I Spy

A History and Episode Guide to the Groundbreaking Television Series


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About the Book

One of the most popular and award-winning television series of the sixties, I Spy was the first weekly broadcast to star both a white and a black actor. In 1964, though, producer Sheldon Leonard had, with heavy risk, financed the show himself, and his idea for a racially incorporated cast had earned his show the moniker “Sheldon’s Folley.” Pairing established white actor Robert Culp with Bill Cosby, a black comedian with barely an acting credit to his name, certainly turned some heads at NBC, and many wondered whether affiliates in the South would ever air the show. Only two years later, Cosby accepted the Emmy for leading actor—and I Spy cemented its role in history.
This is a complete history of I Spy and the profound change it evoked in broadcasting, social ideals and racial equality. Rich with interviews and photographs, it discusses I Spy’s unique approach to race, co-starring interracial actors as equals. It also describes how the show became the template for popular “buddy genre” shows and films that followed, covers the show’s significance as the first series to shoot episodes around the world, and puts I Spy in context with other works within the spy genre at a time when spy books, shows and films exploded in popularity. A complete episode guide includes writers, directors, cast, crew, plot synopsis and commentary.

About the Author(s)

Marc Cushman is a Los Angeles based writer of television and films with TV credits including Diagnosis: Murder, Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Linda J. LaRosa divides her time between New York and California. She is the author of Winter of the Heart which was filmed as an award winning mini-series in Italy and France.

Bibliographic Details

Marc Cushman and Linda J. LaRosa
Foreword by Robert Culp]
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 452
Bibliographic Info: 118 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2750-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword by Robert Culp      1

Prologue      3

1. The History of a Genre      7

2. The Road to Hong Kong      29

3. The First Block of Episodes      48

4. On to Japan      73

5. The Second Block of Episodes      86

6. South of the Border      110

7. The Third Block of Episodes      118

8. Wrapping Season One      143

9. Basking in the Sun      151

10. The Fourth Block of Episodes      160

11. Growth, Genre, Gratitude, and Gondolas      182

12. The Fifth Block of Episodes      192

13. Exposure      224

14. The Sixth Block of Episodes      228

15. Wrapping Season Two      262

16. Tie-Ins      269

17. Morocco to Greece      278

18. The Seventh Block of Episodes      284

19. A Change in Plans      310

20. The Eighth Block of Episodes      315

21. The Grind Continues      334

22. The Ninth Block of Episodes      338

23. Wrapping Season Three      356

24. The Fourth Season      362

25. I Spy Stripped      373

26. The First Reunion      379

27. The Second Reunion      388

28. The Third Reunion      402

29. The Fourth Reunion      415

Chapter Notes      419

Bibliography      425

Index      429

Book Reviews & Awards

“should set a new standard for episode guides….recommend[ed]”—Big Reel; “this book is a great addition that will add to a person’s enjoyment of the show”—The Midwest Book Review; “a welcome addition…meticulously researched…very entertaining…provides a treasure trove of fascinating insights…highly recommend[ed]…outstanding”—Cinema Retro.