This is the city, Los Angeles California. I work Here. I carry a badge. My name's Friday.Jack Webb
as a showcase for the realities of police work. The original Radio Series
debuted on NBC radio in 1949. The show's insistence on realism and naturalistic dialogue were a departure from the melodrama found on radio at the time. Using plots pulled directly from the case files of the LAPD, the show covered topics considered harsh and taboo by the standards of the day. Its depiction of sex crimes
, crimes against children
, and drug use
were edgy for the time. Although it was slow to gain listeners, Dragnet
found it's audience.
Jump ahead a couple of years to 1952 and the first television series begins. This version of the show is probably not familiar to most people. Filmed in black and white
, The TV version brought the radio show's grittiness and realism to the burgeoning format of Television. Both the radio show and the black and white television version ran successfully and consecutively until the late 1950's
Webb mounted a revival of the television series in 1967. This version of the show
is most familiar to modern viewers, as this was the version picked up for syndication by Nick at Nite. It ran from 1967 to 1970.
Although it seems hokey
by today's standards, Dragnet's legacy
in the history of entertainment is secured. It was voted into Time Magazine's list of the 100 greatest tv shows of all time
. Its use of actual case files
as the basis for plots makes it the forerunner to Law and Order
. The show's insistence on using technical jargon and details of investigation make it a forerunner of shows like CSI
. The show's main four note theme
is instantly recognizable. And it even spawned a catchphrase
that can still be heard today.
Webb was attempting to mount third revival of the show when he passed away
in 1982. His funeral was attended by officals from the LAPD, the badge he used on the show, 714, was retired from service, and an LAPD police academy auditorium was named in his honor. Auditorium was named in his honor.