The Fox television network has committed to the production of a pilot for a new series that would be based on the I Spy television series, DEADLINE: HOLLYWOOD reported.
The pilot, at least for now, wouldn’t carry the I Spy name and would only be “loosely” based on the 1965-68 series, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva wrote.
“I hear that during the discussions with the network, the idea evolved as Fox brass were not interested in a straight I Spy remake but instead a new take on the buddy spy genre,” according to Andreeva.
In the original series, Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott (Robert Culp and Bill Crosby) were U.S. agents operating under the cover of a tennis pro and his trainer. Of 1960s American spy shows, it was the series most grounded in the Cold War and relatively realistic, compared with U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, Mission: Impossible and the comedy Get Smart.
I Spy has had a checkered post-series history.
Culp and Cosby were reunited in a 1994 television movie, I Spy Returns, featuring aging versions of their original characters. In it, both have grown children operating as spies.
That TV movie didn’t generate interest in any further adventures. It did, however, posthumously provide a creator credit for Morton Fine and David Friedkin. The two were producers of the series, but never received credit for creating the show while it was originally broadcast. Sheldon Leonard, executive producer of the original, had that title for the TV movie, along with Cosby.
The show was also made as a 2002 comedy theatrical film with Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. That production still causes groans from fans of the 1965 series.