Switching to color, U.N.C.L.E. continued to enjoy huge popularity. Succeeding Rolfe, who left the show at the conclusion of the first season, new showrunner David Victor read articles that called the show a spoof and that is what it became. Over the next three seasons, five different show runners would supervise the U.N.C.L.E. franchise, and each one took the show in a direction that differed considerably from that of the first season.
Concerns by the MGM legal department about using "U.N." for commercial purposes resulted in the producers' clarification that U.N.C.L.E. was an acronym for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Each episode had an "acknowledgement" to the U.N.C.L.E. on the end titles.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who work for a secret international espionage and law-enforcement agency called U.N.C.L.E. Originally co-creator Sam Rolfe wanted to leave the meaning of U.N.C.L.E. ambiguous so it could refer to "Uncle Sam" or the United Nations.
The series consisted of 105 episodes originally screened between 1964 and 1968. It was produced by Arena Productions using the studios of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The first season was broadcast in black-and-white. Ian Fleming contributed to the concepts after being approached by the show's co-creator, Norman Felton. The book The James Bond Films says Fleming proposed two characters, Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.). The original name was Ian Fleming's Solo. Robert Towne, Sherman Yellen, and Harlan Ellison wrote scripts for the series. Author Michael Avallone, who wrote the first original novelisation based upon the series (see below), is sometimes incorrectly cited as the show's creator.