Adam-12 (TV Series 1968–1975) Poster



The patrol cars in the series were not real LAPD cruisers, but were purchased by Universal Studios from Chrysler Corporation and American Motors, and outfitted by the prop department to LAPD cruiser specs. In order, the cars were:
  • 1: 1967 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8 ("pilot" only)

  • 2: 1968 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8 (season one)

  • 3: 1969 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8 (season two)

  • 4: 1971 Plymouth Satellite 383 V8 (season three)

  • 5: 1972 and 1973 AMC Matador 401 V8 (seasons four and on)

The "one" in "One Adam 12" stood for the area of the division they were stationed in, "Adam" referred to the type of car they drove (a two-man patrol car) and "12" was for the area they patrolled. However, "one" was the code for Central Division (downtown). Since the unit was shown working in Rampart Division, the actual call sign should have been 2-Adam-12.
In keeping with the reputation of Jack Webb's series being scrupulously accurate about police procedures, select episodes of this series were used in police academies as instructional films.
While the series used 1 ADAM 12, LAPD units used odd numbers for beats, so they would have been 1 Adam 11 or Adam 13. The only even numbers were used by the supervisors (I.E. Sgt's) and they would have been the numbers 10, 20, etc. so 1 Adam 12 would never have been an actual assigned number.
The car used for Reed and Malloy's close ups was towed by camera car. The car's windshield showed reflections of the camera and crew, so the car's windshield was removed. However, this led to the wind blowing Reed and Malloy's hair, so a shield was created to enclose the camera and front of the car.
Star Martin Milner's daughter, Amy Milner, made a guest appearance playing the daughter of a shopkeeper shot during a robbery. Look for her as Debbie McMahon in episode #164, titled "Victim of the Crime."
The LAPD station building where the show was based is actually the Rampart Division, northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
In the final episode, Reed receives the Medal of Valor for saving Malloy's life.
During the first couple of seasons, Reed and Malloy had an informant named T.J. (played by Robert Donner) who was a recovering heroin addict.
The dispatcher voice on the program was played by Shaaron Claridge. Claridge was a real L.A. dispatcher. Producer Jack Webb thought using a real dispatcher for the voiceovers would lend authenticity to the program. Webb did the same thing for his later series, "Emergency!", casting a real-life emergency dispatcher to voice the role.
In the first season(s), the officers wear the 8-point hat, and the buttons on their shirt pockets and epaulettes on the shoulders were brass, and the jackets were of the wool Melton type. When Ed Davis became the Chief for LAPD, he did away with these items and went with a round hat, antique silver buttons, and the Eisenhower type of jackets, which is reflected in later seasons.
During the period that Adam-12 was filmed, the state of California issued 6 digit vehicle license plates in the letter/number format (I.E. ABC123). The final letter was never I, O, or Q, so that they would not be confused as a number. The civilian vehicles on ADAM-12 usually have the letter "I" as the final letter indicating that this is a movie/TV prop plate.
The paramedics from Emergency! (1972) sometimes crossed paths with the cops at Rampart Hospital.
Fresh out of the academy, Probationary Officer Jim Reed is paired with veteran Officer Pete Malloy. However, Kent McCord had already appeared as LAPD Officer Jim Reed in several Dragnet episodes nearly a year before Adam-12 debuted.
In the later seasons Malloy's personal vehicle is a tan AMC Matador coupe. In a few episodes he complains of it "needing to go into the shop". This issue plays a major part one episode from the last season. It's unusual that he has issues with the car, as AMC provided vehicles to the show.
Malloy's badge number was 744 and Reed's was 2430. Badges are reissued once an officer retires, so the permanent numbers are "Serial Numbers". Reed's serial number was 13985, which would coincide with an Academy class from 1968, the year Reed was supposed to have joined the LAPD.
Martin Milner's youngest son, Andrew Milner, drove a mini-bike as Johnny Whitaker's stunt driver in the episode "Northwest Division" (episode #137).
During the final season, Malloy had a girlfriend named Judy who was often talked about and appeared in a couple of episodes. She was played by Aneta Corsaut.
According to the LAPD Training officers doing the audio commentary on the Season Two DVDs, the little medallions that Reed and Malloy wear on their uniforms signify their shooting abilities. In the case of Malloy, who has a gold medallion with two bars, he is rated as an expert shot while Reed, who has a medallion with one bar, is at least a marksman. The commenting officers also explain that police officers are required to be tested on their shooting skills every two years in the LAPD.
Actress Kristin Harmon who played Jim Reed's wife, Jean was actually married to popular singer/actor Ricky Nelson during the time the show was in its initial run and was billed as Kristin Nelson.
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