Pop Culture | TV | 70s

Can You Believe It's Been 40 Years Since The Premiere Of Charlie's Angels?

Charlie's Angels, the iconic series from the late 70s, turns 40 and even though it has been a while since it's original airing people still seem to love it. The show went through several cast changes and drama, but the pop culture phenomenon survived through 5 seasons and several remake attempts. Charlie's Angels was a success in the time, no one would have guessed what was happening back stage. Check out these facts about the show you know and love.


The iconic Farrah poster was shot before the show ever aired

This poster was found on countless walls in the 70s, but did you know it was supposed to be a photo shoot for all three angels? Fawcett-Majors was the only angel to agree to the photo shoot and insisted on Bruce McBloom as the photographer. He did the shoot in her own home where she switched out the bikini that was chosen for this now iconic red one-piece.

The network originally hated the idea of three female lead


ABC executives weren't into the idea of an hour-long female led action series. Aaron Spelling and his partner Leonard Goldberg were able to convince them to film it due to Spellings contract from a previous work.

The story of the original Charlie

The voice that you know and love of Charlie almost never was. Gig Young was originally hired to do the voice over role, but when he showed up to record his lines he was completely drunk. Spelling called John Forsythe who would become known for being the lead of Dynasty and had him come to the Fox lot to record. Forsythe stayed on for the entire run of the series and even came back for the remake movies in the early 2000s.

Fawcett's unusual contract detail


Even though she may be one of the best known angels, she only lasted one season on the hit show. During her one year stay she had an unusual contract stipulation that showed her focus was always on her family. Fawcett's contract stated that she would be required to finish shooting at exactly 7 p.m so she could cook dinner for her husband Lee Majors. Rumors of marital trouble spread and she then decided to leave the show and pursue film work.

Kate Jackson could have been the next Meryl Streep


Kate Jackson had actually won the lead role in Kramer vs. Kramer but due to the filming schedule of Charlie's Angels she was forced to give up the role that would go on to win Meryl Streep an Oscar. Jackson left after that season amidst rumors of her being unpleasant on set and was replaced with Shelly Hack.  

They spent A LOT of money on clothes - more than they spent on actresses


Their budget for clothing was $20,000 PER EPISODE. They paid more on clothes than they paid the actresses. Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett each were paid $5000 per episode and Kate Jackson was paid $10,000. To keep Smith happy her pay was increased to $40,000 per episode in the third year which led to her staying on for all five seasons.

So many reboots

Drew Barrymore produced a reboot in 2000 staring herself, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. They reunited for a sequel in 2003 but they didn't ever get the same kind of attention as the original series. Even when it attempted a return to TV in 2011 it failed very quickly after only 4 episodes. Elizabeth Banks is apparently in talks to once again try to bring back the classic female-driven action series but who knows how that will turn out! Who was your favorite angel? More importantly, how many times have you done the classic "Charlie's Angels pose" in pictures?