Classic TV

Fun Facts About the Original Charlie’s Angels

It was in the late 1970s when we heard the line “It’s Charlie, Angels. Time to go to work.” From then on, we witnessed Charlie’s Angels embark on an adventure full of action, drama, bottomless amounts of hairspray, and a lot of costume changes. Although critics ridiculed the show, it still became a major hit which turned each Angel into a star in their own right. Most of us probably grew up on the second generation of the Angels played by Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore, and Cameron Diaz. But in this article, we are going to give you some fun facts about the original Charlie’s Angels.

Fun Facts About the Original Charlie’s Angels

  • ABC hated the idea of the show – TV producers Leonard Goldberg and Aaron Spelling literally went up to the ABC executive and asked their opinions about making a TV show about female spies. They did not get any positive feedback about it considering that it would be a women-led cast and that formula was not really popular back then. Spelling and Goldberg were literally told that it was the worst idea ever and the only reason that the show pushed through was that Spelling had a previous arrangement with ABC which guaranteed him 25,000 dollars for a new pilot script.
  • The show’s title was supposed to be “The Alley Cats” – Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg originally titled their show, The Alley Cats. But one of the stars namely, Kate Jackson gave some creative development input and said that the show should be entitled “Harry’s Angels”. Harry was supposed to be the name of their mysterious boss. However, the producer thought that the title was too close to the detective show entitled “Harry O” that’s why they decided to change the boss’ name to Charlie and the show’s title to “Charlie’s Angels”.
  • The guy who originally played Charlie got fired from being drunk – The producers of the show decided to hire veteran actor Gig Young to be the voice of the Angel’s mysterious boss who always talks to them via a Western Electric Speakerphone. But when Gig Young showed up to record his lines, he was drunk. That’s why Aaron Spelling begged John Forsythe at 12:30 A.M to do the part before the show’s pilot episode to ABC executives. Forsythe agreed and he drove to the 20th Century Fox studio in his bedroom slippers and to his part. He ended up playing an iconic role for the show in its five-year run.
  • Farrah Fawcett always goes home in time to cook dinner – Farrah Fawcett was married to the Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors before she signed her Charlie’s Angels contract. That’s why she made it very clear that her marriage was her top priority. She added in her contract that she must be let off of work every day at 7 pm to have time to cook her husband dinner.
  • The Angels had an expensive wardrobe budget – Of course, all those fashionable clothes that the Angels wore did not come cheap. The show had about 22,000 dollars budget for wardrobe for each episode. This big budget was because the girls didn’t wear just one outfit, they change at least eight times an hour.
  • Only Farrah Fawcett posed for the poster –  Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith were asked to do a promotional poster for the show but only Fawcett agreed to do it and now that photo became one of the most famous photos from the ‘70s. The poster sold over 12 million copies long before the show’s pilot episode hit the TV screen.
  • The red bathing suit that Farrah Fawcett used in the said photoshoot is in a museum – Being one of the bestselling poster of all time, the iconic red bathing suit that Fawcett wore on that photo is now a part of the Smithsonian’s American cultural history collection.
  • Farrah Fawcett only stayed for one season – Before she started doing the show, she made it very clear that her marriage was her top priority. And she proved that even further when she quit the show when it became very popular. Considering the show had one of the best ratings during that time, ABC was pissed about Fawcett’s sudden decision of leaving the show and sued her for breaching her contract. However, in the end, Fawcett won and she agreed to make at least six guest appearances in the show’s second and third season.
  • ABC always wanted to show Charlie – As we all know, John Forsythe’s role, Charlie was never seen on camera in the series. But the executives of ABC continually pushed for an episode where they will reveal the face of Charlie. But the show’s producer couldn’t be persuaded.
  • Kate Jackson was paid more during the first season – Jackson reportedly earned 10,000 dollars per episode during the first season. While her co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith only pulled 5,000 dollars each per episode. This is because Kate Jackson was seen as a more established actress at that time.
  • The producers tried to boost the show’s rating by having a crossover episode with “The Love Boat” – Back in the 80s, “The Love Boat” was a very popular TV show on ABC. It was about romantic happening on a cruise ship. That’s why in order to gain more popularity and boost their ratings, Charlie’s Angels producers deiced to do a crossover between the shows. They came up with a two-hour special episode which happened to be Charlie’s Angels’ season four premiere.
  • The show needed to be canceled – Despite several attempts to save the show, the producers had to cancel it in the end. This is because there are too many conflicts that have been happening during the show’s fifth season. One reason is that, during the 1980s, there had been an actors’ strike that affected several TV shows and movies which included Charlie’s Angels. ABC also switched the show’s time slot several times which also caused a big drop in ratings.
  • John Forsythe was the highest paid actor on the show – The man who was not supposed to be part of the show became the major part of the show and ended up as the highest paid actor of the series per hour. He didn’t even have to appear in an episode and all he did was record his voice.
  • They did a male spinoff of Charlie’s Angels – It’s kind of ironic that the ABC executives thought that a show about three female detectives would not be successful but it ended up being the male version of the show that flopped. The show was called Toni’s Boys and it’s about three male detectives with a female boss. The show never made past its pilot episode before it got canceled.

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