Released to coincide with similar fantasy shows like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie became a pop-culture classic in its own right. Indeed, the sitcom pushed boundaries when it debuted in 1965 and went on to have a successful five-season run. Half a century later, though, we reveal 20 surprising secrets about the show that its producers didn’t want you to know.
20. A fantasy movie inspired the show
Many critics have noted similarities between I Dream of Jeannie and ABC’s Bewitched, but Jeannie was nevertheless actually inspired by a 1964 movie. Following the series’ success, in fact, show runner Sidney Sheldon admitted that he had instead borrowed heavily from Tony Randall’s genie comedy The Brass Bottle. That film, moreover, even featured Barbara Eden in an early role.
19. Barbara Eden nearly lost her role
Though it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Barbara Eden filling Jeannie’s iconic costume, Sidney Sheldon had reservations about hiring her. Specifically, he didn’t want to cast anyone with blonde hair – to avoid similarities with Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery. Nonetheless, no other actress was as good as Eden, and she soon got the part.