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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Fantasy > I Dream Of Jeannie - The Complete Fifth and Final Season (Sony Four-DVD Set)

I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Fifth and Final Season (Sony Four-DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: A



When a television series takes a drastic change in format it's usually a result of slipping ratings.  This was not the reason for the wedding of Jeannie and Major Nelson in the show's fifth (1969-1970) season of I Dream of Jeannie.  In truth, I Dream of Jeannie was never a big hit in the ratings. The series was a moderate success and was liked by the sponsors who had much to say about which shows survived another season.


Jeannie, however, had one of its best rating scores at the end of its fourth year (1968-89).  Its final average ranked the series in 29th place with a rating of 20.5 and 33 share of the audience (source; Variety, April 2nd, 1969). Keep in mind the shows' main competition was Gunsmoke which landed in the number 7 spot in the ratings that season. NBC, who had bounced the series in different time slots for the show's previous seasons, finally found its niche.


Why tamper with success?  The answer; Publicity


Sidney Sheldon, creator of the series, was ordered by the President of NBC to marry Jeannie and Tony or they would cancel the show.  Sheldon, the cast and writers fought against it but they were overruled.  All involved knew this would destroy the sexual chemistry once Jeannie was able to catch her master!


For its fifth season, NBC moved the series to Tuesdays at 7:30pm where it did battle with ABC's popular Mod Squad.  As cited in a December 3rd, 1969 article in Variety, "NBC & ABC Face Trouble at 7:30" the two networks were having problems with all of their series during this time period.


NBC received huge publicity with the wedding with lavish parties and photo sessions. Once the season was over, however, enough episodes would have been produced to sell it into syndication where the real money is made. It wouldn't be surprising to think one NBC executive was pondering, "Let's have the series go out with a big publicity bang for NBC".  Jeannie granted their wish.


The supernatural comedy was on its way out by 1970.  The only survivor was Bewitched due to an iron clad contract the series had with ABC.  Its last two seasons on the air produced increasingly declining ratings.


The episodes in the fifth year remain funny and the performances top notch. Continuity was never a strong suit for the series but it was basically shot to heck when Jeannie is introduced to Doctor and Mrs. Bellows who have no recollection of meeting her before (though Dr. Bellows once said, upon meeting Jeannie in season two, "I never forget a face".  That's only when the network doesn't hold a gun to your head I suppose).



Highlights from this season include the first two episodes which were non-wedding related, the last appearance of Jeannie's sister (how Jeannie and Tony explained away her actions really don't make sense if you listen closely but it was great seeing Barbara play her one final time), the introduction of Mrs. Djinn, Djinn, Dr. Bellow's nephew catching Jeannie smoke out of her bottle and Jeannie's jealously over the return of Tony's high school sweetheart.


Though they're billed as guest stars in the packaging, Farrah Fawcett and Dick Van Pattern have small but welcome parts in episodes on this set. The packaging itself (as in the fourth season) is delightful.  All of the images selected are from the fifth season.  The disc design feature magical moments from the episodes.


Fans grouse at the wedding and the fact this limited Barbara's screen time in her harem costume but the show's production standards remained high.


When I Dream of Jeannie began its syndicated run in 1971, the ratings went through the roof!  The series made television history by being the first off-network program to score higher ratings when airing opposite network programs (source; Variety, October 6th, 1971).  This occurred when Jeannie played from 7 to 8 pm on WPIX-TV.  Since then, I Dream of Jeannie has gained a huge following and has aired all over the world.


The sound and picture quality are fine with scenes often cut from syndication prints, restored.  Sadly, no extras featuring the surviving cast members were used.



Disc 1


Jeannie At the Piano

Djinn, Djinn, the Pied Piper

Guess Who's Going to Be a Bride? Part 1

Guess Who's Going to Be a Bride? Part 2

Jeannie's Beauty Cream

Jeannie and the Bachelor Party


Disc 2


The Blood of a Jeannie

I'll See You in C.U.B.A.

Jeannie and the Mad Home Wrecker

Uncles A-Go-Go

The Wedding

My Sister, the Home Wrecker

Jeannie, the Matchmaker


Disc 3


Never Put a Genie on a Budget

Please Don't Give My Jeannie No More Wine

One of Our Hotels is Growing

The Solid Gold Jeannie

Mrs. Djinn, Djinn

Jeannie and the Curious Kid

Jeannie, the Recording Secretary


Disc 4


Help, Help! A Shark!

Eternally Yours, Jeannie

An Astronaut in Sheep's Clothing

Hurricane Jeannie

One Jeannie Beats Four of a Kind

The Chili King


“Mini-sodes” (five minutes each) from both Fantasy Island and Bewitched are included (but why bother?)



-   Fred M. Grandinetti


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