Barbara Eden commemorated the 55th anniversary of her famous TV show, I Dream of Jeannie, in a unique way. Weeks after celebrating her 89th birthday, the ageless star made magic for fans with a new twist to the iconic first episode of the classic sitcom that originally aired September 18, 1965, on NBC.
Barbara shared the sweet tribute with her fans on Instagram. The star posted a video of her looking at a photo of her and her co-star, the late Larry Hagman, as she planted a kiss on him in one of the first scenes from the Sidney Sheldon-created series.
In the caption, it was revealed that Barbara returned to her legendary role to voice the pilot from her character Jeannie’s perspective, starting with the lonesome genie’s stint on the desert island where she would meet her “master,” Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson (Hagman).
In the special audio feature, which can be heard below, Barbara retold the show’s first episode titled, “The Lady in a Bottle,” in a sequence set on the day before Jeannie met her Master on September 18, 1965. In the feature told from Jeannie’s point of view, Barbara read from her fantasy character’s diary.
In the comments section of the video, fans were thrilled for this long-overdue prequel to the decades-old television premiere. Many thanked the star for bringing back such wonderful memories on the show’s milestone anniversary.
“Your voice sounds young and beautiful Barbara! Now the pilot episode feels more complete!” one fan wrote.
“Thank you for sharing Jeannie’s Diary,” another added. “After so many decades I do believe this is the first time that I have ever heard it. It is truly the missing link of the series.”
“Omg This is so beautiful Jeannie’s Story before Tony,” another fan chimed in.
Viewers know that in the pilot for the series, astronaut Tony Nelson landed on a deserted island in the South Pacific, where he came upon a strange, smoke-filled bottle that rolled across the sand. After he picked up the smoking vessel, Jeannie materialized. The magical lady also shocked him by kissing him on the lips at first sight.
Viewers later found out that Jeannie fell instantly in love with Major Nelson because he freed her from the bottle in which she was trapped for 2,000 years. She later snuck her bottled self into his duffle bag so she could go home with him, then broke up his engagement in a storyline that was never revisited.