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The Name of the Game 

This groundbreaking series had 3 rotating stars, who were featured in independent episodes tied together by a loose common theme; Howard Publications, the publishing empire of Glenn Howard.... See full summary »
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1971   1970   1969   1968  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Gene Barry ...  Glenn Howard / ... 41 episodes, 1968-1971
Susan Saint James ...  Peggy Maxwell 36 episodes, 1968-1971
Robert Stack ...  Dan Farrell 26 episodes, 1968-1971
Anthony Franciosa ...  Jeff Dillon 17 episodes, 1968-1970
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Storyline

This groundbreaking series had 3 rotating stars, who were featured in independent episodes tied together by a loose common theme; Howard Publications, the 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, Dan Farrell, 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, including editorial assistant Peggy Maxwell, and junior reporters Joe Sample, Andy Hill and Ross Craig. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What is the name of the game? Excitement! The stars are Gene Barry, Tony Franciosa and Robert Stack. (season 2)

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 Dave Corey, each were billed as 'Guest Starring in...'. Earlier in Season Two, both Darren McGavin (as freelance newsman Sam Hardy in The Name of the Game: Goodbye Harry (1969)), and Vera Miles (as reporter Hilary Vanderman in The Name of the Game: Man of the People (1970)), took guest starring roles (both put under the Gene Barry segment, as he made cameo appearances in each). See more »

Connections

Featured in The Universal Story (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

The Name of The Game Theme
by Dave Grusin
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User Reviews

The best show ever- but not forever
2 September 2002 | by schappe1See all my reviews

When this debuted in 1968, I thought it was the best TV show I'd ever seen. It had a "wheel" format of the kind pioneered by Warner Bros. a decade before, which allowed more time to film each episode and allowed the show to attain higher quality than the average TV show. You could also do any kind of story on it. Glen Howard, (Gene Barry) could get involved with boardroom battles, political scandals in Washington, could travel to anywhere in the world. He was involved in everything from a campus protest to a murder investigation in and English country house to the "Prague Spring" to a flashback episode that took place in the old west to a Phil Wylie vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Dan Farrell, (Robert Stack), was Elliot Ness with a typewriter, going wherever crimes were committed to battle the bad guys with the truth and comfort the afflicted. Jeff Dillon, (Anthony Franciosa), was more interested in afflicting the comfortable as a reporter for People Magazine, (Time/Life's version didn't exist yet), His was perhaps the most open-ended job of all. He could be doing a personality piece on a show business icon, going undercover at a paramilitary training ground, investigating a phony doctor, covering the coverage of a search for someone lost in the woods, (an updated version of "Ace in the Hole"). Susan Saint James was the real star of the show as she was assigned as the assistant to each in time for their latest adventure, (a strange practice, it seems to me, but she was always welcome).

The whole thing was packaged in a glittery covering of jazzy music and artsy-craftsy direction, (including by a young Stephen Spielberg), that made it all seem "hip" and exciting. Looking back at it now, that's one of the problems. It's so aggressively contemporary that it's now very dated, both in style and attitudes. The "Man From Uncle" doesn't date because it was never realistic to begin with. "Adam 12" doesn't date because it was never about issues. The things those cops dealt with is the same thing they'd deal with today. "Lou Grant " doesn't date as much because it was presented in a straight forward manner. "Name of the Game" seems stuck in it's own time.

Another problem is that it got more and more wordy as the show went on. it started out as that rare dinosaur, the 90 minute drama. Coming up with movie length stories on a weekly basis was tough and there was a lot of "fill" in many of the episodes. NBC, experimenting with the notion that longer shows might be cheaper because they meant less shows, eventually expanded it to a series of "special" two hour shows, which not only bloated it more but took it past many bedtimes. What finally killed it was the expense. It was the most expensive show in TV history to that time, (and probably would still be with inflation factored out). it had to be a huge ratings hit to "make it" for a long run. It wasn't and it didn't. But, for a while there, it was something special.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Name of the Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(76 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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