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Adam 12

By Scott Schaeffer

"1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, see the man . . . "

A sort of spin-off from the late 1960's revival of "Dragnet," the low-key crime drama "Adam-12" dealt with the day to day shift work of two uniformed police officers riding in a black and white LAPD patrol car with the call sign "1-Adam-12." A little more information on that infamous radio designation: the "1" signified the involved division or station, the "Adam" designation meant that it was a two-officer car, and the "12" was the assigned patrol district or beat.

The series starred Martin Milner as veteran officer Pete Malloy and Kent McCord as probationary officer Jim Reed. The debut episode established that Pete, one of the division's field training officers, was partnered with Jim, who was a rookie fresh from the recent academy class. The other star of the show, although only seen in one episode and never listed in the credits, was Shaaron Claridge, the radio dispatcher heard throughout the entire series. (Claridge was an actual second-shift LAPD dispatcher for the Van Nuys division.)

A typical episode consisted of two or three unrelated incidents handled by the officers during their shift. (This style was also later used during the paramedic series "Emergency!".) Shoot-outs and car chases were downplayed and an attempt was made to present a more realistic portrayal of urban front-line officers. Among the memorable episodes were "Elegy For a Pig" (a docudrama about the death of Pete's academy classmate/friend), "It All Happened So Fast", "X-Force", "Badge Heavy", "Killing Ground", and "The Search."

The series, which was initially described as "Dragnet on wheels" by a few TV critics, was created by "Dragnet" star/creator Jack Webb and producer Robert Cinader. Also like "Dragnet", the series received unprecedented assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department and based the storylines on actual case files. "Adam-12" enjoyed a successful seven-year, 175-episode run on NBC from 1968 to 1975.

"Adam-12" also inspired such later series as "CHiPs", which was called "Adam-12 on motorcycles" by one critic, and the short-lived "High Incident", in which producer/creator Steven Spielberg attempted (reportedly his words) "Adam-12 meets Pulp Fiction."

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Season One


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Check out our Adam 12 forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Adam 12 viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

I like the work of Jack Webb, especially Adam-12 because it dealt with real issues of the problems of a day to day life of a police officer in Los Angeles .Kent McCord and Martin Milner were perfect for the roles of officer Jim Reed and officer Pete Malloy. I enjoyed this show because you get a little bit of everthing from laughter to heartache and it was always something different every day. My favorite eposides are Elergy for a Pig - a documentury style show of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. The episodes from the first four years were the best including the one about the little girl and her sister who were left home alone and Reed and Malloy were so upset about it and when Reed was grilled about killing a young teenager and the emotions he showed were so lifelike. Adam-12 is the greatest cop show that was ever made it was on of a kind. Jack Webb taking real cases from the Los Angeles police department and putting on tv was a true stroke of a genius.


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Aired: September 21, 1968 - August 26, 1975

Cast: Martin Milner, Ken McCord, William Boyett, Gary Crosby, Shaaron Claridge

Network: NBC

Genre: Police Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of NBC

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