"I got out to Hollywood and they made a deal for me to have my own company and produce 'I Dream of Jeannie.' Meanwhile, I had to fly back to New York every week because I was the story editor and almost the sole writer for 'The Patty Duke Show.' I was writing both shows at once because I had no idea that it couldn't be done."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Sidney Sheldon (1917-2007) recalls his early years in Hollywood as a screenwriter for feature films and the success he achieved in that field, culminating in his win of the Academy Award for "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer." Sheldon next discusses his creation of The Patty Duke Show, and his fond memories of working with the show's young star. During his run as writer/producer of Patty Duke, he recalls getting approached by Screen Gems to produce another comedy for them, which eventually became I Dream of Jeannie. He talks about how he created the concept for the show, and fondly remembers each of the stars, including Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman. He discusses the effort to hide Eden's pregnancy in the first season, and how the crew put together the many special effects shots. He also shares his memories of the "navel controversy" that brewed during the time over not revealing Eden's belly button, and the attempt by the stars of Laugh-In to circumvent that rule. Later, he recalls creating Nancy, the short-lived 1970 sitcom, and Hart to Hart (pilot only), which he produced for Aaron Spelling. Sheldon next discusses his about-face from television writer to novelist, and shares his delight at the success that he has achieved with the sixteen best-selling books he has written, many of which have been turned into successful television movies. Henry Colman conducted the interview in Beverly Hills, CA on March 30, 2000.