From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Mission: Impossible is an American television series which was created and initially produced by Bruce Geller. It chronicled the missions of a team of secret American government agents known as the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). The leader of the team for all but the first season was Jim Phelps, played by Peter Graves.
A hallmark of the series shows Phelps receiving his instructions on a tape that then self destructs, accompanied by the theme music composed by Lalo Schifrin, which is widely considered to be one of the most iconic television themes.
The series aired on the CBS network from September 1966 to March 1973. It returned to television, as a revival, for two seasons on ABC, from 1988 to 1990 and later inspired a popular trio of theatrical motion pictures starring Tom Cruise in the 1990s and 2000s, with the role of Phelps played by Jon Voight.