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Wasn't there a movie called Probe?
Yes, it was a pilot movie with Probe agent Hugh Lockwood following the trail of missing diamonds lost during World War 2. It was a two-hour pilot that set up the whole series concept. However, the title was changed when a producer with a local show in California named Probe threatened to sue. The pilot movie aired February 21, 1972 and was then repeated in August before the series premiere. When it aired the second time, it's name was changed to "Search" to match the series' new title. When the movie was released on VHS, it kept its original title.
 
What was up with the fact there were three different guys who never met?
The idea of a "wheel" show was popular in the late 60s and 70s, with another well-known example being The Name of the Game (also starring Tony Franciosa). Basically such shows featured only one main character per week. The idea worked well with Search because you had three different guys doing three different characters who all worked for the same agency. The advantage was you ended up with three main stars for the price of one, because they split up duties. Hugh O'Brian may have been partly responsible for the format, as this was his return to regular TV series after several years and owned a partial share in the production company. He may not have wanted the day-to-day grind of a series.
 

Warning: Search guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Action | Adventure
Status: Canceled/Ended
Network: NBC ( USA)
Airs: Wednesdays at 10:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: September 13, 1972
Ended: August 29, 1973
This guide is currently edited by:
Gadfly (Challenge)