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The Name Of The Game was actually three shows under one title. Each of the three stars of the show – Robert Stack, Tony Franciosa and Gene Barry – was featured in his own self-contained episodes.
The connection between them was Howard Publications, a Los Angeles-based publishing empire that had been built up from scratch by its dynamic owner, Glenn Howard (Barry).
Glenn’s position of power, his confrontations with business and political enemies, and his own flamboyant lifestyle were portrayed in his portion of The Name Of The Game.
Within the Howard empire were investigative correspondent Jeff Dillon and editor Dan Farrell. Dillon (Franciosa) was a super-aggressive former newsboy who had clawed his way up to a position of power and respect working for Howard’s People Magazine.
Farrell (Stack) was a former FBI agent (possibly type-casting for Robert Stack, who had played Eliot Ness in The Untouchables) who had gone into the publishing business because it provided a position from which to make the public aware of the threats posed by organised crime. He was the senior editor of Crime Magazine.
Common to all three elements of the show was Peggy Maxwell (Susan Saint James), the bright, ambitious and occasionally kooky editorial assistant to all three men. Joe, Andy and Ross were reporters with recurring, but not weekly, roles.
And what was ‘The Name of The Game’ exactly? The title of the 1966 TV movie on which the series was based was more explicit – It was called Fame Is The Name Of The Game.
Susan Saint James