The 40-year odyssey to make a Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie was the subject of this Variety story, for which I interviewed producer John Davis, original star Robert Vaughn, and Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. consultant Robert Short. The print version (pictured here) featured lots of fun, colorful sidebar information that somehow didn’t translate well to the Variety website.
A very ambitious project: Not just the first commercial release of all 105 episodes (including the uncut pilot, titled Solo), but also an attempt to go behind the scenes in several featurettes, including new interviews with stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. This was a landmark spy series of the ’60s, a personal favorite, and it was a pleasure to do a 24-minute segment on the music of U.N.C.L.E. (as well as consulting with the producers, supplying material for the other featurettes, and writing the booklet essay on Season 4). I even supplied the photograph of Del Floria’s Tailor Shop that’s on the inside cover of the “attache case” that contains all the discs.
My first book was about TV themes, so it was a special honor for the Television Academy to invite me to participate in an evening celebrating that unique art form with some of its greatest practitioners. Earle Hagen (The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show) received a special award “for his pioneering work and enduring contributions,” and part of my job was interviewing Earle onstage, as well as longtime collaborators Mike Post and Steven Bochco about their work on shows like Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law. Vic Mizzy brought the house down with his amusing anecdotes about scoring The Addams Family and Green Acres. Here’s a story about the evening, and here’s a great BMI photo op with both Post and Hagen.
One of my favorite moments was when Robert Vaughn, introducing the spy-TV segment, was summoned to the podium by his old Man From U.N.C.L.E. pen communicator. Writer Arthur Greenwald, like me, was a great U.N.C.L.E. fan, and he supplied the prop; the audience loved the gag.