Police procedurals go back long before Dragnet's 1949 premiere -- with an especially strong heritage in Los Angeles. Private Investigator Nick Harris presented dramatizations drawn from his own true-life case files as far back as the 1920s, and the Los Angeles Police Department itself collaborated closely with Don Lee Network producer William N. Robson for the long-running 1930's series 'Calling All Cars'. But these formats fell from favor by the 1940s, with the advent of the 'hard boiled dick' genre of crime programs. An ordinary policeman just doing his job had little chance against the legions of smart-mouthed gumshoes parading across the ether during the postwar years.
by Jack Webb
by Philip Webb
by Beth Webb Hart
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