This groundbreaking series had three rotating stars, who were featured in independent episodes tied together by a loose common theme. The commonality was Howard Publications, the self-made ... See full summary »
Attorney and US Navy vet Stuart "Mac" McMillan is appointed Commissioner of Police for the city of San Francisco. He often handles the very high profile cases personally. Helping him out on... See full summary »
Susan Saint James
This groundbreaking series had three rotating stars, who were featured in independent episodes tied together by a loose common theme. The commonality was Howard Publications, the self-made publishing empire of Glenn Howard. Episodes featuring Howard focused on his business and political confrontations and his flamboyant lifestyles. Other episodes featured Jeff Dillon, a crusading investigative reporter, or Dan Farrell. Farrell was a retired FBI agent who used his position as the editor of "Crime Magazine" to wage a literary war against organized crime. The series had several semi-regulars who were featured in one or more of the plot threads, including editorial assistant Peggy Maxwell, and junior reporters Joe Sample, Andy Hill and Ross Craig. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Anthony Franciosa was fired during the show's third season. Instead of being replaced by one actor, he was replaced by a series of actors filling in on his rotation, including Robert Culp twice appearing as reporter Paul Tyler. Peter Falk as reporter Lewis Corbett, and Robert Wagner as reporter David Corey, each were billed as 'Guest Starring in...'. Earlier in Season Two both 'Darren McGavin' (as freelance newsman Sam Hardy in 'Goodbye Harry', and 'Vera Miles' as reporter Hilary Vanderman in 'Man of The People', took guest starring roles (both put under the 'Gene Barry' segment as he made cameo appearances in each). See more »
I saw most of the episodes in the late '60s and in syndication the following decade. Ambitious and not bad on the whole, especially in view of the 90 minute mini-movie running time. One was supposed to get, and at least I did at times, a "bigger than TV" fell from THE NAME OF THE GAME. I recall especially a fine early episode inspired by the "Prague Spring." Some of the camera work was so good that I recall discussing it with a photography buff friend at the time.
That said, I did get tired of Gene Barry playing himself. Far worse, the series seemed to come apart after the second season perhaps from writing, perhaps from budget cuts. Robert Culp added nothing, and I think his coming on board signified deeper problems.
Anyway, THE NAME OF THE GAME was American television at its most studiously spectacular thirty years ago.
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