There was a time when every girl wanted to be a Charlie’s Angel, and every guy wanted to date one. 40 years of super-secret detective work later, here are some surprising facts you never knew about the show!
A Convincing Story
When producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg first approached ABC with their idea for the show, the network executives weren’t on-board. Luckily for us, they were eventually convinced and the angels took off!
The Alley Cats
When still in the early stages of brainstorming, the creators of the show originally planned to call it Alley Cats! Kate Jackson, the actress who portrayed ‘Sabrina Duncan’, inspired writers to instead go with Angels.
Home is Where the Heart is
Ferrah Fawcett was an amazing actress and home-maker at heart. Even when filming for the show, she always made sure she was home to cook dinner for her husband. It was even written in her contract.
The producers behind Charlie’s Angels kept the starlets looking good by spending a whopping $22,000 an episode on wardrobe! Each of the girls changed outfits at least 8 times every hour.
Charlie was Fired
Gig Young, the original actor cast for the role of Charlie, was fired for showing up drunk on the first day of filming. The role was passed on to John Forsythe who became the highest paid actor per hour on television. Gig’s loss!
The Only Charlie
John Forsythe remained as Charlie for the entire life of the show. He even returned to the role in 2000 for the Hollywood movie.
All three Angels were asked to do a promotional poster, but only Farrah Fawcett agreed. This image became an iconic photo of the 70’s. Looking fine!
The Red Bathing Suit
Fawcett’s image from that particle photo shoot has gone down in history so much so that the same bathing suit she wore has ended up in the Smithsonian’s American cultural museum.
Unfortunately for us, Fawcett only filmed one season of the show. The reason she left being was her extreme sense of duty to her husband. Well, she did tell them that from the start…
Producers of Charlie’s Angels were worried that when Fawcett left the popularity would decrease. Fortunately for them, it actually was the opposite and continued for another 4 years.
Turning Down Opportunities
Kate Jackson had to choose between her role as an Angel or a lead role in Kramer vs. Kramer. We were glad she chose Charlie, but for her career it was devastating.
Resentment on Set
After turning down the role of Joanna Kramer, Kate Jackson started resenting the show’s producers for not letting her take leave to film that role. Naturally, tensions built up.
Meryl Streep Wins an Oscar
For the Kramer producers it was a stroke of luck that Jackson turned down the role of Joanna Kramer, because they got Meryl Streep instead. And she won an Oscar for it.
Replacing Kate Jackson
When Kate Jackson left the show producers had a tough job with replacing her. They chose Shelle Hack, but as ratings dropped, she stayed for only 26 episodes.
Second Choice Replacement
When Shelley Hack got fired, makers of the show tried replacing her with Tanya Roberts. Although she was a model and dancer, she wasn’t able to replicate what audiences loved about Kate Jackson.
The Love Boat
As ratings continued to drop, producers tried mixing Charlie’s Angels with The Love Boat crew, making a two-hour special crossover episode. It didn’t help.
The End of Charlie’s Angels
Despite all the efforts to boost ratings, Charlie’s Angels producers were forced to cancel the series in its fifth season.
The only Angel that stayed with the show throughout the ups and downs was Jacklyn Smith. From the beginning she played in 110 episodes. Now that’s dedication!
Highest Paid Actor
The highest paid cast member of Charlie’s Angels was actually Charlie. Not bad for an role that was only spoken.
The identity of Charlie was originally supposed to be revealed at some point, but the mystery of the big boss was too good, so they kept him a secret.
After the show was cancelled, ABC tried a spin off called Toni’s Boys which featured 3 male detectives. And yes there was a female boss. The idea didn’t even make it past the pilot.
Remaking of Charlie’s Angels
Due to the initial popularity of Charlie’s Angels, the show was remade in several languages. There was a Spanish version, Angeles, and a German version, Wilde Engel. In 2000, the show was remade as a Hollywood movie.
Most spin offs don’t actually work. Sadly, both the Spanish and German versions of the show didn’t make the same waves as the original.
A New Charlie’s Angel?
There has been some talk about Elizabeth Banks wanting to revive Charlie’s Angels. Who knows, stranger things have happened in the TV series land!