I'd Love to see the American TV Series 'The Name of The Game' (1968 - 1971) out on DVD but NBC Universal seem to have 'forgotten' Universal ever made it...!
Apparently there are 'clearance' issues over music & episodes were recorded on different formats but these are issues that CAN be overcome.
At 90 minutes per episodes like 'The Virginian' & the 'Mystery Movies' (Columbo, McCloud, Banacek etc - which it directly inspired) NOTG was ground breaking
The show alternately starred: Gene Barry / Tony Franciosa / Robert Stack as the lead character
- and gave future 'McMillan & Wife' and 'Kate & Allie' star Susan Saint James her award winning TV debut as the Reasearch 'girl friday' Peggy Maxwell who appeared with all three stars (Sue got the 'McMillan' role as a result of her work in NOTG)
Robert Wagner, Peter Falk, Robert Culp, Darren McGavin, & Vera Miles also each took Special Guest Lead roles in one episode each (Culp made two Guest Lead appearances in the third season)
Gene Barry was a top millionaire Publisher Glenn Howard who moved in influential international circles - his stories were normally either big business or political intrigue tales...plus he had a few 'offbeat' more surreal stories....one was a futuristic sci fi tale re the dangers of a future polluted Earth ('L.A. 2017' directed by a young Steven Speilberg), another a spooky tale ('Tarot' guest starring David Carradine &William Shatner), another was a wild surreal tale ('One of The Girls in Research'), another a western ...while in 'Love in at Ground Zero' Howard is kidnapped on a desert highway by a gang of fanatical hippies and is to be forced to witness their planned mass protest suicide during a top secret chemical weapons test by the military...
Tony Franciosa played Jeff Dillon, top investigative Reporter for Howard's 'People' Magazine (he was a stylish 'playboy' type but was a dogged determined investigative reporter who hounded his culpable prey in a style later used by 'Columbo' - those segments were 'current affairs' stories - 'People' magazine eight years before the actual American mag of that name first appeared), Susan Saint James appeared in all the Franciosa episodes, once sharing a co-lead with him in 'The King of Denmark' (re a supposedly 'lost' Shakespeare play, guest starring Joseph Cotton)
Robert Stack played determined Ex-F.B.I. Investigator turned writer Dan Farrell (a more modern but very similar character to his 'Eliot Ness' character of 'The Untouchables'), who was editor of Howard's other big mag 'Crime' Magazine
- Stack's episodes were normally Crime capers - a young Ben Murphy (pre 'Alias Smith & Jones' & 'Gemini Man' played Stack's assistant Joseph Sample in some episodes) - most Stack episodes concluded with a negative image of a character(often the major guest) that then transformed into the latest cover of 'Crime' magazine.
Steve Speilberg, Steven Bochco, Dean Hargrove, Leslie Stevens, Gene L.Coon & Dave Grusin all worked on the show which had major Hollywood guest stars
Boris Karloff's final acting role was in the Gene Barry tale; 'The White Birch' which also featured Pete Duel & Roddy McDowall.
the award winning colour show had 76 episodes of feature length plus a earlier 1966 90 minute pilot film; 'Fame is The Name of The Game' which starred Tony Franciosa as 'Jeff Dillon' with Susan Saint James & guest Jack Klugman & Jill St.John. (that should be included in any future DVD box issue release)
this kind of show was very popular back in the late sixties / early seventies, but possibly due to the length of the episodes (over twice as long as most modern shows) it was seldom repeated, and has been overshadowed by Universal's TV 'Mystery Movies' shows that it directly influenced and inspired (where even the individual episodes credits yellow lettering was identical !)
this show deserves to be rescued from the NBC Universal TV archive and issued on DVD hopefully in 'region 0' (clips from it and the imaginative 'opening graphic' - which originally 'rotated' to put up the featured star each week first - can be found on youtube)