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Dragnet: Introduction

Series Description:

Dragnet, the brainchild of Jack Webb, may very well be the most well-remembered, and the best, radio police drama series. From September, 1949 through February 1957, Dragnet's 30 minute shows, broadcast on NBC, brought to radio true police stories in a low-key, documentary style.

The origins of Dragnet can be traced to a semi-documentary film, He Walked by Night from 1948, in which Mr. Webb had a small role. Both employed the same Los Angeles Police Department technical adviser, used actual police cases and presented the case in "just the facts" manner that became a hallmark of Dragnet. It is interesting to note that Mr. Webb employed that format in other radio series, some pre-dating the film mentioned above.

In the radio series, Mr. Webb starred as Sgt. Joe Friday and Barton Yarborough played his partner. The success of the radio show led to the production of a Dragnet television pilot, which aired as an episode of Chesterfield Sound Off Time in 1951 and ultimately the Dragnet television series on NBC in early 1952.

(Our thanks to Frank Passage for his permission to repeat his description above)

Dragnet broadcast a total of 382 episodes from June of 1949 through February of 1957. Although there were some rebroadcasts during the June 1949 through September 1955 period, all episodes broadcast from late September 1955 through the end of the series run, in February of 1957, were all rebroadcasts of earlier episodes. Altogether, there were 318 original episodes, and 11 scripts were used multiple times.

"Dragnet" Episode Detail Date Range Episode Range
"Dragnet" Page 1 49/06/03 - 51/06/14 001 - 105
"Dragnet" Page 2 51/06/21 - 53/09/01 106 - 212
"Dragnet" Page 3 53/09/15 - 55/09/20 213 - 318
"Dragnet" Page 4
(All are Rebroadcasts)
55/09/27 - 57/02/26 319 - 382
Lead Actor Began Ended Actor's First Episode
Jack Webb June 3, 1949 February 26, 1957 First Episode
Co-Star Actor Began Ended Actor's First Episode
Barton Yarborough June 3, 1949 December 20, 1951 First Episode
Barney Phillips December 27, 1951 April 10, 1952 First Episode
Martin Milner April 17, 1952 May 8, 1952 First Episode
Herb Ellis May 15, 1952 June 5, 1952 First Episode
Vic Perrin June 12, 1952 August 7, 1952 First Episode
Ken Patterson August 14, 1952 August 14, 1952 First Episode
Herb Ellis August 21, 1952 September 14, 1952 First Episode
Ben Alexander September 21, 1952 September 20, 1955 First Episode

"Dragnet" Broadcast Schedule
From: To: Network: Day: Time: Starring:
06/03/49 06/24/49 NBC Friday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Ben Romero
07/07/49 09/01/49 NBC Thursday 10:30 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Ben Romero
09/03/49 10/01/49 NBC Saturday 7:30 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Ben Romero
10/06/49 06/01/50 NBC Thursday 7:30 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Ben Romero
06/08/50 08/17/50 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Ben Romero
08/24/50 12/20/51 NBC Thursday 9:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Ben Romero
12/27/51 04/10/52 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Barney Phillips as Ed Jacobs
04/17/52 05/08/52 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Martin Milner as Bill Lockwood
05/15/52 06/05/52 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Herb Ellis as Frank Smith
06/12/52 08/07/52 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Vic Perrin as Frank Smith
08/14/52 08/14/52 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Ken Patterson as Frank Smith
08/21/52 09/11/52 NBC Thursday 10:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Herb Ellis as Frank Smith
09/14/52 09/14/52 NBC Sunday 9:30 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Herb Ellis as Frank Smith
09/21/52 06/28/53 NBC Sunday 9:30 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Ben Alexander as Frank Smith
09/01/53 09/20/55 NBC Tuesday 9:00 p.m. Jack Webb as Joe Friday; Ben Alexander as Frank Smith
09/27/55 03/27/56 NBC Tuesday 8:30 p.m. All re-broadcasts; Jack Webb as Joe Friday
04/03/56 12/25/56 NBC Tuesday 8:00 p.m. All re-broadcasts; Jack Webb as Joe Friday
01/01/57 02/26/57 NBC Tuesday 8:05 p.m. All re-broadcasts; Jack Webb as Joe Friday


To Continue:

Dragnet: Introduction (current page)

Dragnet: Episodes Listed by Date
Dragnet: Episodes Listed by Title

Dragnet: Episodes 001 - 105 (June 3, 1949 - June 14, 1951)
Dragnet: Episodes 106 - 212 (June 21, 1951 - September 1, 1953)
Dragnet: Episodes 213 - 318 (September 15, 1953 - September 20, 1955)

Dragnet: Episodes 319 - 382 (September 27, 1955 - February 26, 1957) [All are Rebroadcasts]

Or:

Dragnet: All Episodes Together

Brought to you by the Old Time Radio Researchers (OTRR) Group

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Page last modified on July 27, 2007, at 07:26 PM