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5 facts about 'I Dream of Jeannie'

ABC's new "Astronaut Wives Club" deals with the lives of the spouses of the original Mercury astronauts. But there's one astronaut's wife from the 1960s who's dear to our hearts even if she wasn't real. We speak of Jeannie (Barbara Eden), the 2,000-year-old genie liberated from a bottle by her astronaut/master Capt. (later Major) Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman) on "I Dream of Jeannie." After four-plus seasons, their relationship turned romantic and soon, a wedding beckoned. Here are five things you need to know:

1. "The Wedding" was the 11th episode of the show's fifth season and aired on Dec. 2, 1969. By then, the show was beginning to get a bit long in the tooth, and what better solution to falling ratings than a wedding.

2. In fact, both Eden and Hagman were opposed to the idea of a wedding, but NBC executives insisted on it, threatening to cancel the show if the video nuptials didn't happen. Alas, the show's ratings continued to sag and it was indeed canceled in May 1970.

3. The plot centered around the fact that the happy couple didn't want any photographs taken of the ceremony. The reason: Genies do not show up in photographs, so Jeannie's absence from the photos might make some suspicious of her true identity.

4. A week earlier, on Nov. 25, 1969, NBC's publicity department staged a fake wedding with Eden and Hagman, timed to the airing of the nuptials episode. TV writers from around the nation were invited to the shindig at the Officers' Club at Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

5. In the 1985 TV-movie sequel, "I Still Dream of Jeannie," it's revealed that Tony and Jeannie had a son, now a teenager and played by Mackenzie Astin.

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