"L.A. 2017"
The Name of the Game episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 16
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Story byPhilip Wylie
Original air dateJanuary 22, 1971 (1971-01-22)
Running time76 minutes
Guest appearances
Gene Barry
Barry Sullivan
Edmond O'Brien
Paul Stewart
Joan Crawford
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"L.A. 2017" is a 1971 episode of the NBC television series The Name of the Game. Sometimes referred to as "Los Angeles: AD 2017" (the name of Philip Wylie's subsequent novel based on his script) or "Los Angeles 2017", it is a science fiction piece, shot for $375,000. The episode was directed by Steven Spielberg.[1]

This is the sixteenth episode of the third season, and the cast includes Barry Sullivan, Edmond O'Brien, and (in a brief cameo) Spielberg's friend Joan Crawford. The episode is 76 minutes long (90 minutes including commercials). The episode has never been released on home video, either as a stand-alone film, or as a part of the series. Presenting the story as a dream was the only way that Wylie's science fiction tale could be fitted into the peculiar format of The Name of the Game, a show about the magazine business set in the present and rotating between Gene Barry, Tony Franciosa, and Robert Stack (and in the third season also featuring Peter Falk, Robert Wagner, and Robert Culp).[1]


A publisher, Glenn Howard (Gene Barry), while driving and dictating a memo to the President regarding the saving of the environment, finds himself suddenly plunged 46 years into the future only to learn that the people of Los Angeles are living underground to escape the pollution which has made living on the surface no longer possible. A fascist America is run like a corporation with a number of vice-presidents. The police department of the subterranean Los Angeles is led/managed by psychiatrists. His identity is discovered and he's asked to join the government by re-starting his publication as propaganda. He considers, then refuses when he discovers that the corporations are still emitting pollutants into the air, further destroying the atmosphere.

At the end, Howard wakes up to discover it was all a dream—apparently he passed out in his car from carbon monoxide inhalation from the dash vents. A police officer had just administered oxygen and, after he came to, was asked if he was okay and able to drive. He replied in the affirmative, starting his Chrysler 300 which spews exhaust out the tailpipe. As he drives away there is a chilling final image of a dead bird that hints at a troubled future ahead.



  1. ^ a b Grundhauser, Eric (2017-09-08). "The Milk, Fascism, and Elderly Hippies of Spielberg's Forgotten 'L.A. 2017'". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2024-01-27.