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Dragnet, either version, the 1950s or 1960s, is a period piece and should be judged on that. Whether you're watching Dragnet with Jack Webb and Ben Alexander, or the '60s version with Webb and Harry Morgan you'll note a form of stilted behavior unique to all Webb productions. The earlier version featured a bit more action with youthful Sgt. Friday taking a more active part in police work.

By the time Webb produced the later version he was filming two episodes per week with less action and more of the noted lengthy repartee scenes. To achieve two shows per week Webb and cast read from teleprompters.

This is what sets Dragnet apart from other cop shows of the era. While it may be hard for the millennial generation to sit through, due to the lack of motion, Dragnet is a historical part of television that shouldn't be ignored for using actual police procedure instead of going for the more dramatic.

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NBC
8 Seasons, 276 Episodes - Canceled/Ended
Crime, Drama
9/10
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Dragnet Full Episode Guide

  • In the series finale, Friday and Smith once again investigate a series of robberies.

  • Friday and Smith set out to stop a phony police officer who's asking for donations from his victims for the police widows and orphans fund.

  • Cabbies are the victims of a series of robberies but their descriptions of the suspects don't match.

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