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Re: [probe_control] Probe Pilot Syndication Cut

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  • John
    I have both versions on DVD somehwere, gotta dig em out. John ... From: kevin_searchprobe Date: 07/12/10 00:21:56 To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com Subject:
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 12, 2010
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      I have both versions on DVD somehwere, gotta dig 'em out.

      John




      -------Original Message-------

      From: kevin_searchprobe
      Date: 07/12/10 00:21:56
      To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [probe_control] Probe Pilot Syndication Cut


      I guess a lot of you know that the PROBE pilot, renamed SEARCH, aired quite
      a bit on local TV morning movies & late shows in the mid to late 70's. I
      remember being pretty thrilled, and since I scanned TV guide a lot I was
      able to catch it a couple of times. The theme music occurs differently
      within the beginning titles, but I don't know if any other changes or cuts
      were made.
      Does anyone have this version on DVD? Does it or the original ever still
      air? I'd hate to see this version completely disappear much like the entire
      series almost did. I have it on VHS, and was thinking of getting it
      transfered to DVD, for posterity's sake. I sort of prefer the way the titles
      work with Frontiere's adjusted theme in the syndication cut. In the original
      the exciting part of the music doesn't really start until Lilia Skala's
      credit. In the syndicated version the music cranks up at just about the time
      you see Lockwood. Hard to describe uless you've seen them both, but I was a
      bit taken about when I finally saw the original PROBE TV film.





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jim Alexander
      I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 12, 2010
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        I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.

        Jim Alexander



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Richard Perez
        I would like to see your copies and compare them to mine. Can you dub them to DVD?? From: probe_control@yahoogroups.com [mailto:probe_control@yahoogroups.com]
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 12, 2010
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          I would like to see your copies and compare them to mine. Can you dub them
          to DVD??



          From: probe_control@yahoogroups.com [mailto:probe_control@yahoogroups.com]
          On Behalf Of Jim Alexander
          Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 6:11 PM
          To: probe control
          Subject: Re: [probe_control] Probe Pilot Syndication Cut





          I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different
          syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV
          station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.

          Jim Alexander

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • kevin_searchprobe
          Great, Please do! Whether they are made available to others or not, please transfer these to DVD. The syndication cuts, airing as noon movies during summer
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 19, 2010
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            Great, Please do! Whether they are made available to others or not, please transfer these to DVD. The syndication cuts, airing as noon movies during summer vacation and in late shows, were probably a lot of people's first taste of 'SEARCH'. They are as historically important to the series as the paperbacks or the View Master reels! The PROBE pilot was well written, exciting & fast paced -- and to get an actor like John Gielgud for a TV film? Incredible. The fact that these versions are altered by cuts & possibly by local station logos only adds to their charm as far as I'm concerned. Very indicative of their time.



            --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@...> wrote:
            >
            > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
            >
            > Jim Alexander
            >
            > VHS is temporary, DVD is forever.


            --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@...> wrote:
            >
            > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
            >
            > Jim Alexander
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • lambulambu
            I wouldn t mind getting a hold of the most uncut version of the pilot, myself. (That is, if you haven t already send me one, Jim, when I bought a few episodes
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 19, 2010
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              I wouldn't mind getting a hold of the most uncut version of the pilot, myself. (That is, if you haven't already send me one, Jim, when I bought a few episodes on DVD a few years ago, before life got in my way.)

              Dino.

              On Jul 20, 2010, at 12:44:02 AM, kevin_searchprobe <kevin_searchprobe@...> wrote:

              From: kevin_searchprobe <kevin_searchprobe@...>
              Subject: [probe_control] Re: Probe Pilot Syndication Cut
              Date: July 20, 2010 12:44:02 AM EDT
              To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com


              Great, Please do! Whether they are made available to others or not, please transfer these to DVD. The syndication cuts, airing as noon movies during summer vacation and in late shows, were probably a lot of people's first taste of 'SEARCH'. They are as historically important to the series as the paperbacks or the View Master reels! The PROBE pilot was well written, exciting & fast paced -- and to get an actor like John Gielgud for a TV film? Incredible. The fact that these versions are altered by cuts & possibly by local station logos only adds to their charm as far as I'm concerned. Very indicative of their time.�

              --- In�probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@...> wrote:
              >
              > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.�
              >�
              > Jim Alexander�
              >�
              > VHS is temporary, DVD is forever.�

              --- In�probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@...> wrote:
              >
              > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.�
              >�
              > Jim Alexander�
              >�
              >�
              >�
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • rbrfab
              Hi folks. By this time I guess the great majority of people on this list have some version of the Probe pilot, but if anyone is still suffering from
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 8, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi folks. By this time I guess the great majority of people on this list have some version of the Probe pilot, but if anyone is still suffering from deprivation, I came across a high-quality version easily downloadable from

                http://stagevu.com/video/lzibkummcjou

                This is the complete film 'Probe' with no commercials, but without the missing scene after the credits. It's almost but not quite identical (a second or two trimmed here and there, eg at the end of the Austria section) to the version sold in the early 90s on Unicorn Video but the colour and sharpness are better. I've found only one other Search item on that site, namely '24 carat hit' dubbed in Spanish! (the site also has quite a lot of Green hornet material which may interest others more than me)

                Richard

                --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, "kevin_searchprobe" <kevin_searchprobe@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Great, Please do! Whether they are made available to others or not, please transfer these to DVD. The syndication cuts, airing as noon movies during summer vacation and in late shows, were probably a lot of people's first taste of 'SEARCH'. They are as historically important to the series as the paperbacks or the View Master reels! The PROBE pilot was well written, exciting & fast paced -- and to get an actor like John Gielgud for a TV film? Incredible. The fact that these versions are altered by cuts & possibly by local station logos only adds to their charm as far as I'm concerned. Very indicative of their time.
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@> wrote:
                > >
                > > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
                > >
                > > Jim Alexander
                > >
                > > VHS is temporary, DVD is forever.
                >
                >
                > --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@> wrote:
                > >
                > > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
                > >
                > > Jim Alexander
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
              • gerald pulley
                Group,   It has been awhile since I checked in with the group.  I would like to purchase the complete Search series on dvd.  Does anyone know where and how
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 9, 2010
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                  Group,
                   
                  It has been awhile since I checked in with the group.  I would like to purchase the complete Search series on dvd.  Does anyone know where and how much it would cost?
                   
                  Thanks kindly.
                   
                  G.

                  --- On Wed, 9/8/10, rbrfab <richard.rutherford@...> wrote:


                  From: rbrfab <richard.rutherford@...>
                  Subject: [probe_control] Re: Probe Pilot Syndication Cut
                  To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 12:40 PM


                   



                  Hi folks. By this time I guess the great majority of people on this list have some version of the Probe pilot, but if anyone is still suffering from deprivation, I came across a high-quality version easily downloadable from

                  http://stagevu.com/video/lzibkummcjou

                  This is the complete film 'Probe' with no commercials, but without the missing scene after the credits. It's almost but not quite identical (a second or two trimmed here and there, eg at the end of the Austria section) to the version sold in the early 90s on Unicorn Video but the colour and sharpness are better. I've found only one other Search item on that site, namely '24 carat hit' dubbed in Spanish! (the site also has quite a lot of Green hornet material which may interest others more than me)

                  Richard

                  --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, "kevin_searchprobe" <kevin_searchprobe@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Great, Please do! Whether they are made available to others or not, please transfer these to DVD. The syndication cuts, airing as noon movies during summer vacation and in late shows, were probably a lot of people's first taste of 'SEARCH'. They are as historically important to the series as the paperbacks or the View Master reels! The PROBE pilot was well written, exciting & fast paced -- and to get an actor like John Gielgud for a TV film? Incredible. The fact that these versions are altered by cuts & possibly by local station logos only adds to their charm as far as I'm concerned. Very indicative of their time.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
                  > >
                  > > Jim Alexander
                  > >
                  > > VHS is temporary, DVD is forever.
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, Jim Alexander <probecontrol@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
                  > >
                  > > Jim Alexander
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >











                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Richard Perez
                  Thanks for the tip on the online availability of the ‘syndication cut’ of the SEARCH pilot. After watching a bit of it, the concept definitely begs for an
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 9, 2010
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                    Thanks for the tip on the online availability of the ‘syndication cut’ of the SEARCH pilot. After watching a bit of it, the concept definitely begs for an update.



                    The series was mishandled, and I never understood why they needed three leads. Franciosa was OK, but Doug McClure??? Kiss of death! Was O’Brian too lazy or too expensive for 22 episodes? And Burgess Meredith? He looked like he was definitely doing it for the money. Then, they screwed with the look of Probe Control. The show was just a mess.



                    But the concept……that is not a mess. It could easily be redone as an action pic, and does not even have to be called SEARCH, though a nod onscreen to its creators would be needed. With the technology we have today, a ‘wired’ secret agent has definite possibilities.



                    Interestigly, there is now an implantable hearing device called the Esteem, which is placed just under the skin behind the ear. The surgery costs $30K, but SEARCH definitely predicted this development.







                    From: probe_control@yahoogroups.com [mailto:probe_control@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of gerald pulley
                    Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:18 PM
                    To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [probe_control] Re: Probe Pilot Syndication Cut





                    Group,

                    It has been awhile since I checked in with the group. I would like to purchase the complete Search series on dvd. Does anyone know where and how much it would cost?

                    Thanks kindly.

                    G.

                    --- On Wed, 9/8/10, rbrfab <richard.rutherford@... <mailto:richard.rutherford%40chch.ox.ac.uk> > wrote:

                    From: rbrfab <richard.rutherford@... <mailto:richard.rutherford%40chch.ox.ac.uk> >
                    Subject: [probe_control] Re: Probe Pilot Syndication Cut
                    To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com <mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 12:40 PM



                    Hi folks. By this time I guess the great majority of people on this list have some version of the Probe pilot, but if anyone is still suffering from deprivation, I came across a high-quality version easily downloadable from

                    http://stagevu.com/video/lzibkummcjou

                    This is the complete film 'Probe' with no commercials, but without the missing scene after the credits. It's almost but not quite identical (a second or two trimmed here and there, eg at the end of the Austria section) to the version sold in the early 90s on Unicorn Video but the colour and sharpness are better. I've found only one other Search item on that site, namely '24 carat hit' dubbed in Spanish! (the site also has quite a lot of Green hornet material which may interest others more than me)

                    Richard

                    --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com <mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com> , "kevin_searchprobe" <kevin_searchprobe@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Great, Please do! Whether they are made available to others or not, please transfer these to DVD. The syndication cuts, airing as noon movies during summer vacation and in late shows, were probably a lot of people's first taste of 'SEARCH'. They are as historically important to the series as the paperbacks or the View Master reels! The PROBE pilot was well written, exciting & fast paced -- and to get an actor like John Gielgud for a TV film? Incredible. The fact that these versions are altered by cuts & possibly by local station logos only adds to their charm as far as I'm concerned. Very indicative of their time.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com <mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com> , Jim Alexander <probecontrol@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
                    > >
                    > > Jim Alexander
                    > >
                    > > VHS is temporary, DVD is forever.
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com <mailto:probe_control%40yahoogroups.com> , Jim Alexander <probecontrol@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I have tapes (which I can always convert to DVD) of at least three different syndicated versions, myself. One of them is a direct transfer from a TV station 1-inch master tape straight to VHS.
                    > >
                    > > Jim Alexander
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    >

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • dghprobe3
                    ... Hi Richard: All your statements above have been answered to one degree or another throughout the course of this list. On the three leads, Jim Alexander
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 9, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In probe_control, "Richard Perez" wrote:
                      > The series was mishandled, and I never understood why they needed three leads. Franciosa was OK, but Doug McClure??? Kiss of death! Was O’Brian too lazy or too expensive for 22 episodes? And Burgess Meredith? He looked like he was definitely doing it for the money. Then, they screwed with the look of Probe Control. The show was just a mess.>

                      --------------------------------------

                      Hi Richard: All your statements above have been answered to one degree or another throughout the course of this list.

                      On the three leads, Jim Alexander met Hugh O'Brian at an autograph show in 2002. O'Brian said he only wanted to do the pilot and not a series. This is not unheard of in the business. In Bob Justman's TV Archive interviews, he said Roy Scheider starred in the "Assignment Munich" pilot, and when the series was bought, Scheider decided he didn't want to do it and Robert Conrad was brought in to the series which was relocated and renamed "Assignment Vienna."

                      If you've been reading the list closely, Leslie Stevens had earlier been a producer for "The Name of the Game" with Franciosa, and that is where the three leads idea came from. McClure may not have been the "best" possible choice, but they were in a time crunch, he had worked previously with Stevens, making him a known quantity, which is what counts after all is said and done.

                      If you've followed the recent posts about the NBC ratings, it was a Grover episode which received the highest Neilsen rating for the series. But it was a fluke, a fluke which may have helped them stay on for the full season, but may also have ironically worked against a needed time slot change, as we explained then.

                      Both Cannon and Search killed The Julie Andrews Show, but when ABC replaced Julie with Owen Marshall, which was in it's second season and had found its audience, Search lost that three-way race.

                      Burgess Meredith had a working relationship with Leslie Stevens going all the way back to their days together with Orson Welles Mercury Theater. This has been discussed on this list. Barbara Eden told me a few days ago that Stevens was an actor before he became a writer-producer. I did not know that, but it's possible that he did do some acting either on stage or radio with the Mercury players or others when he was younger.

                      I agree it was a mistake that Meredith was not used more than he was in Search, being always kept in the control room. There was an attempt to put him in more dramatic situations toward the end, but I guess it was a case of too little, too late. In one interview, Meredith said he "phoned in" his role as Cameron.

                      Then there were the messages we got from Angel toward the beginning of this list discussing how Stevens got distracted from Search because of another deal he had going with another network. Bob Justman later agreed that Search would have been better if Stevens had devoted more time to it.

                      The midseason changes have also been discussed on this list. When Stevens and Justman left, the production chores went to Anthony Spinner and John Strong. They didn't quite have Stevens' clout, and they had to deliver based on what NBC wanted.

                      Stevens wanted the romantic crime caper approach, similar to "It Takes a Thief." NBC wanted more serious crime stories like "Cannon," which was the competition, so that's the way the last eight episodes went.

                      Then there are the several interviews Jim Alexander conducted with Mr. Strong, which goes into much of this. The original Probe Control occupied a full soundstage, and the changes for the last eight episodes decreased the size of the set considerably, and as a cost-cutting move. Yes, the changes in stock footage were not free, but I suspect those costs would have been amortized had the series continued.

                      Then again, if Search had started with high ratings and had maintained them, probably none of the changes would have been necessary as NBC would have been quite happy having a top-rated series.

                      Yes, the show could have been better. For that matter, ALL television series could have been better. My view is that they did the best they could with the many, many limitations they were working under.
                    • David Marks
                      As for Owen Marshall I believe Lee Majors was the real draw for this legal drama after Arthur Hill. Majors didn t stay with Owen Marshall for long opting
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 9, 2010
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                        As for "Owen Marshall" I believe Lee Majors was
                        the real draw for this legal drama after Arthur Hill.
                        Majors didn't stay with "Owen Marshall" for long
                        opting for "The Six Million Dollar Man".  David
                        Soul took over after Majors.  As I remember
                        "Owen Marshall" did not last much longer after
                        Majors left.
                         
                        I myself have cited this before.  Leslie Stevens.
                        Stevens himself stated he begins a series and
                        delegates subsequent productions to his associates. 
                        He did this first for "Stoney Burke" and notably, 
                        "The Outer Limits" in which Joseph Stefano
                        was the series prime minister rather than Stevens
                        during its first season.
                         
                             End Run,
                         
                             David


                        --- On Thu, 9/9/10, dghprobe3 <dghprobe3@...> wrote:


                        From: dghprobe3 <dghprobe3@...>
                        Subject: [probe_control] Search series limitations
                        To: probe_control@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Thursday, September 9, 2010, 4:58 PM


                         



                        --- In probe_control, "Richard Perez" wrote:
                        > The series was mishandled, and I never understood why they needed three leads. Franciosa was OK, but Doug McClure??? Kiss of death! Was O’Brian too lazy or too expensive for 22 episodes? And Burgess Meredith? He looked like he was definitely doing it for the money. Then, they screwed with the look of Probe Control. The show was just a mess.>

                        --------------------------------------

                        Hi Richard: All your statements above have been answered to one degree or another throughout the course of this list.

                        On the three leads, Jim Alexander met Hugh O'Brian at an autograph show in 2002. O'Brian said he only wanted to do the pilot and not a series. This is not unheard of in the business. In Bob Justman's TV Archive interviews, he said Roy Scheider starred in the "Assignment Munich" pilot, and when the series was bought, Scheider decided he didn't want to do it and Robert Conrad was brought in to the series which was relocated and renamed "Assignment Vienna."

                        If you've been reading the list closely, Leslie Stevens had earlier been a producer for "The Name of the Game" with Franciosa, and that is where the three leads idea came from. McClure may not have been the "best" possible choice, but they were in a time crunch, he had worked previously with Stevens, making him a known quantity, which is what counts after all is said and done.

                        If you've followed the recent posts about the NBC ratings, it was a Grover episode which received the highest Neilsen rating for the series. But it was a fluke, a fluke which may have helped them stay on for the full season, but may also have ironically worked against a needed time slot change, as we explained then.

                        Both Cannon and Search killed The Julie Andrews Show, but when ABC replaced Julie with Owen Marshall, which was in it's second season and had found its audience, Search lost that three-way race.

                        Burgess Meredith had a working relationship with Leslie Stevens going all the way back to their days together with Orson Welles Mercury Theater. This has been discussed on this list. Barbara Eden told me a few days ago that Stevens was an actor before he became a writer-producer. I did not know that, but it's possible that he did do some acting either on stage or radio with the Mercury players or others when he was younger.

                        I agree it was a mistake that Meredith was not used more than he was in Search, being always kept in the control room. There was an attempt to put him in more dramatic situations toward the end, but I guess it was a case of too little, too late. In one interview, Meredith said he "phoned in" his role as Cameron.

                        Then there were the messages we got from Angel toward the beginning of this list discussing how Stevens got distracted from Search because of another deal he had going with another network. Bob Justman later agreed that Search would have been better if Stevens had devoted more time to it.

                        The midseason changes have also been discussed on this list. When Stevens and Justman left, the production chores went to Anthony Spinner and John Strong. They didn't quite have Stevens' clout, and they had to deliver based on what NBC wanted.

                        Stevens wanted the romantic crime caper approach, similar to "It Takes a Thief." NBC wanted more serious crime stories like "Cannon," which was the competition, so that's the way the last eight episodes went.

                        Then there are the several interviews Jim Alexander conducted with Mr. Strong, which goes into much of this. The original Probe Control occupied a full soundstage, and the changes for the last eight episodes decreased the size of the set considerably, and as a cost-cutting move. Yes, the changes in stock footage were not free, but I suspect those costs would have been amortized had the series continued.

                        Then again, if Search had started with high ratings and had maintained them, probably none of the changes would have been necessary as NBC would have been quite happy having a top-rated series.

                        Yes, the show could have been better. For that matter, ALL television series could have been better. My view is that they did the best they could with the many, many limitations they were working under.











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