The names have been changed to protect the innocent

This is the city…

Dragnet had enjoyed a very successful run on radio and on television, but as the 1950s wrapped up, Mr. Webb grew tired of the confines of a weekly program, and Dragnet closed its final case in 1959.  But in the seven years since the original version ended production, punitive “law and order” sentiments had generally fallen out of favor with the American public, particularly with the Kennedy administration and an out-of-control liberal-minded federal judiciary setting the tone for a somewhat less stringent attitude toward criminals.

The changing dynamic helped prompt Mr Webb to relaunch Dragnet on television in 1966.  Mr. Webb produced a TV movie pilot for the new, color version of the show for Universal Television, although it did not air until 1969. NBC bought the show on the strength of the pilot movie and debuted it as a mid-season replacement in 1967 for the sitcom The Hero on Thursday nights in January 1967.

The 1966 TV movie is fairly rare, showing up on tv occasionally in the modern era, despite the fact that Dragnet has had succressful repeat runs on cable channels like TV Land.  The opening sets the stage for the film – 3 crimes are commited in Los Angeles.  Sgt Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon are on the case.  Top shelf stuff!  Enjoy!

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