Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Forgotten TV: THE NAME OF THE GAME
The name of the game starred Robert Stack, Gene Barry, Tony Franciosa, and Susan St. James in a terrific little show circa 1968-71.
The series was based on the 1966 television movie Fame Is the Name of the Game, directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Tony Franciosa. The Name of the Game rotated among three characters working at Howard Publications, a large magazine publishing company — Jeff Dillon (Franciosa), a crusading reporter with People magazine (before there was a real-life People magazine); Glenn Howard (Gene Barry, taking over for George Macready, who had originated the role in the earlier film), the sophisticated, well-connected publisher; and Dan Farrell (Robert Stack), the editor of Crime magazine. Serving as a common connection was newcomer Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell, the editorial assistant for each.
Each series, within the series, had a slightly different feel to it. Susan Saint James was a breakout star in the series and went on to MCMILLAN AND WIFE, another series within a series and finally to KATE AND
ALLY. Like Mary Tyler Moore, a generation earlier , she caught the attention of everyone.
FAME seemed very sophisticated at the time. After three years Franciosa was let go in favor of a rotating third star. And the show ended shortly after that.