On this day in 1966, CBS premiered the espionage series Mission: Impossible
. The series revolved around a team of secret government agents who carried out covert missions worldwide.
In Season 1, the team was led by Dan Briggs, played by actor Steven Hill. Briggs was replaced by Jim Phelps, portrayed by Peter Graves, in Season 2. Missions were famously delivered via tape recording, which usually included the lines: "Your Mission, Dan (or Jim), should you choose to accept it..." and "This tape will self-destruct in five (or 10) seconds."
The show's early supporting cast included Barbar Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus and Martin Landau as operatives with special skills needed for the assigned mission. Other regulars, as the show progressed, included Leonard Nimoy, Sam Elliott, Lee Meriwether, Lesley Ann Warren, Lynda Day George and Barbara Anderson.
The series ran seven seasons on CBS, and was brought back in 1988, running for an additional two seasons on ABC. The revival occurred during a Hollywood writers' strike, and producers updated scripts from the show's earlier run until the strike was over. Graves was the only returning cast member, once again playing Phelps.