I Spy: A History and Episode Guide to the Groundbreaking Television Series

( 5 )

Overview

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. Financing the show himself, producer Sheldon Leonard paired established actor Robert Culp with Bill Cosby, a black comedian with barely an acting credit to his name. When Cosby accepted the Emmy for leading actor, I Spy cemented its role in history.

This complete history, rich with interviews and photographs, discusses I Spy's ...

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Overview

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. Financing the show himself, producer Sheldon Leonard paired established actor Robert Culp with Bill Cosby, a black comedian with barely an acting credit to his name. When Cosby accepted the Emmy for leading actor, I Spy cemented its role in history.

This complete history, rich with interviews and photographs, discusses I Spy's unique approach to race and the profound changes it brought to television. It describes how the show created the "buddy picture," covers the show's significance as the first series to shoot episodes around the world, and puts I Spy in the context of a time when spy books, shows and films exploded in popularity. A complete episode guide includes writers, directors, cast, crew, plot synopses and commentary.

About the Author:
Marc Cushman is a Los Angeles based writer of television and films with TV credits

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786427505
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/25/2007
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 820,373
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Foreword   Robert Culp     1
Prologue     3
The History of a Genre     7
The Road to Hong Kong     29
The First Block of Episodes     48
On to Japan     73
The Second Block of Episodes     86
South of the Border     110
The Third Block of Episodes     118
Wrapping Season One     143
Basking in the Sun     151
The Fourth Block of Episodes     160
Growth, Genre, Gratitude, and Gondolas     182
The Fifth Block of Episodes     192
Exposure     224
The Sixth Block of Episodes     228
Wrapping Season Two     262
Tie-Ins     269
Morocco to Greece     278
The Seventh Block of Episodes     284
A Change in Plans     310
The Eighth Block of Episodes     315
The Grind Continues     334
The Ninth Block of Episodes     338
Wrapping Season Three     356
The Fourth Season     362
I Spy Stripped     373
The First Reunion     379
The Second Reunion     388
The Third Reunion     402
The Fourth Reunion     415
Chapter Notes     419
Bibliography     425
Index     429
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What truffles are to regular chocolate is what I Spy by Marc Cus

    What truffles are to regular chocolate is what I Spy by Marc Cushman and Linda LaRosa is to any other
    book covering this remarkable series. (Not to mention being so rich and flavorful it has to be enjoyed in
    very small bites.)

    Chapter One does open a bit slowly, with so many references to other novels, movies, and shows that I
    almost had to check the cover to remember what I was reading about. I was also Jarred by the Editorial
    Choice to Capitalize the Racial terms Black and White. While this may have been a common style in the
    1960's, when I Spy was being broadcast, it doesn't match the modern vocabulary and writing style of the book.

    However, reading on, the material redeems those small faults. You get everything here - the backstory
    to the development of the show; tasty tidbits about the writers, directors, actors, and producers; and a
    frame of what else was happening in television at the time. The episode guides are wonderful, and offer
    honest criticism of the weaker episodes as well as praise for the stronger ones.

    If you were or are an I Spy fan, you'll probably want to sleep with this book under your pillow. If you're not
    an I Spy fan, you will be after you read this book. Buy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Video Interview About the I Spy Book Available

    Please visit Writing in Flow on Blogspot for a review of this book, and video interview with author Marc Cushman.

    Though the show was a little before my time, the precedents it set, the ground it broke, and its impact on American culture and civil rights was immense. I encourage you to buy a copy and find out for yourself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    For Fans, must have

    simply a must, both authors have been there and tell us exactly what was going on during the filming of each episode of this iconic TV series. filmed in the sixties for a mere three years, this show is on everyone's watchlist when they come across it on tv, and rightly so. This Book details, and i mean details what went on behind the scenes of a groundbreaking series in American Television. I-Spy was always solid TV and if you saw it, most likely you liked it, no matter how old you are. It was obviously filmed in the sixties and anyone with a brain will know almost immediately that the show must have at THE VERY LEAST raised an eyebrow or two with the casting and starring of a Black male in a co-starring role. Obviously Bill Cosby was immensely likeable, and in such was the PERFECT black actor to cast as the role of a field agent for American Intelligence partnered with a White actor of some note, Robert Culp, erstwhile of Trackdown. The comic had a certain way about him that inspired surrounders to immitate and emulate the man, to the inth degree. Culp was no different and the rest is TV history. The book chronicles all this with a detailed explanation of each episode, reviews and backstory included, even some correspondence from the time. Brilliant

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Savor It Slowly

    What truffles are to regular chocolate is what I Spy by Marc Cushman and Linda LaRosa is to any other book covering this remarkable series. (Not to mention being so rich and flavorful it has to be enjoyed in very small bites.) Chapter One does open a bit slowly, with so many references to other novels, movies, and shows that I almost had to check the cover to remember what I was reading about. I was also Jarred by the Editorial Choice to Capitalize the Racial terms Black and White. While this may have been a common style in the 1960's, when I Spy was being broadcast, it doesn't match the modern vocabulary and writing style of the book. However, reading on, the material redeems those small faults. You get everything here - the backstory to the development of the show, tasty tidbits about the writers, directors, actors, and producers, and a frame of what else was happening in television at the time. The episode guides are wonderful, and offer honest criticism of the weaker episodes as well as praise for the stronger ones. If you were or are an I Spy fan, you'll probably want to sleep with this book under your pillow. If you're not an I Spy fan, you will be after you read this book. Buy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    The 'Wonderfulness of the 'I SPY' Book

    What a terrific book!!! More than worth the 40 year wait for any fan of 'I SPY,' Robert Culp and Bill Cosby and TV nostalgia. This comprehensive and extremely well researched book covers all aspects of the series - and the careers of both Culp and Cosby. The book includes extensive interviews with Robert Culp and many of the writers, plus the families of the producers, the man behind the music - Earle Hagen, the production staff, guest stars, and, of course, Bill Cosby, too. The book is beautifully written, filled with stories and anecdotes to delight every fan - capturing the humor, drama, and adventure of the series that made it such a standout. The book thoroughly covers the 'behind-the-scenes' stories of Sheldon Leonard's daring experiment filming a TV series in exotic locations around the world and the problems that entailed. Stories about all aspects of production, location, the actors, and in-depth episode reviews are included. There is also an intriguing ' Story Behind the Story' highlighted for each episode, filled with fascinating information few have ever heard until now, including the re-writes done by Culp and Cosby. Fascinating and often funny stories about the censors, and delightful 'Mail Bag' letters sent in by fans, make for entertaining reading. The book sets 'I SPY' in the context of the times it was first aired. Race relations, Cosby's and Culp's relationship, and 'the wonderfulness' of their friendship and camaraderie are examined, along with magazine articles giving a flavor of the times. The show is discussed with a historical and sociological perspective, including the impact and import of having the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show. 'I SPY' is also discussed as the forerunner for 'the buddy genre' with two equal partners fighting the bad guys to save the world. This book is 'extremely' well-written and researched - and the many stories and extensive photographs will definitely delight everyone who opens the pages of this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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