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Published on Apr 17, 2008
NBC Wednesday 10:00 PM (60 min.) Premiered: September 13, 1972
Last Aired: August 29, 1973 Show Category: Action/Adventure
The premise of "Search" centered on Probe, a division of World Securities Corporation. Individuals, companies, governments would hire the Probe Division to "search and recover that which was missing."
Probe's agents were equiped with miniturized television scanners, which transmitted picture, sound, medical telemetry and anything else the script writers could think of back to Probe Control, where computer specialists monitored the agent's progress, and analyzed the information the scanner was transmitting. The scanners were small and round and had a magnetic back so they could attach to a ring, tie-tack, locket, or anything with a metal surface such that the scanner could appear to be an exotic piece of jewelry. The agents also had a small audio receiver implanted behind the left ear, so they could hear sound transmitted from Probe Control. The Control personnel would link up to any data base, government or private, to retrieve information that would help the agent work the case. The agents also had a dental implant they could use to send beep tones back to control (once for yes, twice for no or continuous for emergency) if the scanner were unavailable or if there were people present...as the agents did not reveal how they were wired for picture and sound if they could help it.
Search had three rotating stars. Hugh O'Brian played agent Hugh Lockwood, whose designation was Probe One. He handled all types of cases that were not specifically crime/mob related. Tony Franciosa played agent Nick Bianco, designation Omega Probe. The Omega division specialized in criminal/organized crime cases. Doug McClure played agent C.R. Grover, designated Standby Probe. He was called in if a last minute case or emergency required an agent to step in at a moment's notice. The C.R. stood for "Christopher Robin." Other than the three star agents, there were other agents at Probe. Back at Control supervising the missions was V.C.R Cameron, played by Burgess Meredith. Cameron supervised the room full of computer/telemetry specialists, making sure the agents had whatever they needed to solve the case, keep them from getting injured, and keep them from breaking too many of Probe Division's regulations.
The pilot for the series was entitled "Probe." Creator and producer Leslie Stevens was reportedly removed from the show when NBC found out he was developing another project for a competing network. The last eight episodes had a different producer, different Control set, somewhat different supporting cast and a different focus, with less reliance on Probe Control and a more dramatic bent. After its single season network run, "Search" was never seen again in the United States, as Warner specified the show was "for export only." Future "Charlie's Angels" stars Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd each had small roles on the series, although they did not interact with each other.