(The famous NBC cop show starring Jack Webb)
“Dragnet is the story of your police force in action…the names were changed to protect the innocent”
10027 #39 The Big Thank You; Homicide Ex-murderess Breaks Parole 03/09/1950 (Dragnet voted “Best New Series” by Radio & Television Life).
#40 The Big Boys; Robbery Four Young Hoodlums Wanted 03/16/1950
10028 #41 The Big Gangster – Pt1; Homicide Gangland War Imminent 03/23/1950
#42 The Big Gangster – Pt2; Homicide 03/30/1950
10029 #43 The Big Book; Juvenile – Obscene books discovered 04/06/1950
#44 The Big Watch; Robbery – Army officers victimized 04/13/1950
10030 #45 The Big Trial; Traffic Sheila Gordon Struck Down 04/20/1950
#46 The Big Job; Bunco/Fugitive Police Officer Murdered 04/27/1950
10031 #47 The Big Badge; Homicide Bandit poses as a cop 05/04/1950
#48 The Big Knife; Juvenile Teen boy slashes girls 05/11/1950
10032 #49 The Big Pug; Robbery Elderly woman is beaten up 05/18/1950
#50 The Big Key; Homicide Body found in churchyard 05/25/1950
10033 #53 The Big Press; Robbery Woman Beaten (First Anniversary Show) 06/15/1950
#54 The Big Mink; Homicide Fur Store Owner Murdered 06/22/1950
10490 #61 The Big Actor 08/10/1950
#62 The Big Youngster 08/17/1950
10491 #63 The Big Chance 08/24/1950
#64 The Big Check 08/31/1950
10492 #65 The Big Poison 09/07/1950
#66 The Big Make 09/14/1950
10493 #67 The Big Pair 09/21/1950
#68 The Big Death 09/28/1950
10494 #69 The Big 38 10/05/1950
#70 The Big Quack 10/12/1950
10495 #71 The Big Grandma 10/19/1950
#72 The Big Meet 10/26/1950
10496 #73 The Big Church 11/02/1950
#74 The Big Mother 11/09/1950
Dragnet first arrived on NBC Radio in 1949. It ran until 1957 and also made a successful transition to television (also on NBC) The original TV show aired from 1952 to 1959. The focus was always on realism.
Jack Webb was best known for his role as Sgt. Joe Friday. Barton Yarborough co-starred as Sgt. Ben Romero. After Yarborough’s death, Ben Alexander became Friday’s sidekick.
In the early 1980s, Webb died at age 62 of an apparent heart attack, but not before a second Dragnet TV series hit the air in 1967, which lasted a few years. Although considered a bit campy and not as hard boiled as the original 1950s Dragnet, the shows remain available on DVD and interesting and enjoyable to watch. Yet the radio show salso remain a collector favorite today.
His daughter, Stacy Webb, authorized and collaborated on a book, “Just the Facts, Ma’am; The Authorized Biography of Jack Webb, Creator of Dragnet, Adam-12, and
Emergency!” She did not, however, live to see the publication of the book, having died in a collision with a California Highway Patrol car few years prior. The book is available from Amazon.
As a final gesture of appreciation, the Los Angeles police department retired badge 714, which was the badge number Jack Webb’s character used on Dragnet.