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RE: [probe_control] Re: Someone's Thought on Rotating Leads

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  • Jeffrey P Rush
    “The Name of the Game” has mentioned periodically here. Anybody know where copies of the show can be found (at a reasonable rate)? Thanks. Lock and Load
    Message 1 of 20 , Aug 5, 2007
      �The Name of the Game� has mentioned periodically here. Anybody know where
      copies of the show can be found (at a reasonable rate)? Thanks.



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      Jeffrey P. Rush
      205/368-6893

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      From: probe_control@yahoogroups.com [mailto:probe_control@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of fewernicholas
      Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2007 10:12 AM
      To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [probe_control] Re: Someone's Thought on Rotating Leads



      --- In HYPERLINK
      "mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com"probe_control@-yahoogroups.-com,
      dmanmetz@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > I have my own theory on this. I think most importantly, the
      producers wanted hit which translates to money in Hollywood. There
      is "showbiz" term (which I cannot remember) where an actor has test
      score on how well they are received with an audience. His or her
      likeability. I think Robert Justin mentioned this in interview about
      two years ago. That plays a big part in who they cast. Hugh O'Brian
      was already set to play Lockwood and I guess he didn't want to do 23
      shows for a whole season. Also, after long period of time off and
      movie career that didn't take off in the late 60's (Cowboy in
      Africa) this was his big triumphant return to TV. Since the Probe
      Pilot was hit, I'm sure NBC expected a lot from Search. That's when
      Leslie Stevens decided to hedge his bets and add two more Probes.
      > Even though Tony Franciosa was fired from his late 60's
      critically acclaimed groundbreaking hit Name of the Game, another
      three star rotating series in which Leslie Stevens produced the
      Franciosa episodes; he was still big name in Hollywood and force to
      be reckoned with. He helped paved the way for Italian American
      leading men in the 60's on the big screen and had just missed
      becoming a movie star legend. Had he stayed on the road of the early
      promise (Hateful Rain, Rio Conchos, and Career) he showed with
      better movies and more Oscar caliber performances, his name would
      mentioned right up there with Marlon Brando and Paul Newman today.
      Anyway, he was the star that received the most attention in Name of
      Game, which I think was considered the best show on television at
      the time, so casting him seemed to be a no brainier. I liked the
      Bianco episodes, but sometimes I got tired of Tony's tough guy act.
      It seemed like he always went out of his way to beat somebody up as
      opposed Lockwood's cool calculating approach before kicking some a%#
      or Grover's "Jim Rockford" like approach of trying get out it. I
      think he was a little rough and over the top in his first Search
      episode "One of our Probe's is Missing", but I think he settled down
      in his role for the latter episodes. My favorite episodes of his
      were Operation: Iceman, Let us Prey, and the Clayton Lewis
      Documents. Don't really know what happen to his career afterwards.
      He had a few good roles, but was also in some junk. Did Franciosa
      piss off to many people in Hollywood or did he just walk away from
      it all.
      > Although not taken as serious as an actor as O'Brian and
      Franciosa, Doug McClure surprised everyone and stole show from James
      Drury in NBC's high rated and critically acclaimed The Virginian.
      The show, which ran for 9 years, made McClure a star. I think at the
      time he was trying to kick his young (even though he was 37 at the
      time) sidekick image and pursue mature leading men roles and Search
      was his opportunity. Also, Leslie Stevens produced the Doug McClure/
      Trampas episodes for the Virginian's last season under the title
      of "Men from Shiloh, which did a rotating wheel of four stars. This
      probably explains how McClure was hired for Search. Also, if you
      look on IMDB, Doug McClure starred in several popular and critically
      acclaimed movies before and after Search. Some, which I would love
      to see, are considered early 1970's TV movie gems. Among them: The
      Birdmen, Terror in the Sky (Inspired the Airplane movies),The Death
      of Me Yet (which I think inspired Kevin Costner's 1987 No Way Out),
      Playmates, with MASH's Alan Alda, Shirts/Skins, Death Race, and
      Satan's Triangle (which I hear is pretty damn scary to this day). I
      think with the failure of Search, McClure went back to what he
      thought was safe by being a Cowboy again in the short lived Wild,
      Wild West rip-off, The Barbary Coast with Captain Kirk himself,
      William Shatner. After that, in my own humble opinion, McClure did
      nothing but junk. Did McClure run out of friends in Hollywood or did
      he just stop caring about t his career. He and his Virginian co-star
      James Drury were best friends and were known in Hollywood for their
      drinking and partying. Although my favorite Probe, I think McClure
      took a little longer than O'Brian and Franciosa to channel in on his
      Grover role.
      > Although Short Circuit is one of my favorites, McClure
      doesn't seem 100% comfortable on how to play the role yet. This was
      an episode that needed to be about 30 minutes longer with all the
      running around Grover does and the as much time as Grover spends in
      his Corvette, the projection backdrop while he is driving takes away
      from realism. I thought "In Search of Midas" was one of the weakest
      episodes in the series. I thought it was silly and that was no real
      danger was involved. This is the one they should have held until the
      end of the season instead of "The Packagers". "A Honeymoon to Kill"
      (the one I remember as a kid) and "The Packagers" are the very best
      of the Grover lot. Good stories, action, and Doug has perfected his
      Grover character." Numbered for Death" is good, but the new series
      format takes away from it. Although it has its moments, "Goddess of
      Destruction" just plays flat. The real highlight of "Moment of
      Madness" is that it is a Cameron episode with Grover on hand to
      assist.
      > I guess the producers were shocked to see that their triple
      threat macho, middle aged, romantic leading men, with past hit
      series to their names were beat in the ratings by a fat balding non-
      leading man who played Matt Dillon on radio, Probe one true
      enemy......FRANK CANNON! Well, sorry to ramble on, but I had some
      time on my hands and love talking about Search.
      >
      >
      > Chris
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Richard D. Perez <richardperez@-...>
      > To: HYPERLINK
      "mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com"probe_control@-yahoogroups.-com
      > Sent: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 07:53:16 -0500
      > Subject: Re: [probe_control] Re: Someone's Thought on Rotating
      Leads
      >
      >
      > Other possible reasons:
      >
      > * In the early 70s, rotating dramas were NBC's unique way of
      > creating multiple sets of hit series, and hedging its bet on
      > failures. If one failed, you could simply replace one part
      of the
      > wheel, rather than the whole thing. I think NBC brass
      decided to
      > experiment with rotating leads as they did with THE NAME OF
      THE
      > GAME earlier.
      > * Once decided, the two crews shooting two different episodes
      makes
      > sense. Interestling emough, today ER shoots four episodes
      > simultaneously.
      > * My original theory that O'Brian did not want to commit to a
      > regular series, so other leads were brought in. However, this
      > theory, upon closer examination, does not make sense, since
      > Franciosa had a reputation for being difficult to work with,
      and
      > McClure just did not fir with the concept. I think NBC overly
      > researched the show and again chose three leads to hedge its
      bets
      > against failure.
      >
      > Richard D, Perez
      > Norton, MA
      >
      > ronaldheld wrote:
      > > One answer is that you have three sets of teams filming. If one
      of
      > > the shows is late for some reason, one of the other two could
      fill in
      > > for it.
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In HYPERLINK
      "mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com"probe_control@-yahoogroups.-com,
      "actingman_jc" <actingman@>
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Someone who found probecontrol.-com wrote to me privately
      regarding
      > > the
      > > > reason for rotating leads. I have no idea, so I put it here
      in the
      > > > forum for discussion.
      > > >
      > > > -------ORIGINAL MESSAGE-------
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Your website FAQ has the following entry:
      > > >
      > > > Why did the leads change every week?
      > > >
      > > > Hugh O'Brian played Lockwood in the pilot. This was his
      return
      > > to
      > > > series tv after a number of years (he was also a part owner of
      the
      > > > show.) We don't have any definite sources as to why they
      decided to
      > > go
      > > > with rotating leads for the series, although there was
      precedent for
      > > > this. Tony Franciosa starred in the pilot for the Name Of The
      Game
      > > > series. When the show went to series, it had three rotating
      leads,
      > > and
      > > > Leslie Stevens worked on the show. He may have liked that set
      up
      > > > (which made for a bigger variety of stories and styles) and
      always
      > > > intended it for Search. Or it's possible Hugh O'Brian didn't
      want
      > > the
      > > > grind of 12 hour days for 24 straight weeks, or a variety of
      other
      > > > possibilities. If anybody out there knows for sure, please let
      us
      > > know.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > It's my understanding that the networks back in the 1970s (I'm
      > > giving
      > > > you a lead here to follow-up on, I'm not quoting gospel)
      operated
      > > > quite differently (obviously) from how they'd operate today.
      Back
      > > > then, it's my understanding that networks needed to diversify
      their
      > > > "star power risk" with different actors who were under contract
      > > with a
      > > > given network (part of the problem behind the Leslie Stevens
      > > departure
      > > > as well).
      > > >
      > > > You will see evidence of this with several things that NBC did
      back
      > > > then... an example would be the way they rotated MacMillan and
      Wife,
      > > > McCloud, Columbo, and Banacek (another set of excellent show,
      > > > incidentally) in the same manner.
      > > >
      > > > This is just another view that I had heard someone mention many
      > > years
      > > > ago and never thought anyone would be interested in such a
      > > factoid...
      > > > again, it's unsubstantiated, so take with a grain of salt...
      just
      > > > passing it along.
      > > >
      > > > Again, all the finest!
      > > > Phil
      > > >
      > >
      > >Hi, All Search fans, I just joined and after reading previous
      posts, I am commenting on some of what Chris and Richard said above.
      Doug did care about his career and I don't agree that everything he
      did later was junk. He did some stage work and was nominated for an
      award for a play he did on Broadway, the only time he was ever
      nominated for anything in his long career, he should have been at
      least nominated for The Virginian, if not won, and for Roots and The
      Rebels, he also gave very good performances in ther tv movies Chris
      mentioned, such as Terror in the Sky and The Death of Me Yet. If he
      did do junk or roles not worthy of his talents, its because he
      needed the money. Getting married and divorced 4 times can be
      expensive! If he had been offered better roles , he would have
      taken them, instead he took the best of what he was offered. Did
      Doug run out of friends in Hollywood? No, Glen A. Larsen gave him a
      lot of geust star work in his shows when Doug's drinking probably
      lost him jobs, but his two big Hollywood friends, Clint Eastwood and
      Burt Reynolds, left him down a bit, I feel. As far as I kinow,
      Clint, who was Doug's best man (At which marriage I don't know),
      didn't offer him any roles in movies he starred in or directed,
      either the serious westerns and thrillers or the the comedies like
      Every Which Way But Loose and Bronco Billy which Doug would have
      been good in. Doug's riding skills could have put to good use by
      Clint. When they used to talk about westerns making a come back, I
      always though Doug would be up there, as he was one the best riders
      in westerns and had been a rodeo rider. And Burt gave him his worst
      movie role of all in Cannonball Run 11, as far down the credits as
      he had been since his first movies and a couple of roles in Evening
      Shade and a B.L.Stryker tv movie. Doug seemed happy enough to play
      the sidekick roles because he knew he could steal the show from the
      star if he wanted to. His comedic skills were shown in his last
      series Out of This World, he being the best reason for watching it.
      I havn't seen all the episodes, but those I have had some great in-
      joke references to The Virginian, but I don't if they made reference
      to Search.> >I had hoped his tv career would pick up even if his
      movie career didn't and who knows, if he had lived, it would have.
      I would have like to seen him do some good tv movies and miniseries
      like the ones he did before, mentioned above.
      As for Richard's comment that Doug didn't fit into the concept of
      rotating leads, Doug had in fact even more experiance of this
      concept than the other two Search stars, as The Virginian often had
      a rotating lead and in its last season as The Men From Shiloh, went
      over completely to the concept. One of the reasons I loved Search
      was that I love cars and Doug got to drive a lot of different cars,
      Grover's Corvette, a Citroen SM with a Maserati engine (in two
      episodes) and nearly a Porsche 911 (My nephew just bought one),
      being nearly run down getting into it by a bad guy in an old
      Daimler, ripping the door off!
      Finally, it might be of interest to Tony Franciosa fans that Doug
      dated Tony's future wife and widow, Rita Theil, in the 60's, between
      wives.
      I'll send another post when I read some more of the posts and find
      something to comment on that might be of interest to the group.
      Nicholas
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