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January 1966

In the first moves toward putting the 1966-67 schedule together,

Chrysler tells NBC it would like to have The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for its Wednesday night 9 to 10 timeslot, where U.N.C.L.E. would alternate with Chrysler Theatre and Chrysler’s Bob Hope comedy specials instead of appearing weekly. NBC would rather not move U.N.C.L.E. again and wants Chevrolet, the show’s original sponsor in the fall of 1964, to take

full sponsorship of U.N.C.L.E. next season in its current Friday slot.

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1966

NBC announces Felton and Arena Productions have signed to

produce exclusively for the network following Felton’s departure

from MGM Television directorship in June.

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1966

“Where the Spies Are,” starring David Niven as amateur spy Dr. Jason Love, opens. Supporting cast of this MGM British production includes Noel Harrison. Studio originally titled this picture “One Spy Too Many,” then decided to use that title on the third U.N.C.L.E. movie instead. This movie is based on a novel with a much better title, Passport to Oblivion.

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 1966

Vaughn and McCallum make cameo appearances, apparently as Solo and Kuryakin, in “Say Uncle” episode of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies — but Vaughn does not share a scene with Daisies star Patricia Crowley, his leading lady in the Solo pilot.

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 1966

Daktari, MGM-TV mid-season series based on the studio’s 1965 picture “Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion,” premieres on CBS.

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1966

Double feature of U.N.C.L.E. pictures “The Spy With My Face” and “To Trap a Spy” opens in America. Created by adding sex-and-violence footage to TV episodes, originally for release only as overseas features. White-hot spy craze and raging popularity of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. series persuades MGM to release films in U.S. even though TV episodes were repeated on NBC less than a year earlier.

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1966

Batman, the first TV series that’s stupid on purpose (see November 1964 “Notes on Camp” entry), premieres on ABC at 7:30, uniquely scheduled to air Wednesday and Thursday nights, with Wednesday cliffhanger resolved the following evening. Series is an instant sensation, igniting the mid-60s comic strip/high camp and trivia/nostalgia craze that’s been smoldering for several years and that parallels the spy craze. The obvious fact that viewers will quickly tire of the novelty presented by obtusely square heroes in campy comic adventures is tragically lost on shortsighted producers and network programmers. The onerous effects of Batman will be seen throughout the coming TV season — and especially in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1966

After canceling Amos Burke, Secret Agent, ABC schedules three mid-season spy entries. The first, Blue Light, premieres tonight at 8:30. Robert Goulet stars as David March — publicly an American news correspondent and infamous traitor gone over to the Nazis — secretly the last living member of an Allied spy ring code-named Blue Light, operating in occupied Europe during World War II.

Thursday, Jan. 13, 1966

The Double Life of Henry Phyfe, comedy starring Red Buttons as a meek accountant recruited by U.S. Intelligence to impersonate his exact double, a recently deceased enemy agent, premieres on ABC at 8:30. Fred Clark co-stars as Phyfe’s spy chief, Gerald Hannahan.

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1966

“The Big T.N.T. Show,” movie presenting pop music stars in performances introduced by David McCallum, is released. Acts include Roger Miller, Petula Clark, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Joan Baez, the Rolling Stones, the Byrds and the Lovin’ Spoonful. Filmed at a Hollywood concert on Nov. 29, 1965.

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1966

David McCallum and the Baja Marimba Band are guests on “The Roger Miller Special,” half-hour program following NBC’s annual “Bob Hope Christmas Special.”

Thursday, Jan. 20, 1966

The Baron, starring Steve Forrest as John Mannering, a.k.a. “The Baron,” an American antiques dealer based in London who frequently finds himself caught up in international intrigue, premieres on ABC. Sue Lloyd often appears as Cordelia Winfield, a British secret agent who also acts as Mannering’s assistant, and Colin Gordon appears less regularly as British Intelligence chief John Templeton-Green.

Friday, Jan. 21, 1966

Felton writes NBC’s Grant Tinker proposing to add a 17-year-old boy who is an on-the-job U.N.C.L.E. trainee as a running character in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

Saturday, Jan. 22, 1966

“One Spy Too Many,” the third U.N.C.L.E. feature, opens in London. Film’s world premiere at the Empire Theatre sets an opening-day house record. Created from “The Alexander the Greater Affair,” seen Sept. 17 and 24, 1965, on NBC.

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 1966

Robert Vaughn and Michel Legrand are guests on The Danny Kaye Show.

Monday, Jan. 31, 1966

The 23rd annual Golden Globe Awards are presented live on The Andy Williams Show. Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association choose The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as “most popular television show” over Get Smart, I Spy, “Frank Sinatra, A Man and His Music” and “My Name Is Barbra” (as in Streisand).

February 1966

Leo Margulies Corp. publishes first issue of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, monthly digest-size pulp magazine featuring original U.N.C.L.E. novels and other mystery-adventure stories.

February 1966

CBS buys MGM-Arena’s Jericho series for 1966-67, the first Arena series not on NBC.

Saturday, Feb. 5, 1966

A reported 15,000 teenage girls invade Macy’s department store in New York to see David McCallum in person, autographing his new record album, “Music — A Part of Me.” Store executives, alarmed by the size of the adolescent mob, cancel McCallum’s scheduled 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. appearance, after which “girls fainted and wept; stock clerks and store executives joined Macy’s police in keeping the crowd under control; 20 policemen from the nearby 14th precinct rushed to the store,” according to The New York Times. At least five girls become so hysterical they’re taken to the Macy’s dispensary. McCallum, Capitol Records execs and Macy’s officers take refuge in the executive dining room, where McCallum tells reporters, “I’m a little shaky. They looked like they would tear the place apart.” A Macy’s executive remarks, “I haven’t seen anything like this in 25 years. We did have Shirley Temple once — that was an exciting one.” A dejected 13-year-old from Long Island tells the Times, “I’m going to Gimbel’s from now on.”

Friday, Feb. 11, 1966

Randy Kirby is signed to a 7-out-of-13 deal to play Felton’s after-school trainee character on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

Sunday, Feb. 13, 1966

U.N.C.L.E.’s four first-season composers — Jerry Goldsmith, Mort Stevens, Walter Scharf and Lalo Schifrin — receive 1965 Grammy nominations for “best original score written for a motion picture or television show” for their music in the U.N.C.L.E. soundtrack album recorded by Hugo Montenegro.

Friday, Feb. 18, 1966

David McCallum and George Burns are Carol Channing’s guests on her CBS special, “An Evening with Carol Channing.” Channing fan Lyndon Johnson invites Channing, Burns and McCallum to watch the broadcast with him and Lady Bird at the White House.

Monday, Feb. 21, 1966 / circa

NBC confirms a contingent order for The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. series for 1966-67, on condition that Mary Ann Mobley is replaced by Stefanie Powers or another actress the network approves, and that Norman Fell is replaced.

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1966

NBC confirms orders for both Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Girl From U.N.C.L.E. for 1966-67.

Friday, Feb. 25, 1966

Tonight’s episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., “The Moonglow Affair,” is the pilot for spin-off series The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. Mary Ann Mobley stars as rookie agent April Dancer and Norman Fell plays aging U.N.C.L.E. veteran Mark Slate, thrown together to complete a vital assignment after Solo and Kuryakin are nearly killed by a Thrush radiation projector.

Monday, Feb. 28, 1966

NBC announces The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will move to a new time period in the fall, Fridays at 8:30.

March 1966

Doug Benton, who produced Arena’s Dr. Kildare in its fifth and final season, is named producer of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

Thursday, March 3, 1966

NBC notes Robert Vaughn was voted most popular actor of the year in Photoplay magazine.

Monday, March 7, 1966

NBC releases locked-in fall schedule moving Man From U.N.C.L.E. to 8:30 Fridays and scheduling Girl From U.N.C.L.E. Tuesdays at 7:30. Press release and news stories state Stephanie [sic] Powers will be the star of GFU — news to fans who just saw “The Moonglow Affair” — and that she will be “joined by other girls from U.N.C.L.E.,” sign of the confusion caused by dumping the pilot’s format and characterizations.

Friday, March 11, 1966 / circa

Noel Harrison is given a quick screen test and immediately signed as the new Mark Slate.

Monday, March 14, 1966

“The Indian Affairs Affair,” last episode of the season, finishes shooting.

Monday, March 14 – Thursday, March 17, 1966

Robert Vaughn, Anna Capri, Yvonne Craig, Robert Easton, Delores Faith and Monica Keating shoot new scenes for feature version of “The Bridge of Lions Affair,” now titled “One of Our Spies Is Missing.”

Tuesday, March 15, 1966

MGM Legal is asked to inform agents of Mary Ann Mobley and Norman Fell that their options will not be exercised because series will star Stefanie Powers and Noel Harrison.

Tuesday, March 15, 1966

The U.N.C.L.E. composers lose their one shot at a Grammy when the eighth annual Grammy Awards are handed out (Johnny Mandel wins best original score for “The Sandpiper”).

Thursday, March 17, 1966

ABC announces a 1966-67 schedule that includes The Long Hunt of April Savage, a western starring Robert Lansing, created and written by Sam Rolfe and produced by Gene Roddenberry. Within three weeks, the network announces that April Savage has been shelved in favor of The Man Who Never Was, a spy show starring Robert Lansing.

Mid-March 1966

Robert Vaughn appears on The Merv Griffin Show (syndicated at various times and days around the country), telling Merv that he’s off to Italy to shoot “The Venetian Affair” and that the spin-off series may be titled “The Girls from U.N.C.L.E.,” with a number of female agents appearing.

Wednesday, March 23, 1966

David McCallum is heard as the voice of Ludwig von Beethoven in an ABC special, “Beethoven: Ordeal and Triumph.”

Monday, March 28, 1966

The Avengers finally appears on American television, premiering at 10 p.m. on ABC. This latest version of the series debuted in Britain in October 1965, with Patrick Macnee as Steed and Diana Rigg as his new partner, Mrs. Emma Peel. Adding The Avengers to ABC’s schedule brings the spy craze to its peak on television, with nine weekly series on the air: U.N.C.L.E., I Spy and Get Smart on NBC; Secret Agent and The Wild Wild West on CBS; Blue Light, Henry Phyfe, The Baron and The Avengers on ABC.

April 1966

RCA releases a second soundtrack album, “More Music from The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” with 12 tracks of music composed by Gerald Fried and Robert Drasnin for the show’s second season. As in the first album, music is arranged and recorded by Hugo Montenegro and bears little resemblance to the original cues heard in the show.

Thursday, April 7, 1966

David Victor turns in his outline for “The Concrete Overcoat Affair,” two-part story that begins on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and concludes on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

Wednesday, April 20, 1966

Tonight’s episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show is titled “The Man from My Uncle.” Godfrey Cambridge appears as an FBI agent named Bond. Harry Bond. Rob Petrie and Mr. Bond both mention Thrush in the show’s tag scene.

Friday, April 29, 1966

Gerald Fried records his score for “One of Our Spies Is Missing.”

Wednesday, May 18, 1966

The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. starts production, shooting “The Horns-of-the-Dilemma Affair.”

Thursday, May 19, 1966

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ends its original British run after BBC1 airs the first season and second season episodes. U.N.C.L.E. is replaced by Adam Adamant Lives!

Sunday, May 22, 1966

Eighteenth annual Emmy Awards presentation is held in New York and Hollywood. At the peak of its popularity, U.N.C.L.E. receives 10 nominations but wins none.

Thursday, June 2, 1966

“Around the World Under the Sea,” underwater adventure produced by Ivan Tors for MGM, is released. Shot during hiatus between first and second seasons of U.N.C.L.E., with David McCallum, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Eaton of “Goldfinger” fame, Brian Kelly of Flipper and Marshall Thompson of Daktari.

Monday, June 6, 1966

Third season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. begins shooting with “The Monks of St. Thomas Affair.”

Monday, June 6, 1966

Tonight’s episode of The Avengers is titled “The Girl from Auntie.”

Tuesday, June 7, 1966

Arena, MGM, Sam Rolfe and the Writers Guild settle Rolfe’s separation of rights dispute. Rolfe forgoes separation of rights, accepting cash payments, a percentage of merchandising and publication licensing money, and the essentially worthless radio, live television and stage rights to U.N.C.L.E.

Thursday, June 9, 1966

“The Glass Bottom Boat,” MGM picture starring Doris Day and Rod Taylor, opens. Typical Day romantic comedy has 1966 de rigueur spy plot (comely widow Day is mistaken for foreign agent while being wooed by top military contractor Taylor), interesting cast (Eric Fleming, Arthur Godfrey, John McGiver, Paul Lynde, Dick Martin, Edward Andrews, Theo Marcuse, Dom DeLuise), and five-second cameo by Robert Vaughn accompanied by The Man From U.N.C.L.E. theme.

Monday, June 27, 1966

Dark Shadows premieres on ABC at 4 p.m. Its first months on the air give little indication that this Gothic-flavored soap opera will become TV’s third landmark cult show of the 1960s (see April 18, 1967, entry).

Thursday, June 30, 1966

Felton’s six-year contract as director of programs for MGM Television ends.

Friday, July 1, 1966

Felton’s exclusive production deal with NBC takes effect.

July 1966

NBC offers viewers a promotion of special interest to fans of U.N.C.L.E. and other spy shows: for the whopping sum of one dollar, you can receive four 21-by-24-inch color posters depicting the new fall season’s advertising art for The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I Spy, Get Smart and, uh, Bonanza. Sadly, the four posters offered to the public are limited to established hits, excluding such future cult items set for September debuts as Star Trek, T.H.E. Cat and The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. What viewers don’t know is the network printed posters for every show on the fall schedule, but the rest are for distribution only to NBC affiliates and others in the industry.

Thursday, July 14, 1966

“One of Our Spies Is Missing,” fourth U.N.C.L.E. feature, opens at the Ritz in London. Theater reports its biggest-ever opening day. Made from “The Bridge of Lions Affair,” broadcast Feb. 4 and 11, 1966, on NBC.

Monday, July 25, 1966

Jack Marshall records his only score for The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., “The Horns-of-the-Dilemma Affair.”

Tuesday, July 26, 1966

Richard Shores records his first score for The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., “The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair.”

August 1966 / circa

Ace Books publishes Agent of T.E.R.R.A. #1: The Flying Saucer Gambit, a science-fiction gloss on U.N.C.L.E. written by Larry Maddock. Debonair Hannibal Fortune and his alien symbiote partner Webley are top agents of T.E.R.R.A., the Temporal Entropy Restructure and Repair Agency, galactic organization formed to battle Empire, a group of time-traveling evildoers who attempt to change history for their own gain. Fortune and Webley invariably draw assignments that take them to Earth in the past and present. Maddock is the pen name of SF writer Jack Jardine (also an U.N.C.L.E. fan and friend of David McDaniel), who created series at Ace editor Terry Carr’s invitation. Ace publishes three more titles through 1969 — The Golden Goddess Gambit, The Emerald Elephant Gambit and The Time Trap Gambit — and Jardine reportedly wrote two more that go unpublished.

Monday, Aug. 8, 1966

Dave Grusin records his arrangement of Goldsmith’s U.N.C.L.E. theme for use in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., at a session that also records his first score for that series, “The Mother Muffin Affair.”

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 1966

Variety story listing MGM’s announced U.S. feature film releases for the next year includes “One Spy Too Many” in September and “One of Our Spies Is Missing” in December.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 1966

Gerald Fried records his new arrangement of Goldsmith’s U.N.C.L.E. theme for the show’s third season, at the same session recording his score for the season opener, “The Her Master’s Voice Affair.”

Thursday, Aug. 18, 1966

Shooting starts on “The Concrete Overcoat Affair,” two-part story slated to become the fifth feature film. Plans for a Girl From U.N.C.L.E. crossover have been dropped in favor of a standard Solo-and-Illya adventure.

Monday, Aug. 22, 1966 / circa

Jill Ireland sues David McCallum for divorce. All those gossip-rag stories about Jill running around with David’s friend Charles Bronson turn out to be true!

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 1966

Robert Vaughn meets The Beatles — at their request — at the Capitol Records building on North Vine Street, right off the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine. The Beatles are in Los Angeles to make their final live concert appearances at Dodger Stadium Aug. 28 and at Candlestick Park in San Francisco Aug. 29.

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 1966

Last episode of Dr. Kildare airs on NBC.

September 1966

Signet Books, publisher of the James Bond paperback editions, releases The Birds of a Feather Affair, first of two Girl From U.N.C.L.E. novels written by Michael Avallone.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 1966

Third U.N.C.L.E. feature “One Spy Too Many” opens in America. Made by adding a few scenes to the two-part second-season opener, “The Alexander the Greater Affair,” broadcast only one year earlier. “One Spy Too Many” comes nowhere near the U.S. grosses of the two earlier films released in January, ending any plans to go on releasing U.N.C.L.E. movies in America.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 1966

ABC’s only 1966-67 spy show, The Man Who Never Was, premieres at 9 p.m. Robert Lansing plays an American agent impersonating his exact double, a deceased multi-millionaire. Dana Wynter co-stars as the millionaire’s wife who assists in the masquerade. Series runs for only 18 episodes.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 1966

Star Trek premieres on NBC and soon becomes the second TV series to create a true fandom. U.N.C.L.E. fans are among its earliest supporters, quickly observing the many parallels between the series — and noting with satisfaction that Kirk and Spock are essentially Solo and Illya in space. Unfortunately, Star Trek takes on even more appeal to U.N.C.L.E. fans as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. slides farther and farther into dimwitted, campy humor — and is still further degraded by the following event…

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1966

The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., with Stefanie Powers replacing Mary Ann Mobley as April Dancer and Noel Harrison stepping in for Norman Fell as a much younger Mark Slate, premieres on NBC at 7:30. Leo G. Carroll co-stars as Mr. Waverly, of course, and Randy Kirby appears in a number of episodes as annoying U.N.C.L.E. trainee Randy Kovacs. The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. is the only 1960s spy series that’s a genuine spin-off from another 60s spy series — but given its parentage, the show is not simply disappointing but truly astonishing in its puerility, and one of the first major signs that the spy craze is headed for a rapid fall.

Thursday, Sept. 15, 1966

Jericho, MGM-Arena series created by Richard Levinson and William Link, about a trio of Allied agents conducting intelligence and sabotage missions in occupied Europe during World War II, premieres at 7:30 p.m. on CBS (the first Arena series not on NBC). Canadian actor Don Francks plays the American Army captain, Briton John Leyton is the British navy lieutenant, and Italian Marino Mase portrays the French Air Force lieutenant, all of whom make up the team code-named Jericho. (MGM-TV also sells The Rounders, based on the studio’s 1965 picture, to ABC.)

Friday, Sept. 16, 1966

NBC airs third season premiere of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., “The Her Master’s Voice Affair,” at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 1966

Mission: Impossible, starring Steven Hill as the mastermind leader of an elite squad of American secret agents called on to tackle the most seemingly insoluble cases, premieres on CBS. Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus and frequent guest star Martin Landau play the most-often-selected members of the Impossible Missions Force.

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1966

After numerous U.N.C.L.E. crossovers are planned between Man and Girl, only two are produced, one on each series. Tonight, Napoleon Solo teams with April Dancer in “The Mother Muffin Affair,” shot from a moronic script that produces one of the worst episodes of either series. Mark Slate goes unseen and unmentioned.

Friday, Sept. 30, 1966

Solo develops pneumonia after falling into a Venetian canal in the teaser of “The Galatea Affair,” and he doesn’t recover until the tag scene, leaving Illya and Mark Slate the job of tracking down Thrush’s European paymaster.

October 1966

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. enters its third season still in Nielsen’s top 20 but begins to falter in 1967. The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. starts out in 23rd place but drops off rapidly as the season progresses.

October 1966

Signet publishes second and last Girl From U.N.C.L.E. novel, The Blazing Affair by Michael Avallone. Three other Girl novels, The Global Globules Affair, The Golden Boats of Taradata Affair and The Cornish Pixie Affair, are published in Britain but not in the United States.

October 1966

Signet publishes The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s ABC of Espionage, a primer on intelligence training and methods around the world, marketed as an U.N.C.L.E. title. Only mention of U.N.C.L.E. is on the cover and in a foreword credited to Solo and Kuryakin.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 1966

First issue of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine (dated December 1966) goes on sale. Leo Margulies Corp., publisher of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, adds this bi-monthly pulp to its lineup, with original April Dancer-Mark Slate novels that also feature frequent appearances by Solo and Illya.

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1966

Robert Vaughn, Joyce Jameson and Jay and the Americans are guests on The Red Skelton Hour.

Thursday, Oct. 20, 1966

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. returns to the air in Britain; the BBC runs the third season’s episodes every other week, alternating with The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

Monday, Oct. 24, 1966

Nelson Riddle records his score for both parts of “The Concrete Overcoat Affair,” his first and only U.N.C.L.E. score. The music so resembles his deliberately ridiculous Batman scores that Riddle never works on U.N.C.L.E. again.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 1966

The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. debuts on the BBC.

November 1966

“Gone Are the Days,” 1963 film based on 1961 Ossie Davis play “Purlie Victorious,” is re-released under the title “The Man From C.O.T.T.O.N.”

November 1966

MGM Records releases the soundtrack album, “Music from the Television Series The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.” Twelve cuts arranged by songwriter and producer Teddy Randazzo include series cues by Dave Grusin and Richard Shores, Jerry Goldsmith’s theme and a Randazzo original that has no connection with the show.

Sunday, Nov. 13, 1966

Noel Harrison appears on The Ed Sullivan Show. The other guests include Metropolitan Opera soprano Joan Sutherland, the McGuire Sisters, Topo Gigio, comedian Stu Gilliam, the New Vaudeville Band and the Marquis Chimps.

December 1966

Gold Key releases first issue of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. comic book.

Sunday, Dec. 11, 1966

Noel Harrison, Jack Jones and Barbara Eden are the guests on The Andy Williams Show.

Friday, Dec. 16, 1966

With its third-season episodes dominated by campy comedy and moronic farce, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. hits an all-time low with the broadcast of “The My Friend the Gorilla Affair.” Fans who have been with the show since its first season can only shake their heads in sad disbelief.

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