I couldn’t understand and I kept wondering why MFU seemed to only exist in the 60s and then dissapear into the void of being this show some people vaguely remember when I know plenty of other TV-shows from the time that did a lot better.
Then I got lucky to read “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Book” by Jon Heitland that was published in 1987 and told the story of the show behind the scenes. And it has this bit:
“When it was on prime-time TV, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was more popular than Star Trek, which always hovered on the verge of cancellation. But U.N.C.L.E. after it went off prime-time TV in 1968, was a victim of a smear campaign by various parents’ groups. These groups lumped it in with such shows as The Untouchables as being too violent, thereby killing syndication rerun values for the series. Yet U.N.C.L.E. was extraordinarily nonviolent - after all, how many other heroes of the sixties actually used sleep darts in their guns instead of bullets?
While Star Trek was constantly rerun through the 1970s, U.N.C.L.E. lay virtually dormant in an MGM vault. While new generations of Trek fans emerged who had never seen the show on prime time, the U.N.C.L.E. torch was kept ablaze only by hard-core fans…”
And the show was brought back on American screens only in the 80s by Christian Broadcast Network! So many potential fans lost! So much time missed!