The big question now is not when or why, but who. Who will Warners choose to play Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, the two super secret agents of United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), and even if the casting is perfect, as a follow up, how will they inevitably screw it up? The track record for well-loved TV shows being rejiggered for the silver screen is awful.
The dashing Culp, who also appeared in classic episodes of 'The Outer Limits' and 'Columbo,' and costarred in 'Greatest American Hero,' died yesterday at the age of 79. For those wishing to remember him in his signature role, here are three 'I Spy' episodes, also scripted by Culp, to get you started.
Although Culp is probably best known for his work with Bill Cosby on 'I Spy,' he could be equally well-known to modern audiences for his work on two other classic shows. He played Agent Bill Maxwell on 'The Greatest American Hero' and also played Debra's dad on 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'
He made appearances in tons of other TV shows too: 'Columbo' (he was the murderer four times), 'Murder, She Wrote,' 'Matlock,' 'Robot Chicken,' 'The Outer Limits,' 'Police Story,' 'Dr. Kildare,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E., 'Combat,' 'Disneyland,' 'The Rifleman,' 'Bonanza,' 'Golden Girls,' 'Wings,' and many more shows and movies.
Oh, 'I Spy' was a fantastic show. It was shot on location around the world, which is rather rare for a TV show. It's on tonight at 9 on Retro TV. After the jump, the opening (you can also watch the show for free at SlashControl).
The incident occurred while the Emmy-winning star was taking a walk outside his Hollywood home. He was found by a jogger, who then called 911. Culp was pronounced dead after arriving at LA's Queen of Angels hospital.
Culp played Kelly Robinson for three seasons on 'I Spy' and received four Emmy nominations, including one for writing.
His other television credits include 'Trackdown,' 'Greatest American Hero' and the recent CBS comedy 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' in which he played Debra's (Patricia Heaton) father, Warren, in 11 episodes.
For more on the death of Robert Culp, visit PopEater.
As usual, it's a list that will get the debate going. Shows that without a doubt deserve to be on the list: The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Star Trek, The Andy Griffith Show, I Spy, and Bewitched.
Shows that without a doubt don't belong on the list: The Flying Nun, Hogan's Heroes, and The Mod Squad. Sure, I enjoyed those shows when I was younger, but I really don't think they belong in the "best" category (I'll let you debate another show on the list, Batman - great or just "campy" great?)
Viewers were also into grittier fare like realistic cop dramas ('Ironside,' 'Adam-12') and war action series ('12 O'Clock High,' 'Combat!'), though there was plenty of classic sitcom fun on the airwaves, too, from 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' to 'Get Smart' and 'My Three Sons.'
Take a look at our picks of the decade's best and let us know if we got it right. -- By Kimberly Potts
Montalban died earlier today in Los Angeles. He was 88. He was best known for playing Mr. Roarke on the odd ABC show Fantasy Island. Actually, he was probably equally known for his role in Star Trek. He played Khan in a classic episode of the original series in the 60s, and later reprised the role in the big screen flick Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, arguably the best of the Trek movies. Though I also liked the one with the whales.
Montalban had a long career, appearing in such shows as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild, Wild West, I Spy, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-0, Here's Lucy, Dynasty, Murder, She Wrote (which seems to show up in every obit I write here), B.L. Stryker, Chicago Hope, and many more. He was in my favorite version of Wonder Woman. His last role was on an episode of Family Guy earlier this year. He also did a ton of movies, the first one being Five Were Chosen in 1942.
Coincidentally, like McGoohan, Montalban also played a killer on Columbo. He killed a guy with a bull.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Earle Hagen: He was a legendary, Emmy-winning composer of music for TV shows, including the themes to The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, I Spy, That Girl, Gomer Pyle, USMC, Make Room For Daddy, The Mod Squad, and Mike Hammer ("Harlem Nocturne"). He also worked on the music for many movies, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Monkey Business, Daddy Long Legs, Carousel, Let's Make Love, Compulsion, Don't Bother To Knock, and There's No Business Like Show Business. Hagen died at age 88 in Rancho Mirage, CA.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Warren Cowan: He was a veteran publicist who had an incredible list of clients over the years, including Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Tony Curtis, Steve McQueen, Natalie Wood, and Joan Crawford. He was the father of journalist Claudia Cowan and stepfather to Melissa and Sara Gilbert. He died of cancer in Los Angeles at age 87.
If you've never seen the '60s intrigue drama I Spy, and haven't had the displeasure of having your brain cells infected by the abysmal big screen adaptation from a few years ago that starred Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson, you're in for a treat: the entire series is now on DVD.
Oh, it was on DVD before, but there are two differences with this release. One, the entire series has been remastered, and two, the series is in order by season. The other releases featured individual DVDs that had random episodes on them. The entire series had been released (I think, anyway), but since they weren't in season order, it was rather odd.
Luckily, the new sets take care of that error. And those aren't the only two surprises on this set.
Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? - Season 6
- Beverly Hills, 90210 - Season 4
- Burke's Law - Season 1, Vol. 1
- Cheers - Season 9
- Dark Shadows - The Beginnings Collection 4
- Desperate Housewives - Seasons 1-3
- Grey's Anatomy - Seasons 1-3
- I Spy - Seasons 1, 2, and 3 (Remastered)
- Joey - Season 2
- Lost - Seasons 1-3
- Roswell - Seasons 1, 2, and 3
- Sabrina The Teenage Witch - Complete Series (Animated)
- Scrubs - Seasons 1-6
- The Waltons - Season 7
- A Touch of Frost - Season 13
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Vol. 3: Years of Change
- At 8, ABC has two new episodes of George Lopez, then new episodes of According To Jim, In Case Of Emergency, and Lost.
- CBS has a new Jericho at 8.
- NBC has new episodes of Friday Night Lights, Crossing Jordan, and Medium.
- FOX has a new Bones at 8, followed by new episodes of American Idol and 'Til Death.
- There's a new America's Next Top Model on The CW at 8.
- American Life has spy shows starting at 8: I Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.
- Discovery has a new episode of Hazard Pay, about repo men. It's on at 8 too.
- At 9, The Travel Channel has a new ep of The World Poker Tour.
- At 10, Food Network has a new Good Eats, all about espresso.
- Also at 10: Comedy Central has a new South Park, then a new Halfway Home.
- At 11, HBO repeats The Comedian Award, with Jerry Seinfeld honored by Chris Rock, Robert Klein, Garry Shandling, Anderson Cooper, and others.
Check your local TV listings for more.
Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.
The guidelines for this list? A spy that worked for an agency or someone that worked in an official governmental capacity, such as the FBI or CIA. Here we go:
1. Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott (I Spy): These two guys weren't only resourceful, but they were the coolest cats around. Robinson and Scott were spies, but they travelled the world working on cases disguised as a tennis pro and his trainer. How awesome is that? The show was filmed on location (you hardly ever see that), and a lot of the dialogue was improvised and casual. Great theme song too.
DMGI has distribution rights for over 4,000 hours of video content, including classic television shows such as Gumby, I Spy, and My Favorite Martian. It's not clear at the moment which programs would be made available.
DMGI will share advertising revenue generated by the videos with YouTube. The deal also allows YouTube users to include some of the music DMGI publishes in user-generated videos. YouTube says it will use filtering technology to determine if users are making videos with unauthorized DMGI content, and any revenue generated from those videos will be directed to the company.
- At 8, ABC has a four episode marathon of George Lopez, followed by a new Primetime.
- NBC has a three episode marathon of Friday Night Lights at 8.
- American Life has I Spy at 8, then The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.
- Also at 8: Biography has a new Bio Live, with Lee Ann Womack.
- At 9, Court TV has a new episode of Forensic Files.
- TBS has The Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2006, also at 9.
- At 10, HBO has a new Inside The NFL.
- MTV has a new episode of The Real World at 10.
- TBS has two new episodes of My Boys at 10.
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