Sgt. Joe Friday and his partners methodically investigate crimes in Los Angeles.

Creator:

Jack Webb
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Popularity
3,177 ( 429)

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8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1959   1958   1957   1956   1955   1954   … See all »
Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Jack Webb ...  Sgt. Joe Friday / ... 276 episodes, 1951-1959
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Storyline

"The story you are about to see is true", "Just the facts, ma'am", "We were working the day watch" - phrases which became so popular as to inspire much parody - set the realistic tone of this early police drama. The show emphasized careful police work and the interweaving of policemen's professional and personal lives. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Badge 714 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mark VII Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(300 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barton Yarborough, who portrayed Friday's first partner, was ill during production of the third episode and was expected to return (thus, in the opening of the show, Friday states, "My partner's Ben Romero"). But on the day the third episode was complete, Yarborough died of a heart attack. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Numb3rs: Ultimatum (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)
Composed by Walter Schumann
See more »

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User Reviews

A realistic look at the L.A.P.D. in the 1950's
17 December 1998 | by gitrichSee all my reviews

Dragnet was based on an early 1949 radio show called,"Dragnet". It starred Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday, a dedicated cop whose life seemed void of any interests other than being in law inforcement. He coined the phrase, "just the facts ma'am" which made him appear polite even though a little overzealous at times. Webb stressed realism going to great lengths to match the police language and paperwork of the Los Angeles Police Dept. When Dragnet came to TV in 1951, Barton Yarborough was featured as Friday's partner SGT Ben Romero.Barton Yarborough died after only three episodes with the rest of the season featuring Barney Phillips as Sgt. Ed Jacobs. In the fall of 1952, a former child star, Ben Alexander replaced Phillips as Friday's sidekick, Officer Frank Smith. It was Alexander who gave the show a little humor at times. The character of Frank Smith was a family man who would relate his home life experiences to the serious Joe Friday. It worked well. Dragnet left the air in 1959. During its time, the show did introduce some love interests for Joe Friday but none were too serious.

In 1967, a new version of Dragnet was introduced called Dragnet '67 and later Dragnet '68, etc. Webb again starred as Sgt. Joe Friday but now it was character actor Harry Morgan taking over as his partner, Officer Bill Gannon.The show lasted just over two years.

Dragnet will be remembered for its innovative style never before seen on a television drama prior to that time. It took advantage of close-ups and realistic dialog thanks to Webb, one of our greatest actor/directors. Reruns are rare but do exist. They show a rare look at Los Angeles as it once was. Smoggy but with less traffic.

Steve Richmond


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