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TV Series
    (January 3, 1952- )
    First-run on NBC
    Jack Webb as Sergeant/Lieutenant Joe Friday
    Barton Yarborough as Sergeant Ben Romero (1951)
    Ben Alexander as Officer/Sergeant Frank Smith
    Herbert Ellis as Officer Frank Smith (1952)
    Barney Phillips as Sergeant Ed Jacobs (1952)
    George Fenneman as Announcer (C.1952-1959)
    Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon (1967-1970)
    Merry Anders as Officer Dorothy Miller (1967)
    Theme: ‘Dragnet March (Danger Ahead)’ by Walter Schumann and Miklos Rosza
    Syndicated title: ‘Badge 714’
    A Mark VII Production
    It took a lawsuit for Rosza to receive credit for the theme, once credited exclusively to Schumann.
    The Los Angeles Police Department wanted virtual carte blanche over the program’s sponsor, including (quite unreasonably) portrayal of its members in a positive light at all times.
    It led to a barely remembered movie in 1987 and an even less memorable remake in 2003 — both of which used the number 714 badge after it was supposedly retired!
    On top of that, the remake had Friday (Ed O’Neill) ranked detective instead of sergeant!
    Early on, Friday’s opening narration included ‘I’m a cop.’ Following complaints from several officers, it was changed to ‘I carry a badge.’
    The dates given for each storyline were random, with virtually no thought to the actual calendar year.
    Webb selected the badge number in conjunction with the number of home runs scored by Babe Ruth!
    One of the most famous catch phrases from the show, 'just the facts, ma'am,' never was actually used.
    The title is an actual term for any system of cooperative methods used to bait and nail suspected or proven offenders.
    Webb traveled with actual police officers to learn how they acted and spoke during duty. Hardly any detail was spared.
    Some episodes skipped the unfolding of the crime and went straight to the trial.
    At the start of most episodes, Friday gave a brief narrative about either Los Angeles and its environs or his job.
    The personal lives of the officers, imperfections and all, never overshadowed the storyline.
    At the end of each episode, the announcer indicated the outcome of the trial, hearing, or examination and the subsequent fate of those involved.
    The 1987 movie was a parody and continuation of (and tribute to) the series, where Gannon achieved the rank of Captain.
    The theme was used for ‘Mathnet’ on PBS’ Square One Television.
    It inspired two no-less successful spinoffs, Adam-12 and Emergency!
    After Webb died at the tail end of 1982, while working on yet another revival, the badge was ‘officially’ retired and city office flags were lowered to half-mast.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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