NBC wanted to film season one in black-and-white because they did not want to pay for the extra expense of filming it in color (The network did not believe the series would last beyond one season. According to Sidney Sheldon in his autobiography "The Other Side Of Me", he offered to pay the extra $400 an episode needed for color filming at the beginning of the series. Screen Gems executive Jerry Hyams advised him, "Sidney, don't throw your money away.") Ultimately, the first season was filmed in color.
Barbara Eden personally selected the pink/maroon color combination of Jeannie's harem outfit (The two colors symbolize different aspects of Jeannie's personality: pink symbolizes the playful, girlish aspects of her personality while maroon symbolizes the fiery, headstrong aspects of her personality.) Barbara also selected the purple trim of her bottle.
In a couple of early color episodes, Jeannie is wearing a green harem outfit instead of her customary pink one and in another episode she changes her hair color to black in an attempt to convince Tony to keep her. The green harem outfit as well as the black hair color would later be trademarks of Jeannie's wicked look-alike sister.
The fancy antique bottle in which Jeannie called home was actually a decorative Jim Beam liquor decanter, which originally contained "Beam's Choice" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky. The bottle had been decorated and painted with gold leaf by the show's art department.
In the episode "How to Marry an Astronaut", Barbara Eden's cries for help from inside the champagne bottle were real. As a prank, director Claudio Guzmán called "lunch!" and had everyone leave the set, leaving Eden trapped in the bottle. While everyone waited in a nearby hallway, the cameras kept rolling, and the resulting footage was used in the episode shown on TV.
When asked why did the show go off the air, Barbara Eden replied that producers felt they have enough episodes (over 100) for a syndication sale. She also attributed the end of the show to the fact that Tony and Jeannie got married, so the show lost viewers. Sidney Sheldon, Larry Hagman, and Bill Daily also agreed with the latter.
In the episode "My Poor Master the Civilian", Jeannie uses a future telling machine to see how Tony's life would turn out if he quit the space program and took a civilian job. The interior set used for Tony's office is the set used for Darrin Stephens' office in Bewitched (1964).
The Nelson home still stands on the Warner Brothers Ranch in Burbank, CA, where it has a new role as the Ranch Operations office. Besides minor cosmetic changes, the house remains almost exactly the same after nearly 50 years.
Actor Larry Hagman was apparently notoriously difficult to work with, to the point where the producers seriously considered getting rid of him and replacing him with another actor. Darren McGavin was at the top of the list for Hagman's replacement. They even worked out a story where Tony lost Jeannie and McGavin found her, but the studio execs loved Hagman and wouldn't consider a change.
According to Barbara Eden, network executives and censors were unconcerned about her navel being seen until someone casually mentioned during the third season that it was occasionally visible when the waistband of her costume shifted. After that her navel was required to be covered.
In Season 2, sets from other famous shows are used as locations. The most recognizable locations are the house and office featured on ABC's Bewitched (1964) plus locations from The Partridge Family (1970) and The Monkees (1966).
Sidney Sheldon didn't originally want a blonde actress to play Jeannie (lest the show draw unfavorable comparisons to Bewitched (1964).) However, none of the other actresses competing for the part were able to play the role the way he had written her. Blonde Barbara Eden impressed Sheldon though in The Brass Bottle (1964), so she was hired.
During the first season, in black and white, the smoke effect was usually a screen overlay of billowing smoke, sometimes combined with animation. Early color episodes used a purely animated smoke effect. Sometime later a live smoke pack, lifted out of the bottle on a wire, was used.
"I Dream of Jeannie" was the last television series to be broadcast in black and white on NBC who was the patent holder. At the beginning of a broadcast, the NBC peacock would fan his tail with a harp, flute and soft horns playing, as the announcer intoned 'the following program is brought to you in living color - on NBC.'
Before taking the role of Amanda Bellows, Emmaline Henry appeared in an the episode "Is There an Extra Genie in the House" as a magician's assistant (the magician was played by Bernard Fox, "Dr. Bombay" from Bewitched (1964).)
The famous theme music was actually not used during season one, but since the first season was black and white, it was generally not syndicated with the rest of the series, so few people have seen it. The black and white episodes used jazz influenced background music while the color episodes used pop influenced background music.
During the first season, Jeannie's mother is portrayed by Florence Sundstrom and Lurene Tuttle; in later episodes "Jeannie and the Wild Pipchicks" and "Is There a Doctor in the House?" Barbara Eden assumes the role.
Jeannie's harem shoes were made by Neiman Marcus. They were available in three colors: pink (Jeannie), green (Jeannie II), and white. Originally decorated with lace and beads, the insole read "Taj From India".
In season one, when tony is promoted from captain to major, he is wearing the wrong rank. he has silver clusters which are a LT Colonel. In season 2 the clusters changed from silver to gold which is a major.