Joseph Wambaugh brought stark police realism to his novels both fiction and non-fiction. This 1973 NBC pilot was a gripping fast paced crime drama that showed the human side of cops in Los Angeles. This launched the series which won an Emmy for Best Drama in 1976. The show featured not just uniformed cops and detectives, but special police units as SWAT, SSD (Special Surveillance Detail) and Internal Affairs. The show had "Wambaugh Players" who made multiple appearances in recurring and multiple roles, the most prominent being Don Meredith, Tony LoBianco, James Farentino and Jan-Michael Vincent. The scripts were first rate, especially when written by TV legands, E. Arthur Kean, Sean Baine and E. Jack Neuman and the directing was superbly handled by crafty action veterans as Barry Shear, Leo Penn and Don Medford. And yes, that music by Jerry Goldsmith. Nearly 30 years later, POLICE STORY still plays as first rate drama.
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