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Re: Alternate Probe Agents?

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  • dghprobe3
    ... convention, who was considered to be casted and why he didn t want to do all 23 episodes. Oh yeah, one last question that I am dying to know? Were did
    Message 1 of 12 , May 9, 2002
      --- In probe_control@y..., dmanmetz@a... wrote:
      > ...Shifting gears,maybe a good question to ask Mr. O'Brian at the
      convention, who was considered to be casted and why he didn't want to
      do all 23 episodes. Oh yeah, one last question that I am dying to
      know? Were did Search finish in the ratings!

      Hi Chris: I don't know which article it was, but at the time O'Brian
      was signed to star in SEARCH, he did not desire the grind of a weekly
      series. Stevens dusted off the "revolving heroes" format which
      worked for "Name of the Game" and NBC's "Mystery Movie" and applied
      it to SEARCH, and it got O'Brian's OK. Plus O'Brian became part
      owner of the series.

      A better question for O'Brian would be why has SEARCH languished in a
      vault with no U.S. syndication for some 30 years? If he was part
      owner of the show and if the series ended in a deficit, it seems sad
      that no effort was made to try to recover the cost of the series
      through reruns.

      While 23 episodes are usually not enough for syndication (they'd
      rather have 80 to 100 episodes), that didn't stop the one-season
      wonders "Battlestar Galactica," "Time Tunnel," "Kolchak," "The
      Prisoner" and others from becoming worldwide cult hits.

      On ratings, the only article I ever saw on the Neilsen ratings of
      SEARCH was for the January 1973 first run of "A Honeymoon to Kill."
      As I recall, that episode got a 35 out of some 64 shows. SEARCH
      wasn't exactly a runaway hit for NBC, but it wasn't doing that badly
      either.

      --Don H.
    • probecontrol@sigecom.net
      I agree completely with the always-insightful Don Harden. While I d be surprised if Robert Vaughn would have considered the role (too much like U.N.C.L.E.), I
      Message 2 of 12 , May 9, 2002
        I agree completely with the always-insightful Don Harden.
        While I'd be surprised if Robert Vaughn would have considered
        the role (too much like U.N.C.L.E.), I concur that Robert
        Wagner, Jack Lord, and even Robert Culp would have all been
        very plausible candidates for Probe Agents.

        I'd LOVE to have seen their interpretation. <<sigh>>

        Jim
        probecontrol@...
      • dghprobe3
        Jim just reminded me of something. I once read that Burt Reynolds turned down the main role of astronaut Brent in Beneath the Planet of the Apes because he
        Message 3 of 12 , May 9, 2002
          Jim just reminded me of something. I once read that Burt Reynolds
          turned down the main role of astronaut Brent in "Beneath the Planet
          of the Apes" because he felt the character "wasn't his own person."

          One of the complaints critics had with SEARCH (and apparently Hugh
          O'Brian, at least for a while, according to that 1972 TV Guide
          article), was that the Probe agents were sort of ordered about by
          Cameron back at Probe Control. Rightly or wrongly, this aspect would
          have been brought up by any other actor approached to work on the
          series.

          It's probably safe to say that someone like Burt Reynolds would have
          turned SEARCH down, unless he needed the money.

          Evidently O'Brian and Stevens never had an association prior to
          SEARCH, but Franciosa, McClure, Meredith, Tompkins, Justman and much
          of the crew did. Stevens evidently was able to sell the idea of the
          show to them and they evidently trusted him with the product.

          --Don
          -------------------------------------
          --- In probe_control@y..., <probecontrol@s...> wrote:
          > ...While I'd be surprised if Robert Vaughn would have considered
          > the role (too much like U.N.C.L.E.), I concur that Robert
          > Wagner, Jack Lord, and even Robert Culp would have all been
          > very plausible candidates for Probe Agents.
          >
          > I'd LOVE to have seen their interpretation. <<sigh>>
        • Paul Browne
          ... It s been many, many years since I ve seen the 1960 s version of The Virginian. Had forgotten that there were four rotating stars the last year, still
          Message 4 of 12 , May 10, 2002
            --- dmanmetz@... wrote:
            > Don't forget Lee Majors. Although not a huge TV
            > star at the time, he had the Big Valley under his
            > belt, but he was also one of the four rotating stars
            > of during the last year of the "Virgian" (1970-1971)
            > in which it was titled "The Men from Shiloh" Leslie
            > Stevens produced the Doug MClure episodes only in
            > which he played Trampas, which in turn is probley
            > why he got hired for Search. I think Glenn Larsen
            > produced the Lee Majors episodes which he played Roy
            > Tate.

            It's been many, many years since I've seen the
            1960's version of "The Virginian." Had forgotten that
            there were four rotating stars the last year, still
            not clear about that, but the one thing I do remember
            is that the actors who stayed the entire run of the
            series were Doug McClure as Trampas and James Drury
            as, of course, the Virginian. They re-teamed for a
            cameo in the Kenny Rogers "Gambler" movie that had
            many old-time Western stars (including iirc Hugh
            O'Brian and McClure's friend David Carradine).

            > One side note: If you are intrested in
            > reading about "The Men Shiloh", check out TV Party.

            Ok I will. Still not sure what the differences and
            similarities were between "Men From Shiloh" and "The
            Virginian," other than that Drury and/or McClure were
            in both series. I also seem to remember Lee J. Cobb as
            the ranch owner in early seasons of "Virginian" and a
            very young "Animal House/National Lampoon" Tim
            Matheson (?) in "Men From Shiloh." But I'm starting to
            get far afield from "Search"...

            > Many fans considered that as a sequel to the
            > Virgian, but hated what Stevens did in terms of
            > writing to McClure's very popular Trampas character
            > that he had been playing for 9 years. Also there is
            > one episode of the "Men from Shiloh" in which Tony
            > Franciosa guest starred on a Doug McClure episode.
            > Bianco and Grover on the same episode, I gotta find
            > that one!

            Yeah I'd like to see it as well. Unlike McClure
            (Trampas and just saw him in the 1960 "Unforgiven")
            and O'Brian ("Wyatt Earp" of course), who were both at
            home in the motion picture and television West,
            Franciosa I think had a more "urban" persona and was
            not in many Westerns ("Rio Conchos" being a notable
            exception). So McClure and Franciosa together in a
            Western, sure! ;)

            > Shifting gears,maybe a good question to
            > ask Mr. O'Brian at the convention, who was
            > considered to be casted and why he didn't want to do
            > all 23 episodes.

            To add to the growing list, here are a couple more
            for Hugh O'Brian: did he get to meet Tony Franciosa
            and/or Doug McClure during "Search" filming or
            promotion, if so how did they get along? Does he have
            a favorite "Search" episode of his and, if he saw any
            of the ones with Tony or Doug, what did he think of
            the way they played it vs. his own?

            Anthony
            fusillade2000@...


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          • Paul Browne
            ... Yep. IMO there s no reason to necessarily think that further SEARCH seasons would have been reduced to one lead. Certainly the Mystery Movie, for
            Message 5 of 12 , May 10, 2002
              --- dghprobe3 <dghprobe3@...> wrote:
              > I don't know which article it was, but at
              > the time O'Brian
              > was signed to star in SEARCH, he did not desire the
              > grind of a weekly
              > series. Stevens dusted off the "revolving heroes"
              > format which
              > worked for "Name of the Game" and NBC's "Mystery
              > Movie" and applied
              > it to SEARCH, and it got O'Brian's OK.

              Yep. IMO there's no reason to necessarily think
              that further SEARCH seasons would have been reduced to
              one lead. Certainly the "Mystery Movie," for example,
              lasted quite a few years rotating Columbo, McCloud and
              McMillan (and Wife! ;)...though the fourth lead, once
              they introduced that aspect, varied (Hec Ramsey, McCoy
              etc.). So SEARCH may have changed some of the lead
              players, adding and subtracting as time went on, but
              they may well have kept three (or four) "main" Probes.
              A special/movie with two or even three of the leads in
              it may also have been a possibility, alas now it can
              only happen in fanfic.

              > Plus O'Brian
              > became part
              > owner of the series.
              >
              > A better question for O'Brian would be why has
              > SEARCH languished in a
              > vault with no U.S. syndication for some 30 years?
              > If he was part
              > owner of the show and if the series ended in a
              > deficit, it seems sad
              > that no effort was made to try to recover the cost
              > of the series
              > through reruns.

              Absolutely, and besides financial consideration
              there may be the motive of actors wanting to have
              their work out there to be perhaps seen and remembered
              (and for late actors like Doug McClure, to remember
              them a bit). If it's something like "Plan 9 From Outer
              Space," Robert Vaughn's commercial for hair tonic,
              Burt Reynolds and co.'s "Cannonball movies" (though in
              this latter case the stars couldn't have cared less
              what they were doing) etc.-in other words a real
              embarrassment-then any surviving actors probably would
              want it to be buried. But IMO (and likely that of most
              here) SEARCH was nothing to be ashamed of.

              We were talking about a theoretical SEARCH revival
              awhile back. Whether it gets revived or not, showing
              the series on cable/syndication and/or video release
              (as has happened with so many series) would surely
              increase profits for O'Brien. As for Franciosa, the
              SAG/AFTRA contracts of that time may have (alas)
              limited the royalties he could get at this late date.
              But, as someone suggested, maybe something could be
              worked out where he could come in, introduce and
              comment on some of the old episodes (again, as has
              been done with some other series).

              > While 23 episodes are usually not enough for
              > syndication (they'd
              > rather have 80 to 100 episodes), that didn't stop
              > the one-season
              > wonders "Battlestar Galactica," "Time Tunnel,"
              > "Kolchak," "The
              > Prisoner" and others from becoming worldwide cult
              > hits.

              As you say. I remember all of those series from
              when they originally aired (though was quite young for
              TT and TP) and have seen all since...public television
              here in NY is even showing it again currently. And,
              yes, all four of the above gained additional fans in
              syndication. For those interested in a renewed SEARCH,
              there's even been talk (again) of reviving, in one
              form or another, BG and/or TT...Kolchak was sort of
              revived on a couple of X-Files episodes but I'll
              scream bloody murder if anyone tries to revive
              "Prisoner" without Patrick McGoohan's active
              participation (that was such an individual series it
              needs him more than, say, BG needs Glen Larson or TT
              needs Irwin Allen).

              Another interesting thing is that McGoohan wrote a
              (very gracious and professional) sort of introduction
              to one of the "cult tv" books. SEARCH wasn't one of
              the (many) shows profiled, though.

              Would have been intriguing if Lockwood or Bianco
              met Number 6.

              > On ratings, the only article I ever saw on the
              > Neilsen ratings of
              > SEARCH was for the January 1973 first run of "A
              > Honeymoon to Kill."
              > As I recall, that episode got a 35 out of some 64
              > shows. SEARCH
              > wasn't exactly a runaway hit for NBC, but it wasn't
              > doing that badly
              > either.

              Yeah though on the recent NBC "75th Anniversary
              Special" I don't think there was any mention of it
              (and they even mentioned "Supertrain," in the
              "colossal flops" category! ;).

              Over the years, I saw many episodes of SEARCH's
              "main" competition, "Cannon." Mixed feelings about
              that show, IMO William Conrad wasn't a bad actor and
              he had that famous, deep commercial/radio/voiceover
              voice of authority. On the other hand, it was the
              series that more or less knocked SEARCH off the air.
              And, as was said, it was difficult to believe the
              obese Conrad as an "action hero"...maybe that's why so
              much of "Cannon" consisted of Conrad just driving
              around, talking on his (novel at the time) mobile
              phone. Why there was never a sidekick-partner for him,
              as on "Jake and the Fat Man," I don't know...I think
              the episodes where Buddy Ebsen guest starred (as
              Barnaby Jones), or Hari Rhodes, or even an attractive
              actress, were the better ones.

              Don't really remember what was SEARCH's ABC
              competition, maybe that Julie Andrews variety show.
              Can't recall anything about it other than it may have
              been the one where Andrews had the real Maria von
              Trapp on the stage with her.

              Anthony
              fusillade2000@...

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