I Spy
Title card
Comedy drama
Developed byDavid Friedkin
Morton Fine
StarringRobert Culp
Bill Cosby
Theme music composerEarle Hagen
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes82 (list of episodes)
Executive producerSheldon Leonard
Running time50–51 minutes
Production companyThree F Productions
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 15, 1965 (1965-09-15) –
April 15, 1968 (1968-04-15)

I Spy is an American secret-agent adventure television series that ran for three seasons on NBC from September 15, 1965, to April 15, 1968, and teamed US intelligence agents Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) and Alexander "Scotty" Scott (Bill Cosby), traveling undercover as international "tennis bums." Robinson poses as an amateur with Scott as his trainer, playing against wealthy opponents in return for food and lodging. Their work involved chasing villains, spies, and beautiful women.

The creative forces behind the show were writers David Friedkin and Morton Fine and cinematographer Fouad Said. Together they formed Triple F Productions under the aegis of Desilu Productions where the show was produced. Fine and Friedkin (who previously wrote scripts for radio's Broadway Is My Beat and Crime Classics under producer-director Elliott Lewis) were co-producers and head writers, and wrote the scripts for 16 episodes, one of which Friedkin directed. Friedkin also dabbled in acting and appeared in two episodes in the first season.

Actor-producer Sheldon Leonard, known for playing gangster roles in the 1940s and 1950s, was the executive producer (receiving top billing before the title in the series' opening title sequence). He also played a gangster-villain role in two episodes and appeared in a third show as himself in a humorous cameo. In addition, he directed one episode and served as occasional second-unit director throughout the series.


This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (July 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Characters and settings

I Spy broke ground in that it was the first American television drama to feature a black actor (Cosby) in a lead role.[citation needed] Originally an older actor was slated to play a fatherly mentor to Culp's character. After seeing Cosby performing stand-up comedy on a talk-show, Sheldon Leonard decided to take a chance on hiring him to play opposite Culp. The concept was changed from a mentor-protégé relationship to same-age partners who were equals. It was also notable that Cosby's race was never an issue in any of the stories, though on occasion oblique references surfaced (such as in the second-season episode "One Of Our Bombs Is Missing," in which Scott jokingly said that he would "join the Klan," if it would help them recover a lost atomic bomb). Nor was his character in any way subservient to Culp's, with the exception that Culp's "Kelly Robinson" was a more experienced agent. (Culp revealed in his audio commentary on the DVD release that he and Cosby agreed early on that "Our statement is a non-statement" regarding race, and the subject was never discussed again.) As a strait-laced Rhodes Scholar fluent in many languages, Cosby's "Scotty" was really the brains of the team. His partner was the athlete and playboy who lived by his wits.

Culp as Kelly Robinson with Jeanette Nolan, 1966

I Spy was a trailblazer in its use of exotic international locations in an attempt to emulate the James Bond film series. This was unique for a television show, especially since the series actually filmed its lead actors at locations ranging from Spain to Japan, rather than relying on stock footage. Compare with the more recent series, Alias, which also utilized worldwide settings but rarely filmed outside the Los Angeles region. Contrast the extensive use of location shooting with I Spy's contemporaries on CBS Mission: Impossible and NBC The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which were mostly filmed on the Desilu and MGM back lots, respectively. Location filming is expensive and requires significantly more planning than studio filming, but the resulting quality was key to I Spy's success. Each season the producers would select four or five scenic locations around the world and create stories that took advantage of the local attractions. Episodes were filmed in Hong Kong, Athens, Rome, Florence, Madrid, Seville, Venice, Tokyo, Mexico City, Acapulco, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Morocco.

The success of the show is primarily attributed to the chemistry between Culp and Cosby. Fans tuned in more for their hip banter than for the espionage stories, making I Spy a leader in the buddy genre. The two actors quickly developed a close friendship that mirrored their on-screen characters, a friendship that would last until Culp's death in 2010. The show also coined unique phrases that, briefly, became catchphrases, such as "wonderfulness". Wonderfulness was used as the title of one of Cosby's albums of stand-up comedy released concurrently with the series. Cosby also occasionally slipped in bits of his comic routines during his improvised badinage with Culp. (In one episode Scott, being interrogated under the influence of drugs, says his name is Fat Albert.) Many details of Cosby's life were also written into his character. Scott does not drink or smoke—while Kelly Robinson does both. There are frequent references to Scott's childhood in Philadelphia and attending Temple University (Cosby is sometimes seen wearing his own Temple sweatshirt), and in the "Cops and Robbers" episode, Scotty returns home to Philadelphia to revisit his old neighborhood.

The two main characters are Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott. They have been operating together as a two man team for a couple of years when the series begins. It is indicated that Robinson is a few years older and has been in the Department longer than Scott (however a third season flashback episode shows them going through initial training together, so that aspect of the backstory changed a little).

Robinson is an internationally ranked and modestly well known tennis player, but not a professional player. This was in the pre-Open era of international tennis and the major championships were for amateur players only, so Robinson ostensibly travels the world as a "tennis bum", playing tournaments and hobnobbing with celebrities and politicians. It is his cover for his espionage activities. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a veteran of the Korean war where he was an infantry platoon leader as a lieutenant. He was a track and field athlete as well as a tennis player in his school years. Kelly's age and childhood background are inconsistently dealt with during the series. If a Korean War veteran, he'd be about 35-37 during the run of the series. In one episode he is said to be originally from Ohio, but in others he calls "the West Coast" his original home. In one episode he states that his father was a military lawyer and was involved in prosecuting German war criminals after World War II. In another episode it is indicated that he was orphaned before he was an adult and spent time with an aunt and uncle living on a farm in an unspecified location, possibly the Central Valley of California. He runs into a former love interest from time to time, and states that he ended the most serious romantic relationship of his life in order to enter into his intelligence career. He can be emotional and hot-headed at times, but can also be cold and ruthless when needed.

Scott is an intellectual, a graduate of Temple University, where he starred on the football team, and is a Rhodes Scholar. He is a linguist who seems to have studied multiple foreign languages in his educational years. He is approximately 29 years old during the series and was recruited into the intelligence community by a college professor. He grew up in urban Philadelphia where his mother and sister still live and he writes to or calls his mother frequently. He is usually the more level headed of the two agents and less emotional, but when he does become emotional he can be very despondent or display a violent temper. He is proud of his accomplishments and acknowledges the fact that the US has issues it could improve upon, but is a very loyal and patriotic American.

Both agents often question the morality of their profession and ponder the impact the life they lead has on their psyche and their soul. The two men are very close, often referring to one another as being like a brother. Yet they both seem to wonder what kind of life and family they would have had if they had not gone into the espionage world.

Robinson is usually called by his first name, Kelly, by his friends, while Alexander Scott is most often called “Scottie” by his friends.

Comedy and drama

Cosby as Alexander Scott

I Spy was a fixture in the popular secret agent genre of the 1960s—a trend that began with the James Bond films. By 1965, virtually every studio was producing secret agent TV shows, films, and spin-off merchandise. What set I Spy apart from contemporary programs such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers, and The Wild Wild West was its emphasis on realism. There were no fanciful 007-style gadgets, outlandish villains or campy, tongue-in-cheek humor. Although Culp and Cosby frequently exchanged breezy, lighthearted dialog, the stories invariably focused on the gritty, ugly side of the espionage business.

Occasionally the series produced purely comedic episodes such as "Chrysanthemum," inspired by The Pink Panther, and "Mainly on the Plains" with Boris Karloff as an eccentric scientist who thinks he's Don Quixote. However, most episodes dealt with more serious subjects (e.g., heroin addiction in "The Loser") and did not shy away from ending on a somber note. It was also one of the very few American dramatic television series of the 1960s (The Twilight Zone was another) to set an episode in the then-taboo region of Vietnam. The 1966 episode was "The Tiger," written by Robert Culp, and during filming a romance ensued between Culp and Vietnamese–French guest star France Nuyen. The two were married the following year, and Nuyen went on to appear in several more episodes.

Plotlines and stories

The espionage plots were, with a few exceptions, realistically set in the Cold War and the real life geopolitics of the mid-1960’s. They often specifically referred to their opponents as “the Russians”, or “the Chinese”, or other Communist Bloc countries of the time. Only rarely was a fictitious city or country used as a plot device. The espionage plots were almost always plausible – with a couple of comedic exceptions – and actual Cold War events were frequently alluded to or used as the basis for a plot. Other contemporary geopolitical factors that appeared in certain episodes were Arab nationalism and the idea of a potential Jihad, domestic terrorism within the United States itself, Neofascist organizations, and escaped war criminals from World War II.

The name of the espionage unit they worked for was never specified. In one flashback episode, it is established that all agents took their original training at The Presidio Army post in San Francisco, and that the agency was NOT the CIA but was in fact “more military than the CIA”. At least two episodes begin with them receiving a briefing at the Pentagon, they frequently refer to the Pentagon as the ultimate headquarters of their organization, and they are often seen receiving their instructions from uniformed, high ranking, military officers - with all branches of the military - Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force - showing up in such a role. In one episode, they are being briefed at the beginning by British military officers. However, they also seem to be answerable to the State Department as well, frequently getting instructions from civilian administrators at or from the local American Embassy in the nation they are operating in. In at least one episode they directly refer to the American ambassador as someone who can assist them. The fictional agency they work for is usually called “The Department”, and while it seems to be sort of a cross between the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA, its actual identity is left to the imagination of the viewer.

The two agents sometimes engage in standard espionage activities like interrogation of defectors and assisting friendly agents returning from enemy territory. However, the two main characters themselves are only twice shown operating behind the Iron or Bamboo Curtain and once in Viet Cong controlled territory. They spend all other episodes operating in the US itself or, more often, a country allied to the U.S. NATO allies Greece, Italy and British Hong Kong; U.S. ally Japan; OAS member Mexico; and U.S. unofficial (at the time) ally Spain are all locations where a storyline is set. Likewise Morocco, which was a technically neutral, but pro-West country at the time, is the setting for a few episodes. They cooperate with British, Japanese and Greek intelligence officers in various episodes and with local police officials in others, but largely their activities are unknown to the local authorities. The two agents are often seen uncovering and eliminating Soviet Bloc or Chinese espionage activities in Western nations, or uncovering a traitor in their own organization. Such activities would technically make them Counter-Intelligence agents. Occasionally they are involved in fighting against narcotic smuggling or thwarting a coup attempt against a friendly ruler. In a few episodes they are not actually on an assignment at all but have an adventure related to their personal lives, such as helping keep Scotty’s foster-daughter's boyfriend out of trouble with the Italian police, or dealing with the angry family of a soldier who had served under Kelly in the Korean War years before and had been killed in action. While the two agents are frequently involved with attractive women who factor into their assignment, they rarely become involved with an innocent bystander who is accidentally swept up into the situation as was the usual plotline of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Season 1: 1965–66

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"So Long, Patrick Henry"Leo PennRobert CulpSeptember 15, 1965 (1965-09-15)101
22"A Cup of Kindness"Leo PennMorton Fine & David FriedkinSeptember 22, 1965 (1965-09-22)102
33"Carry Me Back to Old Tsing-Tao"Mark RydellDavid KarpSeptember 29, 1965 (1965-09-29)103
44"Chrysanthemum"David FriedkinEdward J. LaksoOctober 6, 1965 (1965-10-06)104
55"Dragon's Teeth"Leo PennGilbert RalstonOctober 13, 1965 (1965-10-13)105
66"The Loser"Mark RydellRobert CulpOctober 20, 1965 (1965-10-20)106
77"Danny Was a Million Laughs"Mark RydellArthur DalesOctober 27, 1965 (1965-10-27)107
88"The Time of the Knife"Paul WendkosGilbert RalstonNovember 3, 1965 (1965-11-03)108
99"No Exchange on Damaged Merchandise"Leo PennGarry Marshall & Jerry BelsonNovember 10, 1965 (1965-11-10)109
1010"Tatia"David FriedkinRobert LewinNovember 17, 1965 (1965-11-17)110
1111"Weight of the World"Paul WendkosRobert LewinDecember 1, 1965 (1965-12-01)111
1212"Three Hours on a Sunday Night"Paul WendkosMorton Fine & David FriedkinDecember 8, 1965 (1965-12-08)112
1313"Tigers of Heaven"Allen ReisnerMorton Fine & David FriedkinDecember 15, 1965 (1965-12-15)113
1414"Affair in T'Sien Cha"Sheldon LeonardMorton Fine & David FriedkinDecember 29, 1965 (1965-12-29)114
1515"The Tiger"Paul WendkosRobert CulpJanuary 5, 1966 (1966-01-05)115
1616"The Barter"Allen ReisnerHarvey Bullock & P.S. AllenJanuary 12, 1966 (1966-01-12)116
1717"Always Say Goodbye"Allen ReisnerRobert C. Dennis & Earl BarretJanuary 26, 1966 (1966-01-26)117
1818"Court of the Lion"Robert CulpRobert CulpFebruary 2, 1966 (1966-02-02)118
1919"Turkish Delight"William ThomasEric BercoviciFebruary 9, 1966 (1966-02-09)119
2020"Bet Me a Dollar"Richard SarafianDavid Friedkin & Morton FineFebruary 16, 1966 (1966-02-16)120
2121"Return to Glory"Robert SarafianDavid Friedkin & Morton FineFebruary 23, 1966 (1966-02-23)121
2222"The Conquest of Maude Murdock"Paul WendkosRobert C. Dennis & Earl BarretMarch 2, 1966 (1966-03-02)122
2323"A Day Called 4 Jaguar"Richard SarafianMichael ZagorMarch 9, 1966 (1966-03-09)123
2524"Crusade to Limbo"Richard SarafianStory by : Jack Turley
Teleplay by : Morton Fine & David Freidkin & Jack Turley
March 23, 1966 (1966-03-23)124
2625"My Mother, The Spy"Richard BenedictHarold GastMarch 30, 1966 (1966-03-30)125
2726"There was a Little Girl"John RichStory by : Robert Bloch
Teleplay by : Stephen Kandel
April 6, 1966 (1966-04-06)126
2827"It's All Done with Mirrors"Robert ButlerStephen KandelApril 13, 1966 (1966-04-13)127
2428"One Thousand Fine"Paul WendkosEric BercoviciApril 27, 1966 (1966-04-27)128

Season 2: 1966–67

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
291"So Coldly Sweet"Paul WendkosStephen KandelSeptember 14, 1966 (1966-09-14)201
302"Lori"Paul WendkosMorton Fine & David FriedkinSeptember 21, 1966 (1966-09-21)202
313"Sophia"Robert FineMorton Fine & David FriedkinSeptember 28, 1966 (1966-09-28)203
324"Vendetta"Alf KjellinMarion HargroveOctober 5, 1966 (1966-10-05)204
335"A Gift from Alexander"Alf KjellinBarry OringerOctober 12, 1966 (1966-10-12)205
346"Trial by Treehouse"Richard SarafianMichael ZagorOctober 19, 1966 (1966-10-19)206
357"Sparrowhawk"Paul WendkosWalter Black & Marion HargroveOctober 26, 1966 (1966-10-26)207
368"Will the Real Good Guys Please Stand Up?"Richard SarafianRick MittlemanNovember 2, 1966 (1966-11-02)208
379"Bridge of Spies"Alf KjellinStephen KandelNovember 9, 1966 (1966-11-09)209
3810"One of Our Bombs Is Missing"Earl BellamyBarry OringerNovember 16, 1966 (1966-11-16)210
3911"To Florence with Love: Part 1"Robert ButlerNorman BorisoffNovember 23, 1966 (1966-11-23)211
4012"To Florence with Love: Part 2"Robert ButlerNorman BorisoffNovember 30, 1966 (1966-11-30)212
4113"Lisa"Richard SarafianJackson GillisDecember 7, 1966 (1966-12-07)213
4214"Little Boy Lost"Paul WendkosChester KrumholzDecember 14, 1966 (1966-12-14)214
4315"Father Abraham"Tony LeaderStephen KandelDecember 21, 1966 (1966-12-21)215
4416"Rome... Take Away Three"Alf KjellinStory by : Bill S. Ballinger
Teleplay by : Morton Fine & David Freidkin & Bill S. Ballinger
December 28, 1966 (1966-12-28)216
4517"Tonia"Alf KjellinMichael ZagorJanuary 4, 1967 (1967-01-04)217
4618"Child Out of Time"Alf KjellinMorton Fine & David FriedkinJanuary 11, 1966 (1966-01-11)218
4719"The Trouble with Temple"Tom GriesMorton Fine, & David FriedkinJanuary 25, 1967 (1967-01-25)219
4820"The War Lord"Alf KjellinRobert CulpFebruary 1, 1967 (1967-02-01)220
4921"A Room with a Rack"David FriedkinMichael ZagorFebruary 8, 1967 (1967-02-08)221
5022"Mainly on the Plains"David FriedkinMorton Fine & David FriedkinFebruary 22, 1967 (1967-02-22)222
5123"Get Thee to a Nunnery"Alf KjellinStory by : Barbara Merlin & Milton Merlin
Teleplay by : Marion Hargrove
March 1, 1967 (1967-03-01)223
5224"Blackout"Alf KjellinBarry OringerMarch 8, 1967 (1967-03-08)224
5325"Magic Mirror"Tom GriesRobert CulpMarch 15, 1967 (1967-03-15)225
5426"Night Train to Madrid"David FriedkinStephen KandellMarch 22, 1967 (1967-03-22)226
5527"Casanova from Canarsie"Hal CooperRick MittlemanMarch 29, 1967 (1967-03-29)227
5628"Cops and Robbers"Christian NybyJerry LudwigApril 12, 1967 (1967-04-12)228

Season 3: 1967–68

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
571"Let's Kill Karlovassi"Christian NybyMichael ZagorSeptember 11, 1967 (1967-09-11)301
582"The Beautiful Children"Earl BellamyBerkely MatherSeptember 18, 1967 (1967-09-18)302
593"Laya"Earl BellamyMorton Fine & David FriedkinSeptember 25, 1967 (1967-09-25)303
604"The Medarra Block"Earl BellamyBarry OringerOctober 2, 1967 (1967-10-02)304
615"Philotimo"Earl BellamyErnie FrankelOctober 9, 1967 (1967-10-09)305
626"The Honorable Assassins"Christian NybyLes & Tina PineOctober 16, 1967 (1967-10-16)306
637"Now You See Her, Now You Don't"Earl BellamyJerry LudwigOctober 23, 1967 (1967-10-23)307
648"Red Sash of Courage"Christian NybyOliver CrawfordOctober 30, 1967 (1967-10-30)308
659"The Seventh Captain"Earl BellamyBerkely MatherNovember 13, 1967 (1967-11-13)309
6610"Apollo"Earl BellamyErnest FrankelNovember 20, 1967 (1967-11-20)310
6711"Oedipus at Colonus"Christian NybyMarion HargroveNovember 27, 1967 (1967-11-27)311
6812"The Lotus Eater"Christian NybyElick Moll & Joseph ThanDecember 11, 1967 (1967-12-11)312
6913"An American Empress"Earl BellamyElick Moll & Joseph ThanDecember 25, 1967 (1967-12-25)313
7014"Home to Judgment"Richard C. SarafianRobert CulpJanuary 8, 1968 (1968-01-08)314
7115"Anyplace I Hang Myself Is Home"Christian NybyMichael ZagorJanuary 15, 1968 (1968-01-15)315
7216"Tag, You're It"Earl BellamyStory by : M.J. Waggoner
Teleplay by : Stephen Kandel
January 22, 1968 (1968-01-22)316
7317"A Few Miles West of Nowhere"Arthur MarksJerry LudwigJanuary 29, 1968 (1968-01-29)317
7418"This Guy Smith"Ralph SenenskyJackson GillisFebruary 5, 1968 (1968-02-05)318
7519"Turnabout for Traitors"Earl BellamyErnest FrankelFebruary 19, 1968 (1968-02-19)319
7620"Happy Birthday Everybody"Earl BellamyMorton Fine & David FriedkinFebruary 26, 1968 (1968-02-26)320
7721"Shana"Christian NybyRobert LewinMarch 4, 1968 (1968-03-04)321
7822"The Name of the Game"Earl BellamyJerry LudwigMarch 11, 1968 (1968-03-11)322
7923"Suitable for Framing"Earl BellamyHoward DimsdaleMarch 25, 1968 (1968-03-25)323
8024"The Spy Business"Christian NybyStory by : John Shannon
Teleplay by : Morton Fine and David Friedkin
April 1, 1968 (1968-04-01)324
8125"Carmelita Is One of Us"Christian NybyEarl Barret and Robert C. DennisApril 8, 1968 (1968-04-08)325
8226"Pinwheel"Christian NybyBarry OringerApril 15, 1968 (1968-04-15)326

Culp as writer

Top-billed series star Culp wrote the scripts for seven episodes (one of which he also directed), including the show's first broadcast episode, "So Long, Patrick Henry." Prior to joining I Spy, Culp wrote a pilot script for a proposed series in which he would have played an American character like James Bond. He took the script to his friend Carl Reiner, who recommended he meet with Sheldon Leonard, who was in the midst of creating I Spy. This script was eventually rewritten by Culp and produced as the episode "The Tiger." In the DVD audio commentary for the "Home to Judgment" episode, Culp reveals that his seven episodes were the only ones filmed exactly as written. He wrote them to establish a specific dramatic tone and level of quality for the other writers to follow. Nevertheless, Culp and Cosby were often dissatisfied with the frivolous and formulaic scripts they received and rewrote most of their dialog and improvised a great deal during filming.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations


In I Spy Returns (1994), a nostalgic television movie (and unsold pilot episode for a new series), Culp and Cosby reprised their roles as Robinson and Scott for the first time since 1968. The original opening title sequence is reused with no changes other than the addition of the word 'Returns' beneath 'I Spy' and a new arrangement of the theme music. Cosby was the executive producer. Unlike the original series, the TV-movie was shot on videotape instead of film. Here, Robinson has become director of the agency, while Scott has left the business. However, the aging agents have to leap into action once again, this time to keep an eye on their children, Bennett Robinson (George Newbern) and Nicole Scott (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) who are now operatives. This was shown as a "CBS Movie Special" on February 3, 1994.

Culp again reprised the role of Kelly Robinson during a dream sequence in a 1999 episode of Bill Cosby's series Cosby titled "My Spy." Cosby's character falls asleep while watching I Spy on television and dreams he's caught up in an espionage adventure. With Cosby's name replaced with that of his character here, Hilton Lucas, the old title sequence was again faithfully recreated. (Culp had earlier appeared with Cosby in 1987 on The Cosby Show episode "Bald and Beautiful" as Cliff Huxtable's old friend "Scott Kelly", a merger of their I Spy characters' names.)

A film adaptation, also titled I Spy, followed in 2002 with Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. In this iteration, the character names are reversed, so Alexander Scott (Wilson) is now the white secret agent and Kelly Robinson (Murphy) the black athlete, now a boxer (It also changed the original premise of them both being agents, with Robinson being a civilian boxer who is essentially brought in to act as Scott's cover story while he carries out his mission). The film was initially a commercial and critical failure. In his 2009 Movie Guide, film critic Leonard Maltin describes the film as an "In-name-only reincarnation of the smart 1960s TV show.... An object lesson in bad screenwriting, with an incoherent story, and characters that make no sense."


Original novels, comic books, and reference books

A number of original novels based upon the series were published, most written in the mid-to-late 1960s by Walter Wager under the pseudonym "John Tiger." The I Spy novels were published by Popular Library:

The following tie-ins, not by Wager, were also published.

Gold Key Comics also published six issues of an I Spy comic book between 1966 and 1968.[1][2]


Ideal published a board game in 1965.[3]


Unlike many television series of the time, every episode of I Spy received an original score – as was the case with the other shows from Sheldon Leonard, like The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Earle Hagen, Leonard's regular composer, wrote the main theme and scored most of the episodes (collaborating on three with Carl Brandt; Hugo Friedhofer, Nathan Van Cleave, Robert Drasnin and Shorty Rogers also wrote music for the series).[4] During the show's run, two albums of re-recorded music composed (except where indicated) and conducted by Hagen were released.

Music from the Television Series I Spy (Warner Bros. WS-1637):

  1. I Spy (1:57)
  2. Tatia (3:00)
  3. Hi Yo Scotty (2:42)
  4. Angel (2:44)
  5. Away We Go To Tokyo (2:25)
  6. Rickshaw Ride (2:50)
  7. Away We Go To Mexico (2:18)
  8. Ah So! (2:16)
  9. The International Set (2:23)
  10. Another Kind Of Blues (2:46)
  11. Fiesta Del Sol (2:05)
  12. The Wonderfulness of You (2:23)
  13. Made In Hong Kong (2:17)

I Spy (Capitol ST-2839):

  1. I Spy (2:10)
  2. Over The Wall (2:15)
  3. Montezuma's Revenge (2:25)
  4. Islands In The Sea (3:06)
  5. The Golden Age (2:08)
  6. The Voice In The Wind (Earle Hagen and Gene Lees) (2:58)
  7. To Florence With Love (Hugo Friedhofer) (2:20)
  8. Sophia (2:40)
  9. Rots Of Ruck (2:20)
  10. There's No Escape (3:40)
  11. Domingo (2:25)
  12. The International Set (2:21)

In 2002 Film Score Monthly released a limited-edition disc of original soundtrack music from the series.

  1. "So Long Patrick Henry": The Defector/Main Title (1:05)
  2. Hong Kong/Elroy (1:25)
  3. What's the Trouble? (1:05)
  4. Keep Running/You Lose (4:10)
  5. That's My Man (1:27)
  6. Stop That Plane (2:25)
  7. The Whistle Blows (2:14)
  8. "007" (:45)
  9. End Title (:52)
  10. "The Time Of The Knife": Tokyo/Jean and Kelly/Jean's Pad/Trailing (6:19)
  11. Oops, the Troops!/Away We Go/Shiftycraft/Dead for Real (3:32)
  12. "Turkish Delight": Away We Go to Mexico/Bye Bye Scotty/Rapido/On the Road Again/Trunk Store/Chicken Hearts/Lt Hernandez (5:14)
  13. Taxi Tour (2:01)
  14. Japanese Trick/Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow/How About That/Babe, With Rocks (5:15)
  15. End Title (:38)
  16. "The Warlord": Burma/The Chase/And On and On/Of Some Value (9:14)
  17. My Lord/She Is Chinese (4:47)
  18. Prelude to Dreamsville/The General Dies (4:12)
  19. Down the River (1:55)
  20. "Mainly On The Plains": The Plaza/Main Title (3:19)
  21. Don Silvando/Blonde Gothic/Travelin'/Sighted (3:37)
  22. Don Quixote II/Attack/Upsy Daisy (4:45)
  23. My Professor, the Nut/Wild Stuff/Goodbye Crooks (3:55)
  24. Don Strikes/So Long, Don (2:41)
  25. End Title (:38)

Home media

The underlying rights to the original series are now owned by independent film company Peter Rodgers Organization, Ltd. (PRO), but original production company Triple F Productions remains the copyright holder.

Selected episodes of the series were made available on VHS in North America in the early 1990s.

Image Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 in 2002, initially in a series of single-disc volumes (each with four episodes), which were later compiled into three box sets. The episodes were not presented in any particular order. In addition, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the 1994 reunion made-for-TV film on DVD in Region 1 on October 8, 2002.

In April 2008, Image/PRO reissued the series, this time organized in order of original broadcast, in three box sets, one for each season. This includes Robert Culp's bonus audio commentary on four episodes that he wrote (originally issued in 2002 on a single DVD called The Robert Culp Collection).

On March 7, 2014, it was announced that Timeless Media Group had acquired the rights to the series in Region 1 and will be releasing a complete series set on June 24, 2014.[5]

In Region 4, Umbrella Entertainment has released all 3 seasons on DVD in Australia.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Region 1 Region 4
I Spy Returns 1 October 8, 2002[6] N/A
I Spy Season 1 28 April 29, 2008 September 1, 2007[7]
I Spy Season 2 28 April 29, 2008 December 1, 2007[8]
I Spy Season 3 26 April 29, 2008 December 15, 2008[9]
The Complete Series 82 June 24, 2014


In September 1982 the religious cable channel Christian Broadcasting Network began airing I Spy nationwide on weeknights at 8:00 PM, and continued to do so for the next 2+ years. In 1986, Nick at Nite added I Spy to its evening lineup at 9:00 and continued to air the program until the Fall of 1987 In 2011, I Spy aired twice a day, six days a week, on FamilyNet. The series also airs in the United States on broadcast television channels Retro Television Network and the Soul of the South Network. In 2015, reruns of I Spy were pulled by the Aspire and Cozi TV networks as a result of allegations of sexual assault by Cosby.[citation needed]


  1. ^ I Spy
  2. ^ I Spy
  3. ^ I Spy
  4. ^ Lukas Kendall, liner notes, I Spy: Original Television Soundtrack, FSM Vol. 5 No. 10, 2002
  5. ^ "I Spy DVD news: Box Art for I Spy - The Complete Series - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on 2014-03-12.
  6. ^ "I Spy Returns". 8 October 2002 – via Amazon.
  7. ^ [1] Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Umbrella Entertainment – I SPY – VOLUME TWO". Umbrellaent.com.au. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  9. ^ "Umbrella Entertainment – I SPY – VOLUME THREE". Umbrellaent.com.au. December 15, 2008. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.