Fame Is the Name of the Game

Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) is an American TV-movie that aired on NBC and served as the pilot episode of the subsequent series The Name of the Game. It was directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It was produced by Ranald MacDougall, who also wrote the teleplay, from the novel One Woman by Tiffany Thayer.[1]

Fame Is the Name of the Game
GenreMystery fiction
Based onOne Woman
by Tiffany Thayer
Written byCarol Sobieski
Screenplay byRanald MacDougall
Directed byStuart Rosenberg
Starring(See article)
Theme music composerBenny Carter
Country of origin United States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Ranald MacDougall
CinematographyJohn F. Warren
Editor(s)Edward W. Williams
Running time100 min
Production company(s)Universal TV
DistributorNBCUniversal TV Distribution
Original networkNBC
Original release
Followed byThe Name of the Game

The film stars Anthony Franciosa as investigative journalist Jeff Dillon. It also presents the screen debut of 20-year-old Susan Saint James as Peggy Chan, Dillon's new editorial assistant. (In the series, St. James's character is renamed Peggy Maxwell, and she is the research assistant to all three of the rotating lead characters.) In the film, Jeff Dillon writes for Fame magazine, a publication of Janus Enterprises, and Glenn Howard (George Macready) is just the managing editor. In the subsequent series, Dillon writes for People magazine, a division of Howard Publications, and Glenn Howard (Gene Barry) is head of the whole company.

The telefilm also features Jill St. John, Jack Klugman, and Robert Duvall.


An investigative reporter looks into the murder of a call girl. His investigation unearths her diary, which has the names of many prominent people inscribed within its pages. He sets out to find her killer from among the names contained in the diary.


Anthony Franciosa as Jeff Dillon
Jill St. John as Leona Purdy
Jack Klugman as Ben Welcome
George Macready as Glenn Howard (replaced by Gene Barry in the subsequent series)
Jack Weston as Griffin
Susan Saint James as Peggy Chan (Peggy Maxwell in the series)
Lee Bowman as Cruikshank
Robert Duvall as Eddie Franchot
Jay C. Flippen as Dizzy Shaner
Nicholas Colasanto as Lieutenant Lewis



In the weeks before the telefilm's first broadcast, NBC ran an unprecedented blitz of TV ads which erroneously billed Fame is the Name of the Game as television's first "world premiere" of a "major motion picture". The film garnered phenomenal ratings leading to the spin-off series.

See alsoEdit

Chicago Deadline (1949)


  1. ^ Marill, Alvin H. Movies Made for Television, The Telefeature and the Mini-Series 1964-1986. New York, 1987, New York Zoetrope. Page 130.

External linksEdit