The Man and the Challenge
The Man and the Challenge is a 36-episode half-hour adventure/science fiction television series which aired new episodes on NBC from September 12, 1959, to June 11, 1960. It starred George Nader](1921-2002) as Dr. Glenn Barton, a research scientist for the Institute of Human Factors, an agency that conducted experiments designed to measure human endurance for the United States government. 
Nader's costars included Jack Ging as Dan Wright, Michael Masters as Bill Locke, the Canadian-born Joyce Meadows as Lynn Allen, and Michael Keith as Matt Adams. The episodes focused on various individuals setting world records of strength, endurance, and mastery of various difficult skills.
The program featured appearances by Bethel Leslie as Eleanor Beck in "The Early Warning," Ted Knight, as Dr. Herter in the episode "Daredevils," and Raymond Bailey in the role of Dr. Kramer on the series opener, "The Sphere of No Return." Joining Knight in that segment was Paul Burke.
Selected episodes and guest stars
Most guest stars on The Man and the Challenge were not well known at the time, though screen star Debra Paget appeared as Liza Dantes in the October 17 episode "Invisible Force", along with William Conrad, cast as Jim Harrigan.
Here is a partial listing of some who appeared, their characters, the title of the episodes, and the date of airing:
- James Best as David Malloory and Robert Karnes as Henderson (both Kentucky natives) and Robert Conrad as Bill Howard, costarred in "Maximum Capacity" on September 19.
- Whit Bissell as Dr. Robert Widener and Bethel Leslie as Nina Robinson in "Odds Against Survival," September 26.
- Julie Adams as Linda Webb and Otto Kruger as David Mumford in "Experiments in Terror," October 10.
- Sue Randall as Phyllis, in "The Windowless Room," January 30, 1960.
- Robert Knapp as Ryder, in "Flying Lab, March 12.
- Frank Maxwel], as Colonel Bill Blake in "The Extra Sense," April 2.
- Darryl Hickman as Max Edwards in "Man in a Capsule," April 9.
- Tyler McVey as Captain Whitlow in "The Dropper," April 23.
- Olive Sturgess as Sylvia Honig in "High Dive," April 30.
- Karl Swenson as Dr. Lindstrom in "Breakoff," June 4.
- Carol Thurston as Alice Barron in "Invisible Force," October 17.
The Man and the Challenge continued in reruns until September 3, 1960. It was replaced by the western series, The Tall Man, starring Clu Gulager and Barry Sullivan' as Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett, respectively. Sullivan went on to star in another NBC western, The Road West. The program aired at the 8:30 Eastern slot on Saturdays opposite Steve McQueen's Wanted: Dead or Alive on CBS and Leave It To Beaver on ABC. It followed and preceded NBC westerns, Bonanza in its first season, and The Deputy starring Henry Fonda and Allen Case, respectively.
Series producer Ivan Tors said that the program was the first to depict "a scientist who does exciting things and is not a stuffed shirt."