later “I Still Dream Of Jeannie” was released as the second reunion film. These reunion made for TV movies showcased the life of the magical wife and her marriage to Tony Nelson, as well as their son. Barbara Eden was thrilled to put on her crop top once again and reunite with the character she was so famous for!
15 Years Later
The made-for-TV comedy, ”I Dream Of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later” premiered on television in the year 1985. Barbara Eden, of course, returned to play the role of Jeannie. Bill Daly also came back to reprise his role as Tony’s friend Roger Healy. And lastly, Hayden Rorke returned as Dr. Alfred Bellows.
Actor Wayne Rogers stepped in to portray the character of Tony Nelson since Larry Hagman was filming the CBS series “Dallas” at the time. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be a part of the movie, he just was not able to shift his work schedule to accommodate.
Stuck In Her Bottle
The film “I Dream of Jeannie … Fifteen Years Later” has quite an elaborate plot. The film is centered on Tony Nelson’s promotion at work which cases quite a fight between him and Jeannie. This happens all while the evil Jeannie is busy concocting a plan to ruin her sister’s marriage to Tony.
Tony then becomes indefinitely stuck in space, therefore, trapping Jeannie in her bottle forever since she now has no master. That is until their son figures out how to release her. The two of them then make a deal to save Tony’s life.
The plot of the film “I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later” may seem a bit odd if you have not seen the film. Jeannie and the rest of the cast work tirelessly to stop an incoming meteoroid from hitting the earth. In the film, Jeannie has to leave Tony forever, and sadly it will be like she never existed at all!
Thankfully, she is able to find a loophole and is able to start a “new beginning” with Tony. She has to use her magic powers to lure Tony into a street corner. Sounds a little bit creepy, but overall pretty romantic!
Back To Where It All Began
If you watched the reunion film entitles “I Dream Of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later” you will have noticed a very familiar scene! The creators wanted to bring a little piece of the original to the reunion. The beach scene in the film was actually shot in Malibu at the same spot where the first episode was shot back in 1964.
How fitting that 15 years later, Tony and Jeannie would be reunited at the same location where their love story began. The one difference was that it was with a different actor since Larry was not a part of this film!
“I Still Dream Of Jeannie”
The production team and creators did not stop at just one reunion movie for “I Dream of Jeannie.” They came out with a second film called “I Still Dream Of Jeannie.” For this film, only two original cast members came to reprise their roles. Barbara Eden, of course, as the iconic Jeannie and Bill Daily. The movie came out in 1991 and was filmed in Canada. A far stretch from Malibu!
This film was the 3rd and final piece to the “I Dream of Jeannie” empire. This film never made it to DVD and remained simply a made for TV film.
If Jeannie Was A Single Lady
In the reunion “I Dream of Jeannie” special Tony Nelson seemed to be missing! The producers had to get creative here, and they came up with quite the storyline to explain the absence of Tony who was played by Larry Hagman.
In this special, they wrote in the show that Jeannie’s husband Tony was on a special NASA mission in space, forever! They barely even mention him in this show, and the one time they do, it happens before the opening intro! Now that Jeannie did not have a ‘master’ she had to set out to single bars to find a new mate in order to stay on earth.
The “Friends” Connection
Do you remember John Bennett Perry? He was an actor who played the small role of the owner of a sporting goods store in the “I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later” made for TV movie. His name may not ring a bell, but he is the father of the star of “Friends,” Matthew Perry!
Another wild connection to the show “Friends” is the fountain which is shown in the opening theme song of “Friends.” This famous fountain is actually right across the street from the set of the Nelson home and was seen in many episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.”
Celebrating The Legendary Show
The big 50th-anniversary party for “I Dream of Jeannie” took place 3 years ago on September 18th, 2015. Barbara Eden alongside the network NBC came together to celebrate the Anniversary of “I Dream Of Jeannie.”
Eden shared her feelings about the show, her time on the show and of course what it was like to play the iconic role of Jeannie. Playing such an iconic character for such a long time would, of course, keep you in the spotlight for your entire career, that may bother some people but definitely not Barbara. She embraced the fact that she was infamous for this role.
Barbara Eden had so much pride for her role as Jeannie on “I Dream of Jeannie.” Many television stars would probably be frustrated with the fact that they are recognized for one specific role that they have played. But not Barbara! She has said that she loves being remembered for that role. It is like a little happy reminder every day of her time on such an iconic show.
One would definitely assume that she did love it as much as she said, seeing that she came back to reprise her iconic role in both of the made for TV movies!
The $100,000? Jim Beam Bottle
What would you pay to own the original bottle from “I Dream of Jeannie?” Julien’s Auctions will be auctioning off Jeannie’s bottle for a whopping $100,000! There were multiple bottles used during filming, but this would be the main one.
This is wild considering the prop master used a Jim Beam whiskey bottle and got it painted and decorated to become this famous piece of history! The bottle was about $5, and the paint job cost the crew a couple hundred. If you are the lucky winner of the bottle, you will also receive a letter from Barbara which authenticates the bottle.