Re: Alternate Probe Agents?
- --- In probe_control@y..., dmanmetz@a... wrote:
> ...Shifting gears,maybe a good question to ask Mr. O'Brian at theconvention, 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
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
- 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 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
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.
--- 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>>
- --- dmanmetz@... wrote:
> Don't forget Lee Majors. Although not a huge TVIt's been many, many years since I've seen the
> 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
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 inOk I will. Still not sure what the differences and
> reading about "The Men Shiloh", check out TV Party.
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 theYeah I'd like to see it as well. Unlike McClure
> 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!
(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 toTo add to the growing list, here are a couple more
> ask Mr. O'Brian at the convention, who was
> considered to be casted and why he didn't want to do
> all 23 episodes.
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?
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Shopping - Mother's Day is May 12th!
- --- dghprobe3 <dghprobe3@...> wrote:
> I don't know which article it was, but atYep. IMO there's no reason to necessarily think
> 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.
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'BrianAbsolutely, and besides financial consideration
> 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.
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 forAs you say. I remember all of those series from
> 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
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 theYeah though on the recent NBC "75th Anniversary
> 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
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.
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Shopping - Mother's Day is May 12th!