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Customer Discussions > Classic TV forum

NAME OF THE GAME (1968 - 1971)

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Showing 1-25 of 134 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 8, 2007, 4:31:36 PM PDT
Why hasn't this baby-boomer mainstay been released on DVD? ( or even VHS for that matter). Name of the Game set a new standard for series-TV production values when it debuted in '68, and left us then-teenagers with some daring storylines in its final season that have become memory-haunts ever since. Does anyone know of any plans to release this show?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007, 5:01:59 PM PDT
Yes! Great show! And could we guys ever forget Susan St James as Peggy Maxwell (recurring in two of the three rotating trilogies).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2007, 8:55:50 AM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
Oh! I couldn't agree more!! Fantastic show! "Name of the Game" is probably the show I would love to see come to DVD more than any other! Excellent series.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2007, 12:57:00 PM PDT
Yes, great series, NBC Friday nights if I remember right? Also, whasn't it one of the first made for tv movies? anyone?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2007, 3:37:18 PM PDT
I loved this show. I think it was on right after High Chaparral on Friday nights. The made for tv movie pilot for this show had Jack Klugman playing a really nasty guy who was annoyed with his woman assistant for some reason and threw his hot coffee in her face.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2007, 9:31:59 PM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
Yep David and Rosemary, you're both right. It was a made for TV movie called "Fame is the Name of the Game," and Jack Klugman was in it. The series ran on Friday nights. In fact, during its first season, NBC's Friday night line-up was, ready for this?
7:30 - 8:30: The High Chaparral
8:30 - 10:00: The Name of the Game
10:00 - 11:00: Star Trek
Was that a night for TV or what? That line-up is almost hard to believe today. Ya know, if "The High Chaparral" and "The Name of the Game" ever come to DVD, I want to spend one season's worth of Friday nights revisiting this line-up with my wife and kids.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2007, 4:46:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 14, 2007, 4:48:40 PM PDT
To ALL respondents so far:
VERY gratifying to see such broad support for ( and fond memories of) this show; when I initiated this discussion I did not anticipate this dialogue, but am pleased by the feedback. To recall exactly where it fell in NBC's Friday night schedule ( I can almost recite Robert Stack's, Gene Barry's, or Tony Franciosa's voice-over during High Chaparral's closing theme, announcing what's "coming up next" on Name of the Game), means there are die-hard boomers out there wanting this show on DVD as much as I do.

NEXT QUESTION: how do we convince Universal Studios to release this series?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2007, 10:29:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 14, 2007, 10:32:33 PM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
Honestly, I wish I knew! I have a friend who insists, as do I, that there has never been a better program than this produced. He's called NBC/Universal; tried calling Trio to see if they were ever going to run it, and I've gone to TVShowsonDVD.com and voted for it; leaving a comment as well. Others have suggested writing to NBC/Universal personally, and I certainly don't think that's a bad idea at all! Hopfully enough people will show them that there's enough interest in this program to justify putting forth the cash and effort to release it in season sets (but NOT as, say: "Season 1 Vol. 1." Oooh I hate it when a company does that! Regardless of how bad I want a show, I refuse to buy a set of something in volumes. Other than greed, there's no reason for it.) But, I'm wide open for suggestions! By the way, in general, what did the voice-over's say? I was so young that I can't remember to that fine of detail. I'd love to know!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2007, 8:00:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 20, 2007, 8:01:36 AM PDT
To N.Laney:
I agree completely regarding the fractured, greed-driven half-season sets some studios resort to (I'm particularly irritated by split-season releases of The Fugitive and Perry Mason). If the planets align someday, and Universal releases Name of the Game, a COMPLETE SERIES set ( much like Time-Life did for Get Smart, and the upcoming Man From UNCLE) would be ideal (although I'm not optimistic).

Lastly, those epsiode teasers heard over High Chaparral's closing theme (a Friday night ritual at my house) went something like this: "...This is Robert Stack. Dan Farrell uncovers a drug smuggling ring when he investigates a trucking company...coming up next on The Name of the Game...". I'm paraphrasing a bit, but you get the idea. -Miss those days.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2007, 1:14:32 PM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
I get the idea...pretty neat! And, the drug smuggling ring episode, if I remember right, had a seen where Dan Farrell was drugged somehow and lost control of the truck he was driving. I remember that when he finally got the truck stopped, he was sitting there laughing (a supposedly drug-induced laugh). I also remember an episode where Jeff Dillon was locked in a cramped area (I can't remember what the situation was anymore) and his captors were trying to drive him crazy or something, and to keep his sanity he kept repeating: "Jeff Dillon; correspondent. Jeff Dillon; correspondent." Eventually it was so bad that he was running around that area screaming it over and over again. It doesn't sound like much in writing, but I remember that being very intense.
That Friday night schedule was also regular viewing at our house, and you're right, I miss 'em too.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2007, 12:08:20 PM PDT
DL Minor says:
Hi Guys, is this a private nostalgia party or can anyone join? :-) Couldn't help nodding and smiling as I was reading all the postings; I too miss those days although I'm almost too young (relatively speaking) to remember 'em! (Nathan, I actually recall that Friday night line-up as I used to cuddle on the living room sofa with my TV western-loving Grandma to watch "The High Chaparral" and later sprawl on the living room carpet to watch "Star Trek" with my younger brother Joe, who was a HUGE fan)
I was 10 years old when "The Name of The Game" debuted, but I watched a LOT of TV as a kid (too much, I now suspect) and so get a bit misty-eyed at the mention of sixties-early seventies television and pop culture.

And no one here has mentioned it, but for me one of the pleasures of this show was its outstanding opening theme instrumental. Mark Little had an absolutely TREMENDOUS TV theme site--haven't visited it in quite awhile but I think it's still available--and I was transported when coming across the original, wonderfully catchy theme music for "The Name of The Game" (marred only by an abrupt cut-off toward the end, probably because of an incoming commercial/careless station break editing). While I'm on the subject, I also love the majestic "High Chaparral" theme, too.

Anyway, you can all count me in as rooting for the release of "The Name of The Game" on DVD!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2007, 2:27:09 PM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
Not at all private. Gladahavya! I agree on Dave Grusin's theme to "Name of the Game!" Actually, "The High Chaparral," "Name of the Game," and "Cimarron Strip" had what I would call my all-time favorite themes along with "Mannix."
Being a late 1962 model, I was much younger when this show made it's debut. I was in 1st through 3rd grade when it originally ran. I can remember being very disappointed with "Bracken's World" replacing "Star Trek" when the second season started. So for the last two seasons, after "Name of the Game" ended, I'd listen to records until it was time to go to bed (around 11:15, after Dad watched the weather; it was Friday so we were allowed to stay up later).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2007, 4:11:13 PM PDT
DL Minor says:
Ah, yes. Almost forgot about "Mannix"--another of my Grandma's faves (she loved westerns and police and detective tv shows) so I know that one too--and I agree, another great, rousing TV theme. (Is it my imagination, Nathan, or are the vast majority of the great TV themes--and shows--from another era? Sure seems that way)

I also loved the "I Spy" series and its fantatic opening theme and images (Robert Culp nonchalantly lighting a bomb and then tossing it straight at the camera gets me every time) and of course the kinetic, iconic "Mission Impossible" theme as well.

I also liked "It Takes A Thief", "Johnny Quest" (the only cartoon in primetime in those days after "The Flintstones") and the cute Richard Benjamin-Paula Prentiss sitcom, "He & She" with its sweetly romantic theme and lush pretty opening montage.

"He & She" is another long lost series I wish could find its way to DVD--do you remember this one at all? The dryly funny Benjamin and his real-life wife, the daffy, lovely Prentiss had marvelous romantic/comic chemistry together, plus there was the peerless Jack Cassidy as the egomaniacal Oscar North--surely a forefunner to Ted Knight's lovably pompous Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"-- as well scene stealers like Hamilton Camp and the great Kenneth Mars.

Paula Prentiss, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite actresses of that era--check out her beauty and quirky charms in zany sixties films like "The World of Henry Orient" with Peter Sellers, "Man's Favorite Sport?" opposite Rock Hudson (he and Prentiss really should have worked together again) and "What's New Pussycat?" opposite Peter O'Toole, among many others.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2007, 6:22:05 PM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
Oh yeah, "Johnny Quest." That IS a great theme! There's a particular part of that song that I wait for everytime we watch it. It's, I'd say probably better than half-way through the song; the horns soar and then stop, but the drums keep playing, then the guitar hits a chord with a fast tremelo effect. It might sound wierd, but that one chord is my favorite part of that whole theme. But, yes, a great theme!
And I also agree on "I Spy," great theme and show! And, when you mentioned "Mary Tyler Moore," that's another great show with a great theme. I don't remember "He & She," but I did read about it. If I remember right, didn't that show go on the air in 1967? What network aired that program? If it was ABC that would explain why we never watched it. We couldn't pick up the nearest ABC station that was about 90 miles away.
Without a doubt TV is NOT what it used to be. In fact, we haven't watched network TV for years now. To me, the last great prime time show I can think of is "Taxi," which I hardly ever saw in its original run because it was on ABC except for its last season. I liked "SCTV Network 90" alot too, but that came on at 12:30 AM, hardly prime time. But my absolute favorite shows are the ones that aired prior to these ones. My most favorite era(s) for TV are from 1948 through about 1971. But the absolute highlight in my years of TV watching was NBC Friday with "The High Chaparral" and "The Name of the Game," "Name of the Game" in particular!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2007, 7:27:21 PM PDT
DL Minor says:
I don't recall now which network aired "He & She"--might have been ABC, though now I think about it, I'm tempted to say CBS. I think ABC was showing "Here Come The Brides" at that particular hour, though I could be mistaken.

"Here Come The Brides" -- another show I remember fondly (mostly because of my Grandma) with a memorable theme, an instrumental of the song "Seattle." Perry Como did a vocal version of "Seattle" that was quite popular back in 1970 on AM Chicago radio.

Oh, hey, I liked SCTV also! My cousin Mike and I would gleefully compare notes on our favorite celebrity and tv series send-ups, including a falling-down funny spoof of the old "Leave It To Beaver" show, and Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis dead-on and devastating in their impersonations of "dueling comedians" Bob Hope and Woody Allen. And don't even get me started on the late great John Candy as the drunken Johnny LaRue or the exuberantly clueless "Mr. Mambo." Wild stuff! I recall endless teenage debates over which show and cast was better--the SCTV gang or the (original) "Saturday Night Live" cast.

I also liked "Taxi" a lot, too, especially Christopher Lloyd as the befuddled "Reverend" Jim and the amazing Andy Kaufman as the sweetly childlike Latka. This show also had one of the great themes (are you picking up on a trend here, Nathan..?), the lovely instrumental "Angela"

Oh, no! Just noticed that in my previous post I typed "forefunner"--obviously meant to say "forerunner" though since I was talking about a very funny sitcom--and you're right, "He & She" did originally debut in 1967, lasting, alas, for only a season--maybe I should let the misspelling stand! ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2007, 4:43:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2007, 11:50:56 AM PDT
Nathan Laney says:
"Here Come the Brides" was another ABC program that I rarely ever saw in it's original run (only if I stayed over night at my older brother's house, he watched ABC's Friday schedule instead of NBC's). I really got to see that show in syndication when the now defunct "Family Channel" ran it. I recorded the show daily, and still have them. I enjoy it! In fact, that's one of the series I intend to get on DVD (just haven't done it yet). Every episode I have has the instrumental theme, although I understand that during the original network airings the instrumental version was replaced by the vocal group version very early on (same instrumental track with vocals added). I like that theme better as an instrumental. I heard it with vocals by, I believe "The New Establishment." I knew Perry Como had a hit with it, but don't recall hearing it much.
You mentioned Chicago AM radio. Man, you people had great radio there. I heard a 1966 air-check of Jim Stagg doing an afternoon countdown program on WCFL. That station sounded absolutely great! ("Hip-hip-hooray W-C-F-L, hip-hip-hooray W-C-F-L.")
To me, comparing "Saturday Night Live" to "SCTV" was like comparing apples and oranges. "SCTV" was SO well done (no doubt due to the luxury of filming as opposed to being live weekly), and I agree with you completely, the impersonations were dead-on! I also remember the "Beaver" spoof, where Beaver (Candy) shot Eddie. Really funny! I also liked their "Movie of the Week" segments, particularly "Teacher's Pet," a take-off on "To Sir with Love." The "On the Road" spoof was really funny too. ("I'm bummed oat." "Sittin' on the coatch is bummin' me oat." "And there's a moase in the hoase." "There aren't many jobs aboat." Oh, what's life all aboat!") "Ben Hur" was really good too. Sammy Maudlin (Sammy and William B. were really maudlin, as were alot of the guests), Lola Heatherton (remember how her bottom lip would shiver when she sang?) and Count Floyd (with that really put on howl and lack of a scary feature, but then again, he was a serious newsman hosting a thriller show) were some of my absolute favorites!
Boy, did we stray off-topic! With good TV there's lots to talk about!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007, 9:32:31 PM PDT
DL Minor says:
We really did, didn't we (stray off topic I mean; I'm a few days on, posting this)! :-)

Just wanted to reiterate that you can indeed find and enjoy the original "Name of the Game" opening theme sound clip (uses RealPlayer) at Mark Little's "mythemes.tv" site--he has SO many wonderful opening themes (and here and there a few network intros, voice-overs and closing themes too), it's truly amazing. Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2007, 9:02:33 AM PST
dizzheart says:
Another vote for Name of the Game to be available on DVD. It's been 35 yeras but eps like 2017 and One of the Girls in Research have stuck with me and I'd like to see them again. Bootlegs are out there but if I had the opportunity I would buy a legal set. This show got me through some tough times back in the day.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2007, 12:53:15 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2007, 12:59:10 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2007, 3:59:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2007, 4:00:47 AM PST
Nathan Laney says:
For clarification's sake, I was involved with a discussion earlier concerning the program "He & She." I've found that it did indeed air on CBS. It first aired during the '67-'68 season on Wednesdays from 9:30 - 10:00 PM. CBS aired select episodes during the summer of 1970, this time on Friday evenings from 8:00 - 8:30 PM, beginning sometime in June, and ending its network run on the 11th of September, 1970. It was on after "Green Acres" in '67 - '68, taking over the "Gomer Pyle" time slot (that show had been moved to Friday evenings from 8:30 - 9:00), and airing opposite the second half of "Kraft Music Hall" on NBC, and the second half of the first hour of the "ABC Wednesday Night Movie."
Just for giggles, I thought that the real "Name of the Game" fans might find it interesting to know what the show's network competition was during its three season airing.
ABC's '68 - '69 Friday evening prime time schedule:
7:30 - 8:30: "Operation Entertainment"
8:30 - 9:00: "Felony Squad"
9:00 - 9:30: "The Don Rickles Show"
9:30 - 10:00: "Guns of Will Sonnett"
10:00 - 11:00: "Judd for the Defense"
ABC's '69 - '70 Friday evening prime time schedule:
7:30 - 8:00: "Let's Make a Deal"
8:00 - 8:30: "The Brady Bunch"
8:30 - 9:00: "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town"
9:00 - 10:00: "Here Come the Brides"
10:00 - 11:00: "Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters"
ABC's '70 - '71 Friday evening prime time schedule:
7:30 - 8:00: "The Brady Bunch"
8:00 - 8:30: "Nanny and the Professor"
8:30 - 9:00: "The Partridge Family"
9:00 - 9:30: "That Girl"
9:30 - 10:00: "Love American Style"
10:00 - 11:00: "This is Tom Jones"
CBS '68 - '69 Friday evening prime time schedule:
7:30 - 8:30: "Wild Wild West"
8:30 - 9:00: "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C."
9:00 - 11:00: "CBS Friday Night Movie"
CBS '69 - '70 Friday evening prime time schedule:
7:30 - 8:00: "Get Smart"
8:00 - 8:30: "The Good Guys"
8:30 - 9:00: "Hogan's Heroes"
9:00 - 11:00: "CBS Friday Night Movie"
CBS '70 - '71 Friday evening prime time schedule:
7:30 - 8:30: "The Interns"
8:30 - 9:00: "The Headmaster"
9:00 - 11:00: "CBS Friday Night Movie"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2007, 10:27:09 AM PST
Yes , I think Name of the Game, on DVD ASAP also It Takes a Thief, Mannix and The Bold Ones plus a little known show from the 1972-73 season called Search.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2007, 10:27:20 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2007, 10:30:00 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2007, 7:20:43 AM PST
DL Minor says:
I'm with you, Frederick! Those are ALL great choices for DVD--but full seasons, mind you.

And hiya, Nathan, you're alluding to the discussions you and I previously had going about "He & She" and that's impressive research on your part; maybe the reason I remember that show so strongly was because I saw the eps in 1970 when I was 12. (I distinctly remember "He & She" being one of my Friday night shows, along with "Johnny Quest" and, from time to time, "Here Come The Brides".)

And wowee, does that programming listing take me back! Scanning that list, I saw in my mind's eye our old family living room-- the green sectional sofa, the blue glass coffee tables, even our old hi-fi-- where I sprawled on the carpet with my younger brother to watch so many of those shows.

I recall nearly all of 'em too, except "Operation Entertainment" (a variety show?), "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (based on the Gary Cooper movie, I presume?), and "The Interns" and "The Headmaster" (were these sitcoms?).

And "The Lawrence Welk Show" having been one of my grandma's long-time favorites I do remember the Lennon Sisters (who were so popular for a time that, in the late sixties, they started appearing on the covers of tabloid magazines like "Photoplay" and "Movie Life", their love lives breathlessly reported on just like Liz Taylor and Jackie O) but I'm drawing a blank on the show "Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters".

The title itself fascinates me--got any specifics on that show?
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Initial post:  Oct 8, 2007
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