Any word on when The Name Of The Game is being released on DVD?

Pathfiner

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Shout Factory have replied to my recent email to them advising they do not hold the rights to The Name of The Game so nothing positive to report it would appear

I understood that Shout/Timeless Media were hoping to release season one back in 2014 but then hit problems

I see on the show's Facebook page someone was asking about Gene Barry cameos in his co-stars episodes;

these were mostly season one

Tony Franciosa episodes;
'Fear of High Places'
'The Incomparable Connie Walker'
'Collector's Edition'
'Shine On, Shine On Jesse Gil'

Robert Stack episodes;
'Nightmare'
'Witness'
'The Bobby Currier Story'
'High on A Rainbow'

Gene Barry also made cameos in
'Pineapple Rose' - season one
'Goodbye Harry' - season two
'Man of The People' - season two
'Cynthia is Alive And Living in Avalon' - season three

I don't belong to Facebook but anyone on here who does might like to advise the folks on the show's Facebook page accordingly
 
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Neil Brock

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Its not coming out. If a Universal series doesn't have usable elements, either in the form of a decent set of 16mm prints, essentially for black and white shows as color 16s would be too faded, or a set of tape transfers, then its really not available. No company is going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars transferring a show that is going to have minimal sales. There does not exist a set of NOTG transfers for the 76 episodes, hence no release will be forthcoming. The only chance anything will ever happen with the show would be if some network bought it and paid for it to be transferred.
 

Pathfiner

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well never say never....even if it's unlikely in the near future

The show's facebook page states they were contacted some months back by a guy named Sanford who told them he had worked at Universal for three years and that they had ALL 76 episodes plus the pilot 'Fame is...TNOTG' and that all were in good condition

it was noticed that while COZI TV tended to rerun the same basic 37 or so episodes in rotation, occasionally a 'new' episode was added - the third season episode; 'Cynthia is Alive...' with Robert Culp 'subbing' for Tony Franciosa appears to be one such instance of this, while the previously unlisted third season Robert Stack episode; 'So Long Baby And Amen' has since been screened too (note Stack's 'Unotuchables' co-star Paul Picerni appeared in that NOTG episode)

This guy Sanford told them that the problem was due to clearance issues chiefly re music and other copyrites - this type of problem delayed the DVD release of 'Search' and 'Batman' too tho' both were eventually released ('Batman' was also held up due to legal issues I believe)

How accurate what he told them was we can only guess, I think we will just have to wait and see...
 
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Neil Brock

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well never say never....even if it's unlikely in the near future

The show's facebook page states they were contacted some months back by a guy named Sanford who told them he had worked at Universal for three years and that they had ALL 76 episodes plus the pilot 'Fame is...TNOTG' and that all were in good condition
Yeah, they have them on 35mm, which Universal doesn't let out of house and in-house charges in the neighborhood of $6000-$7000 an episode to transfer. Minimum. That may be even too low of a guess. So tell me how that translates into a release?
 

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I know this might be a dumb question but why can't they release the prints that Cozi TV had.

As I don't have access to Cozi, I would rather have some episodes rather than none even if the quality could be better.
 

Pathfiner

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I'm not gonna tell you anything !

- I am only reporting what I had read on the show's Facebook page

and nothing would EVER get released if we just take the line it always costs too much to be a viable release ...yet nevertheless shows from all eras ARE still appearing on DVD and at least 'TNOTG' has been running on COZI TV recently and with occasional 'new' episodes creeping into their rotation that must be an encouraging point in favor of a release at some point in the future

I can recall reading how 'Batman' was NEVER likely to get a DVD release....it's out now !

TNOTG was once Universal's most expensive TV show (surely they would want something back on that considerable expense besides just letting the show lay 'forgotten' in their archive forevermore...?) , and the fact it featured early key production work by both Steven Spielberg, and Steven Bochco, also Dean Hargrove, Leslie Stevens, George Eckstein, Gene L.Coon, Dominic Frontiere, etc...

...plus also the final acting role of Boris Karloff, a narration contribution from Orson Welles, the only appearance of brothers Pete Duel and Geoffrey Deuel together...together with a vast array of top international guest stars, and special guest lead roles by Robert Wagner, Peter Falk, Robert Culp, Darren McGavin, and Vera Miles... SHOULD see the show eventually get a DVD release for those factors besides the three regular leading stars each of whom are still well remembered from other top TV shows ('The Untouchables'/ 'Most Wanted'/'Unsolved Mysteries'/'Bat Masterson'/'Burke's Law'/'Valentine's Day/'Search'/'Matt Helm') ...and famous films ('War of The Worlds'/'A Face in The Crowd'/'The High and The Mighty' etc)...and TNOTG had many fine scripts etc

so as I said we can only wait and see....and hope !

re the last poster's question - I agree with you - but I believe the COZI TV screened versions may be edited down somewhat and were a cross section of episodes from the three seasons which Shout/Timeless Media did not want to release like that, hence their season one set never appeared or so far any 'selected episodes' box set which would be better than nothing
 
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MCCLOUD

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Yeah, they have them on 35mm, which Universal doesn't let out of house and in-house charges in the neighborhood of $6000-$7000 an episode to transfer. Minimum. That may be even too low of a guess. So tell me how that translates into a release?
The transfer costs are probably excessive and part of the "Universal Bookkeeping!" James Garner details in his autobiography some of the excessive and unethical things Universal did to him on The Rockford Files. One example Garner gave was charging him (his company) something like 50,000 dollars to transfer by truck a couple of hours away completed film! 50,000 dollars when it could be done for less than 500 probably! Same thing I would think about the 6000 to 7000 transfer costs per episode. If all the union rates etc were taken out it might not really cost half that amount per episode!

Take Care!
Robert
 

John Karras

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I know this might be a dumb question but why can't they release the prints that Cozi TV had.

As I don't have access to Cozi, I would rather have some episodes rather than none even if the quality could be better.
Shout has indicated that they aren't interested in releasing versions that have been edited and have had music replacements (which is what COZI is running). This project will likely remain in the dead file unless Universal changes their policy about releasing elements out of house.
 

Pathfiner

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While still no sign of TNOTG complete series on DVD a guy on the show's Facebook page 'Remembering The Name of The Game' suggested that it might be a good idea to ask after the show's earlier 1966 color pilot TV Movie; 'Fame is The Name of The Game' Starring Tony Franciosa, with Guest Stars; Jill St. John, Jack Klugman, Robert Duvall, Nicholas Colosanto and Introducing 19 year old Susan Saint James as 'Peggy'

if that at least came out as a stand alone DVD release it might then attract some wider interest in the TV version ?

A big problem re TNOTG I feel, besides any format or 'clearance issues' re music etc is that over a long period of time, with no reruns overseas and scant reruns outside a couple of cable channels of those 37 episodes only in the USA (and then not in all areas) the show has simply been rather 'forgotten' by some older folks and is just NOT known at all by younger people !

A while back I opened up a thread on the show on another classic TV forum I belong to, and posted a few youtube links showing clips or even a few complete episodes, plus a first and second season montage posting - to date over a thousand people have viewed that thread and some positive feedback came from younger people who DID want to see more of TNOTG

many 'knew' Tony Franciosa from 'Search', 'Matt Helm' and 'Finder of Lost Loves' plus his film roles

they knew Gene Barry from 'Bat Masterson', 'Burke's Law', even 'The Adventurer' (which Gene always denied doing !) plus 'War of The Worlds' and the 'Columbo' pilot TV Movie; 'Prescription; Murder'

they knew Robert Stack from 'The Untouchables', 'Most Wanted', 'Airplane' and as the first host of 'Unsolved Mysteries'

they knew Ben Murphy for 'Alias Smith and Jones', and 'Gemini Man'
and Susan Saint James for 'McMillan & Wife' and 'Kate & Aliie' etc.....

but NONE knew they ever were all in TNOTG or had ever heard of the show !

I think sadly TNOTG got 'eclipsed' by the later Universal 'Mystery Movies' like Columbo, McCloud, Banacek etc that it helped to produce - many cast were in both and so too the production teams and writers etc

plus later shows like 'Lou Grant' are better remembered re the 'Investigative reporters' angle

TNOTG was so important for then younger guys like Steven Bochco and Steven Spielberg,

plus Dean Hargrove, George Eckstein, Gene L.Coon, Richard Irving, Dominic Frontiere etc made vital contributions to the show

TNOTG would be of interest to fans of actors such as Boris Karloff, Orson Welles, Pete Duel (appearing with his brother Geoff for the only time onscreen) and even the 'Rat Pack' fans would be interested in seeing Sammy Davis jnr, Frank Sinatra and other stars in the 'Billy Baker' two part episode

Columbo fans would be interested in seeing Peter Falk taking the guest lead in 'A Sister From Napoli' and so too fans of Darren McGavin and Robert Wagner, Robert Culp, and Vera Miles who I'm sure would enjoy their guest lead episodes too

recently Zsa Zsa Gabor left us - she makes a cameo in 'Fear of High Places' and TNOTG is a 'who's who' of top International Guest Stars

I think over time NBC Universal like the older viewers have come to 'forget' about this award winning TV series which was so expensively and lavishly produced, and was so often of the very highest quality too !

The positive response I got on that thread I opened on the other forum from many younger people who were unaware of TNOTG at all - and they were very interested in episodes such as 'LA 2017' etc - suggested IF the show were first to be put back on general Television like Universal TV or Turners etc, , maybe in an afternoon matinee spot (in place of non stop reruns of 'Columbo' here in the UK at least !) then a DVD release might be a more feasible idea....?
 
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Pathfiner

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I'm not a Facebook member but here are my thoughts re a few points they have been making re the 'guest lead' episodes in case any of the show's Facebook members look in on here (I know some do as they have mentioned this forum) - and for general info for any interested members here of course...!

I understand Tony Franciosa was contracted for SEVEN episodes per season - he did the full seven episodes in season two (tho' 'The King of Denmark' was Peggy's episode really with Susan Saint James sharing the before episode title co-lead credit - with Tony Franciosa - for the only time in the show and her character Peggy Maxwell having the larger onscreen role - Jeff Dillon appears at the beginning then again for the final 15 minutes or so)

Tony only did six episodes in the first season - for some reason he was absent from 'Pineapple Rose' which was produced by his segment producer Leslie Stevens but put under Gene Barry's segment as GB made a few cameos in the story as Glenn Howard

- Howard's exec asst Andy Hill (Cliff Potts credited as 'Starring Cliff Potter') had his supporting role expanded for the only time as Andy led the hunt for a mistakenly kidnapped Peggy Maxwell - in fact the normally more serious Andy Hill 'becomes' like Jeff Dillon for this one episode, thus it was apparent that a quick 'subbing' of Andy Hill for Dillon was done but the script clearly had been written for Dillon to lead

we can only guess why TF was absent, some think he disliked the script and just failed to turn up for filming (?) - possibly so - but maybe it was purely a case of an enforced absence this once (?) - possibly TF was unwell or maybe suddenly had a family matter etc - whatever no big problems were apparent in the first season and TF was then contracted for both seasons two and three

I think it was season three's episode 'I Love You Billy Baker' that may well have caused the problem re TF - apparently this (only ever) two part show was originally intended as a normal instalment but it's rumoured the producer's got carried away with all the musical guests featured and expanded it to two parts - tho' I've read that 'part two' is largely a series of song performances ! (a clip of this story posted up on youtube has Dillon and Peggy taking a back seat while Ray Charles, Tony Martin, then Sammy Davis jnr sing together)

if these musical interludes did indeed keep interrupting the tale I could see the 'hair trigger' tempered TF getting upset....understandably so as it got up my nose during the brief clip !

whatever after this TF either was fired or 'walked out' (shades of Eric Fleming on 'Rawhide', Jim Garner on 'Maverick'...and David Crosby re The Byrds !)

note however that they still retained TF face and name on the season three opening graphic and brought in Robert Culp (twice), Robert Wagner, and Peter Falk as guest leads playing other star reporters for Howard Publications in the remaining four episodes of TF season three segment - and the Jeff Dillon two part 'Billy Baker' story was placed AFTER the first Robert Culp 'subbing' episode 'Cynthia is Alive...' in the third season running order creating the impression TF and Jeff Dillon were still part of the show (Peggy also mentiones Jeff Dillon to Glenn Howard at the end of the GB segment third season episode; 'The Tradition' too)

- this quite possibly indicates that the third season was envisaged as the final season of the show therefore no effort was made to alter anything after TF's sudden mid season departure after filming three episodes of his contracted seven....

a couple of other episodes in season two had featured guest leads - 'Goodbye Harry' with Darren McGavin as 'Sam Hardy' and 'Man of The People' - in which Jeff Dillon is mentioned to Glenn Howard by Ross Craig during a meeting - where Vera Miles took lead as Howard's top female reporter Hilary Vanderman - GB cameos as Glenn Howard in both and they are put under his segment


I suspect these two guest lead episodes were intended as possible 'spin off' pilots - they are separate to TF's filmed seven episodes thus don't appear to be stories that Tony Franciosa failed to film - also is it likely that had TF 'played up' twice in season two by refusing to report for filming would he then have been re-contracted by Universal to do his seven episodes segment in season three ?

I think 'A Capitol Affair' third season latter episode which featured Suzanne Pleshette as gossip columnist Hallie Manville - maybe in the lead role ? - was intended to add a female angle more to the show .
Gene Barry again features in it probably in a cameo and I presume it's put under GB segment again (I haven't seen this one !)

so I think Tony Franciosa only missed those final four season three episodes of his segment where Robert Culp (twice), Peter Falk, and Robert Wagner 'subbed' for him...and 'Pineapple Rose' back in season one where Cliff Potts as 'Andy Hill' deputised.

One thing those 'guest leads' episodes did was create the impression that Howard Publications was a vast publishing empire with many star reporters, besides Jeff Dillon and Dan Farrell, working for Glenn Howard in the famous 'Black Tower' building...thus actually added a further dimension to TNOTG
 
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Dave Lawrence

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they knew Gene Barry from...'The Adventurer' (which Gene always denied doing !)
He denied doing the series? How well did that work for him?

I guess if Barry tried to convince people he wasn't in a series that he obviously starred in, then he didn't have to try to deny supposedly getting his co-star Stuart Damon fired from the series because Damon had the audacity to be taller than Barry.

On-topic: I'd still like to finally see TNOTG and would gladly purchase it if a release ever happened.
 
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The guest leads in the third season (Culp, Wagner, Falk, possibly Ms. Pleshette) were probably being tested as potential replacements for Franciosa. That is, beyond just getting four more episodes made to fulfill the studio's contract with NBC, Universal was considering all those stars to lead a segment of the rotation if the series had continued for a fourth year. I don't know that the producers knew the third year would be the last; they just knew that it would be the last for Franciosa. It would have been hard to make a clear change in the series format until the shows were filmed and aired and the studio and network had a chance to select a replacement. Also, the norm at the time would have been to pretend nothing was happening onscreen and simply make the change without explanation anyway.

I've never seen the Wagner and Falk episodes, so I can't really judge who would have been the best choice. Culp was good, and certainly the closest of the three to Franciosa's style, but I would love to see the other two efforts as well.
 
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Wvtvguy

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I've never seen anything of this show other than a few YouTube clips. It's so highly regarded that i'd definitely purchase it though. I love the period & I've been enjoying the BOLD ONES anthology series. I really like the alternating format.
 

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At the moment a few episodes are still up in full on youtube

Robert Stack;
'Swinger's Only' - season one - with Ben Murphy as Joseph Sample
'A Hard Case of The Blues' - season two - with Ben Murphy as Joseph Sample
'So Long Baby And Amen' - season three - with Mark Miller as Ross Craig
'The Savage Eye' - season three - with Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell - guest stars; Pete Duel and Geoff Deuel

Gene Barry;
All The Old Familiar Faces' - season three - with Mark Miller as Ross Craig

Robert Culp;
'Cynthia is Alive And Living in Avalon' - season three - with Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell and Gene Barry as Glenn Howard

also;
'Pineapple Rose' - season one, Starring Cliff Potter, with Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell and Gene Barry as Glenn Howard

sadly no Tony Franciosa episodes are currently up in full on youtube - the ones above may not be on there long either !

I think by the third season they were running out of ideas - where as the show had been dynamic in 1968-69 by season three the episodes I have seen seem to lack the magic of the earlier seasons despite some notable highpoints

there were changes in the production staff that do appear to have made a difference

most of the Robert Stack episodes seem to still be quite strong - although 'So Long Baby And Amen' (Steven Bochco's first script for the show) while good is rather slow moving and for me a bit 'plodding'

'Beware of The Watchdog' with Richard Kiley as a over zealous consumer protector apparently a target for removal is a fine episode

the Tony Franciosa segment begins well with 'The Enemy Before Us' (narrated by Orson Welles) where Jeff Dillon returns to his native New York...only to discover so much has changed for the worse and his own brother (Martin Balsam) may be a drug pusher....but clearly 'Billy Baker' caused some issues for TF re all the musical interludes !

the two Robert Culp 'subbing' episodes are interesting - 'Cynthia is Alive' features Gene Barry doing a cameo as Glenn Howard at beginning and end of the episode, where Culp's 'Paul Tyler' is introduced as an apparently new employee at HP - shaking hands with Howard

- the escapist themed storyline is interesting with gorgeous Barbara Feldon as 'Cynthia' making it work for me ! - but with a surprisingly small cast for a TNOTG episode (no problem but unusual) and few highspots I could see this more 'introspective' tale boring some viewers ...

'Little Bear Died Running' Culp's second and final outing as Paul Tyler is far stronger and a typical 'Jeff Dillon episode' where Tyler has the same persistant 'Columbo' like approach that Dillon had in digging into a mystery and with a strong guest cast plus lovely Peggy works well

I haven't seen Robert Wagner or Peter Falk's 'subbing' episodes either but would LOVE to...!

Gene Barry's segment became rather more experimental with the ghastly ham comedy 'Appointment in Palermo' (had they played it straight it might have made a much more enjoyable episode I feel, as I just get bored by all the OTT pretend accents and mannerisms etc...) - so many great actors like Brenda Vaccaro, Harry Guardino, John Marley etc all 'ham acting for cheap laughs' drives me up the wall

- you seem to get this type of 'play it for laughs' style in one off episodes of so many shows and it's normally done to hide a very weak storyline...

I know some like this type of production, but for me it's all just so OTT and silly

'The Showdown' the show's final episode was a Western spoof...!

and 'A Capitol Affair' is probably Suzanne Pleshette's episode

of the remainder, 'All The Old Familiar Faces' has the vocal interludes by 'The Third Eye' vocal group unseen by the actors that some find irritating....it's o.k. for me (those girls were HOT !) and the story of a public figure like Glenn Howard being a target for attack is eerily all too relevant ...I like this one tho' some clearly don't

'LA 2017' is of course the much talked about 'sci fi' flavoured classic tale re ecology and the dangers of pollution wrecking the planet and specifically LA (today !!) - with a strong guest cast and young Steven Spielberg directing this is a gem - and makes compelling viewing !

a strong case for a DVD release !

'The Broken Puzzle', 'Aquarius Descending', 'The Time is Now' are all more 'normal' style GB episodes and are pretty decent

'A Love To Remember' has guest star Lee Grant as an old flame of Glenn's and her typically excellent performance alone makes this again slightly unusual GB episode worthwhile

they had 'experimented' before in GB's segment with the spooky 'Tarot' and wild 'One of The Girls in Research' during the second season so they were 'pushing the envelope' on even more occasions in GB's third season segment - but this like more adventurous experimental music albums appealed to the masses less than the straightforward style episodes which therefore drew less viewers and didn't suggest a fourth season of TNOTG was likely (also bear in mind that it was an expensive show with expensive production values, stars and guests)

I think season three suggests TNOTG was a bit lost for direction by the early seventies as by then they had done alot of the more 'straight' style stories but the resulting more experimental third season episodes are fascinating to watch now...

re 'The Adventurer'

- Sorry but I just had to laugh at Stuart Damon's moans in the DVD extra interview - he seemed to blame his TV career slump after 'The Champions' back in 1966 totally on GB ! - yet let's face it his bit part in 'The Adventurer' was only a walk on brief minor supporting role playing 'the Gendarme' (Policeman) a character without a name !

I like Stuart Damon, especially in 'The Champions' but after that he seemed to vanish for several years getting a minor guest role in the 1970 UFO episode 'Mindbender' (playing a big headed actor named 'Howard Byrne' demanding 'script approval' and threatening not to turn up for work if he doesn't get it...) but that aside until he later got the medical soap role in the USA his career on TV at least had seemed to nose dive...but hardly due to Gene Barry !

actor Garrick Hagen who wasn't as tall took over in 'The Adventurer' playing the minor support role in about eight episodes clearly GB had no problems with him...

I would guess GB had been persuaded by Lew Grade to come across to Europe expecting a far more lavish production like 'Burke's Law' and 'TNOTG' and was surprised to discover this ITC production of 25 minute episodes was by his standards something of a comedown and must have looked like an 'end of the pier show' cheapo production to him (??)

I suspect that possibly got GB's whole attitude re the show off to a very negative start, then any little thing such as Damon's height etc would probably have set him off (GB had no apparent problem re his co-star Gary Conway's good looks back in 'Burke's Law' did he ?)

an elderly Barry Morse (God bless him !) added to the 'flak' aimed at GB in his DVD interview - but Barry also then states he directed most of the episodes (actually he did just three out of about 26 episodes !) so how much can we take those recollections as being 100% accurate all these years later....?

GB always declined to be interviewed re 'The Adventurer' and claimed not to recall even doing it...! (an actor's standard cop out comment I think) clearly it was a 'troubled' production...but the lack of Stuart Damon's brief walk on parts as an un-named minor supporting semi regular character didn't cause it any great problem I'd say...(Stuart Damon is in a couple of episodes)
 
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FanCollector

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I liked the experimentation that Dean Hargrove started implementing in the third season Gene Barry segments. A Love to Remember and All the Old Familiar Faces are among my very favorite episodes of the series. (In general, I thought the Gene Barry episodes were the best, as they had the widest scope and variety. They just seemed like the least typical television dramas, perhaps because the status of the lead character was so flexible.)

I would certainly not jump to the conclusion that it had anything to do with Gary Conway's physical appearance, but Barry and Conway reportedly did not get along well during the production of Burke's Law.
 

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yes I too liked the experimentation in Gene Barry's segment apart from that play it for cheapo laughs episode 'Appointment in Palermo' which I felt wasted everyone in it...

- season two episode 'Tarot' has a very 'arty' intro and a spooky premise , while 'One of The Girls in Research' is hilarious...but it's kept credible as it's largely all young Sandy's (Brenda Vaccaro) wild romantic offbeat daydreams about Howard !

'LA 2017' may be the sci fi flavoured episode...but the intro and ending make it clear what is going on and it's a sobering lesson to us all plus in places is in turn both scary and hilarious - and maybe a little too accurate considering it's from way back in 1971...?

I like 'All The Old Familiar Faces' too - the girls in 'The Third Eye' are worth the view alone - while Peggy's dance is memorable...and Burgess Meredith, Lois Nettleton, Anne Baxter and Michael Constantine add much to this again offbeat but all too true in places re it's message episode...

'The Broken Puzzle' where Howard has important information...but then loses his memory in an accident is one I'd love to see....
 

FanCollector

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You've seen One of the Girls in Research? I haven't been able to get that one, but it's probably at the top of my wanted list for the series. Glad it really is a good one. I'd also love to see Lola in Lipstick from the first year.

It's interesting to compare the relationship each lead has with Susan Saint James. There is a kind of flirtatiousness with Franciosa, whereas Barry is more of a protective mentor with her. She blends well with both, albeit in different ways. Ms. Saint James apparently didn't get along well with Stack, and eventually stopped appearing with him in his segments for the most part, so there's less of a developed relationship there, of course. Do you know which episode she submitted the year she won the Emmy? (I imagine it was probably The King of Denmark, but that's just supposition.)
 

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