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TV Series
    (September 15, 1965-April 15, 1968)
    Aired on NBC
    Robert Culp as Kelly Robinson
    Bill Cosby as Alexander ‘Scotty’ Scott
    Premise: Two intelligence agents posing as a tennis pro and his coach go on missions around the world
    Culp and Cosby disliked many of the scripts and extensively rewrote them.
    Episodes frequently went over budget due to location shooting overseas.
    For its third season, the series was moved to Monday nights opposite The Carol Burnett Show, resulting in a plunge in the ratings and the show’s cancellation.
    The movie adaptation, starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson, was a commercial and critical flop (2002).
    Some of the stations airing reruns of the show dropped it after allegations surfaced of sexual assaults by Bill Cosby.
    It was the first TV series to feature a black character and white character as equal partners.
    Except for one joke in an early episode, race was never made an issue in the series. (Cosby: ‘People can see I’m a Negro. We don’t need to say anything else.’)
    Although NBC worried that its affiliates in the South would balk, only five stations refused to air the show.
    Culp wrote the scripts for seven episodes, which were the only ones filmed exactly as written.
    One of the Culp-penned episodes, ‘The Tiger,’ was one of the few times a 60s TV series acknowledged that there was a war going on in Vietnam.
    Culp and Cosby had great chemistry together and became lifelong friends.

Credit: C. Fishel


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