Police Detective Sgt. Joe Friday and his partners investigate crimes in Los Angeles.
The classic police drama is updated for the 1960s. No-nonsense Sgt. Joe Friday and his partner, Officer Bill Gannon, tackle traditional police cases and face new challenges such as LSD, race riots, and public service TV shows.
"Dum, de-dum-dum!" Those four notes heralded each episode of this classic police drama. Updated for the late 1960s, Sgt. Joe Friday remained a hard-nosed, no-nonsense officer assigned to investigate criminal cases; assisting him was equally hard-nosed Officer Bill Gannon. Each case (which ranged from fraud, drug dealing, kidnapping, robbery, murder and juvenile crimes) was said to have been pulled from actual cases from the Los Angeles police files (hence, "The story you are about to see is true ..."). Stories paid careful attention to realism, and had numerous twists and turns before the criminals were finally arrested at the end of the show. The shows announcer always described what happened at the subsequent trial and how severe of punishment the criminals received. Frequently intertwined in the stories were the off-duty lives of Friday and Gannon (sometimes adding light moments to an otherwise hard-edged show). Many programs also dealt with social topics such as drugs, counter-cultures and community outreach programs. "Dragnet" remains the prototype for television police dramas and the standard by which they are judged.