THE ROGUES (1964-65)

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Richard M Roberts
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THE ROGUES (1964-65)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:50 am

So who all here has actually heard of this show, and who would have believed that there was once an hour-long weekly television comedy/drama starring David Niven, Charles Boyer, and Gig Young along with Robert Coote and Gladys Cooper in weekly support, and a slew of top Guest Stars?

THE ROGUES ran on NBC for the 1964-65 season, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series in 1965 and only ran 30 episodes before it was cancelled. Me bets its because it had to be a top dollar show for Four-Star Productions, which included both Niven and Boyer at the time, especially when they were also shelling out for weekly guest stars like Walter Matthau, Everett Sloane, George Sanders, Broderick Crawford, Darren McGavin, Sally Kellerman, Tol Avery, Dina Merrill, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, Marie Windsor, Raquel Welch, Elsa Martinelli, and Telly Savalas, and after 30 episodes if it was not in the top ten Nielsens, even with stellar reviews, it had to be dripping red ink.

Niven, Boyer, and Young play a trio of International Con Men who spend more time swindling those rich scum who deserve it than any suckers that might make them unlikable. Like so many shows in the early 60’s, one star takes the lead for the week, but sometimes two or three will have scenes together in various episodes. Niven is obviously seen the least, he was still a top film star at the time, but it is fun to watch Boyer play so much comedy, and Gig Young was always underrated, and gets many chances to shine as he does take the majority of the leads (though apparently even he departed before the shows cancellation as they bring in Larry Hagman to replace him in the last two shows).

And apart from the Guest Stars, you also get the cream of the crop of TV supporting actors of the time, it really is an All-Star venture for the film and TV buff, but having only 30 episodes kept it out of syndication and it has been rarely revived since.

But here they are, all of them:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... XIYzSkbf7e

Definitely worth a look.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Gary Johnson
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Re: THE ROGUES (1964-65)

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:37 pm

My, the things that you find.
So how many episodes does Niven actually appear in? I don't even recall Niven 'slumming' on TV that much in the '60's, not like others of his caliber. You know, none of those rating busting guest stars on THE LUCY SHOW, for instance. Even the Duke and The Burtons felt compelled to do that.
By the '70's Niven was a regular on the talk show circuits....and there was the yearly Oscars telecast.....

"Isn't it fascinating to think that the only big laugh that man will ever receive is by stripping off and showing his short comings?" - D. Niven 1974

Richard M Roberts
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Re: THE ROGUES (1964-65)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:34 pm

Niven was hardly "slumming " in television, he was one of the Four Stars in Four Star Television that was one of TV's pioneer producers of filmed television. Along with Dick Powell, Charles Boyer, and Ida Lupino (who replaced Joel McCrea, the original "Four Star" who departed soon after the formation of the company), NIven appeared in a lot of episodes of their original anthology series, FOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE from 1952-56, then continued to appear on other Four Star Anthologies like ALCOA THEATER, GOODYEAR THEATER, and ZANE GREY THEATER to the end of the 50's. Four Star Television produced some considerable hits like RICHARD DIAMOND PRIVATE EYE, THE RIFLEMAN and BURKES LAW, and the surviving Four Stars sold the company to Twentieth Century-Fox in 1967 for a pretty penny. So NIven made a tidy fortune working in television, absolutely nothing to sneeze at.

He is definitely the one "Rogue" who appears the least in the series, due to his other film committments, he carries the pilot show on his own, but that's the only show in which he is the sole lead.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Gary Johnson
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Re: THE ROGUES (1964-65)

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:01 pm

Yes, I realized he produced programs but those were in the 50's.
I was referring to his acting appearances in the 60's and outside of this short lived series, I hadn't recalled seeing him on the tube a lot growing up.
Richard and I have talked about this before. It was a big thrill seeing big named movies stars on television during the 60's and television offered that opportunity for many of them to pick up some easy cash and quick exposure. I just don't recall seeing him guest-starring that much in that decade.
Does anyone recall seeing him on THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW? That seems a natural, what with his penchant for dressing up in formal wear and indulging in good dirty joke now and then.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: THE ROGUES (1964-65)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:34 am

Gary Johnson wrote:Yes, I realized he produced programs but those were in the 50's.
I was referring to his acting appearances in the 60's and outside of this short lived series, I hadn't recalled seeing him on the tube a lot growing up.
Richard and I have talked about this before. It was a big thrill seeing big named movies stars on television during the 60's and television offered that opportunity for many of them to pick up some easy cash and quick exposure. I just don't recall seeing him guest-starring that much in that decade.
Does anyone recall seeing him on THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW? That seems a natural, what with his penchant for dressing up in formal wear and indulging in good dirty joke now and then.



Well, THE ROGUES was pretty much his swan-song as far as acting on television was concerned. He did do the occasional talk show appearance in the 70's, especially when plugging his two books, he was a terrific talk show guest, theres a great Dick Cavett Show from the early 70's and an equally good Tom Snyder TOMORROW show from the early 80's, but once Niven sold Four Star Productions, he kept to films and certainly didn't need to do television.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Gary Johnson
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Re: THE ROGUES (1964-65)

Postby Gary Johnson » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:01 am

It was Niven's late night appearances that sent me off in search of his memoirs. Great reads...

Favorite tale; Niven writes about his dear friend Fred Astaire ("Freddie", he calls him). A shy, retiring gentleman who possessed a sly wit.
Niven returns home from the studio one evening only to be met by a thunderous racket as he enters his house. There he witnesses Astaire entertaining his wife with an impromptu dance number in the middle of the Niven's livingroom, with Astaire flying all around the room. Niven recalls that Astaire danced on his furniture more than he did the floor.


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