What Do You Remember About The Show "Dragnet"?

Allie T.

Image: Universal Pictures

About This Quiz

"Dragnet" is the franchise that just won't die; since it premiered on radio in the 1940s, it's been rebooted in some format or another virtually every decade since then. The series started out as a radio show, which aired for 314 episodes between 1949 and 1957. In 1951, it moved to TV -- which meant fans could listen to radio broadcasts and watch new episodes of the series each week on television.  The original TV run ended in 1959, before the series was brought back for just shy of 100 episodes in the late '60s... then another 50-plus episodes in the late '80s... and yet another 22 episodes in the early '00s. 

So what is it that keeps "Dragnet" so popular year after year, with new generations of fans? It could be the gritty yet positive portrayal of law enforcement that the show offers, or it could be the "ripped from the headlines" realism promised at the start of each episode. Whatever the attraction, there's no question that the show is one for the ages, entertaining fans for well over half a century.

How well do you know this TV stalwart? Do you remember which actor played the straight-faced Sergeant Joe Friday? Can you recall the first name of Friday's long-term partner, Officer Smith? Do you know which city the iconic police procedural was set in? If you know the answers to these and other "Dragnet" questions, you might have what it takes to ace this quiz about the classic series!

'Dragnet' has spanned the TV world, movies, and _________.

'Dragnet', the radio show, played live from June 1949 – July 1957. The show had 314 episodes,each with a run time of 30 minutes.

'Dragnet' takes its name from _________.

Dragnet is a police term that is a system of steps measures for catching criminals or suspects. The term derives from the process of dragging in a fishing net.

Other than 'Adam-12', 'Dragnet' is one of the most influential ____________ dramas in TV history.

The police procedural or police crime drama is a sub-genre of detective fiction. Modern police procedural shows include 'Law & Order' and 'Criminal Minds'.

What is the name of the ominous, four-note introduction?

The song is also known as "The Dragnet March." It was composed by Walter Schumann and won an Emmy in 1955 for Best Original Music Composed for Television.

How many times has 'Dragnet' risen from the ashes and landed on TV as a series?

'Dragnet' found itself on TV in 1951, 1967, 1989 and 2003. The longest running stems from the original 1951 series that lasted eight seasons.

Who plays Sergeant Joe Friday in the 1951 and 1967 series?

Jack's first credited onscreen roll happened in 1948 when he played Lee Whitey in 'He Walked by Night.' His last role was in the 1978 sci-fi series 'Project U.F.O.' as the Announcer/Narrator.

Joe Friday's badge makes an appearance at the start of every episode. What is the badge number?

It is rumored that Jack wanted the badge number to be 777. However, he later decided to add the last two numbers together (7 + 7) and keep the first number (7) making it 714.

In what popular California city did 'Dragnet' take place?

Los Angeles is Spanish for "The Angels." Located in Southern California, it is the major hub of films and TV.

What Los Angeles landmark graced the top of Joe Friday's badge?

Los Angeles City Hall was built in 1928. It houses the meeting chambers, offices of the Los Angeles City Council, and the mayor's office.

What young actor starred in eight of the 1967 'Dragnet' episodes and went on to be in 'Adam-12'?

Kent McCord had his first onscreen credit playing Kent in the 1962 TV series 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet .' His latest appearance was in 2005 as Vice Admiral Sommerville in 'Tides of War.'

What rank did Joe Friday hold within the police department?

As the '50s version of 'Dragnet' was coming to a close, Friday was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. When the series returned in the '60s, he was back as a sergeant with no onscreen explanation as to why.

Who was Joe Friday's first partner when the show debuted in 1951?

Barton Yarborough started his career on radio in the 1920s and in 1932 played Cliff Barbour on "One Man's Family," until his death in 1951. His role on 'Dragnet' was his last credited onscreen appearance.

___________, the future writer and creator of 'Star Trek' contributed story ideas to 'Dragnet' as LAPD.

Roddenberry joined the force in 1949. Jack Webb offered the officers of the LAPD $100 for story ideas. Roddenberry was an excellent writer with limited police street experience. Other officers gave Roddenberry the story, he wrote it up and sold it to Webb. Roddenberry then split the fee with the officer who fed him the story.

Joe Friday had a habit of speaking in a _________ tone.

Webb always spoke in an even-toned pitch, without emotion. He also talked rapidly.

Joe Friday and his partners were detectives in what division within the Los Angeles Police Department?

Each episode gave the viewers insight into one of the many paths of police work. Friday and his partners were detectives in the robbery, auto theft, organized crime, homicide, burglary, missing persons, juvenile crime and narcotics departments.

What was the opening narration of 'Dragnet'?

The opening narration went through tweaks over time. Eventually, "only" and "ladies and gentlemen" got axed and "hear" got changed into "see," for TV.

Who played Joe Friday's partner in the 1967 version of 'Dragnet?'

Harry Morgan is known as the beloved Col. Sherman T. Potter in the hit series 'M*A*S*H.' His last role was in 1999 playing Fletcher Conklin in the TV series 'Love and Money.'

At the end of each episode, what did the viewers hear about the criminals?

After it is announced, "The story you have just seen was true. The names were changed to protect the innocent," the announcer tells a short paragraph about the trial. Afterwards, it was revealed to the viewers what happened to the criminal after the trial.

Dragnet the TV series spawned how many 'Dragnet' films?

In 1954, a feature film of the same name was released. 'Dragnet 1966' was meant to bring 'Dragnet' back to TV. The made for TV film didn't come out until 1969. In 1987 the comedy version of 'Dragnet', another movie, starring Dan Aykroyd came out in the theaters.

The 1950's 'Dragnet' had which of the following words in most of the titles of each episode?

It started with the season one, episode two 'The Big Actor.' Out of 276 episodes, the only one that did not have "big" in the title was the pilot, 'The Human Bomb.'

Other than Joe Friday, what character appears in the most episodes in the 1950's version of 'Dragnet?'

Officer Frank Smith was played by Ben Alexander. Ben's first confirmed onscreen appearance was in the 1916 movie 'Each Pearl a Tear.' His last was as desk Sgt. Dan Briggs in the 1960 TV series 'The Felony Squad.'

What police TV show is a spin-off of 'Dragnet?'

'Adam-12' was a police TV series that followed cops Pete Malloy and Jim Reed. The show followed the two men as they patrolled the streets of Los Angeles in their car, the 1-Adam-12.

Why couldn't Jack Webb bring 'Dragnet' back in the 1980s?

Jack Webb had started to bring back the series in 1982 by staying on as Joe Friday and writing/producing five scripts. Webb died suddenly in December 1982, and the comeback got axed.

Joe Friday and the man who played him, Jack Webb, had what in common?

The Army is the largest military branch in the United States. The Army is one of three military departments of the Department of Defense.

What firearm did Joe Friday carry?

The Smith & Wesson Model 10 is a revolver used by the military and the police from the early 1900s until the present. It sports a K-frame size and up until 1960 had a thin barrel.

Badge 714 was used by real-life LAPD officer___________.

Dan Cooke retired in 1988 after 35 years on the LAPD and died of cancer in 1999. He was a technical advisor for many TV shows including 'Dragnet' and 'Adam-12.'

'Dragnet' and its popular spin-off 'Adam-12' were the only two police TV series to use real ___________.

The 714 lieutenant's badge Joe Friday carried during the final season of the 1950s series, was used by Dan Cooke when he was a lieutenant. When Webb died in 1982, badge 714 was officially retired.

After Friday's partner, Ben Romero, leaves in the 1950s series, who was his partner?

Sgt. Ed Jacobs was played by Barney Phillips. Barney's first onscreen role was in 1937 in 'Black Aces.' His last was in 1985 playing Dr. Batt in the movie 'Beyond Reason.'

Who played Officer Frank Smith before Ben Alexander?

Herb Ellis first made his slash onscreen in the 1950s TV series 'Mysteries of Chinatown .' His last TV appearance was in 1975 as the landlord on 'Sanford and Son.'

Friday's partner, Bill Gannon, carried what non-regulation firearm?

The .38 Smith & Wesson Model 15 revolver had the ability to fire six shots and was a double-action gun. It was built on a medium-sized K frame.

When Jack Webb died in 1982, he was buried with ________.

Full police honors were something not regularly done for civilians then or presently. Joe Friday's sergeant's badge and his ID card are on display at the LAPD Academy.

Who did most of the narration in the opening of the 1950s and 1960s episodes?

The TV series of 'Dragnet' would begin with this narration by George Fenneman: "Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent." Webb would then say, "This is the city: Los Angeles, California,' followed by a fact or topic point, his duties, and Friday's partner and boss for that episode.

What was the one topic that the 'Dragnet' producers agreed with the LAPD to never cover?

The LAPD did not desegregate by race until the early 1960s. There was a strict rule that Jack Webb had to show the LAPD in a flattering light.

How did Jack Webb prepare for 'Dragnet?'

Jack Webb would frequent police headquarters and ride along with patrol officers and detectives. Webb attended some classes at the police academy to learn police jargon and other details which would make the show more authentic.

Did 'Dragnet' use the real names of the LAPD in the episodes?

Webb worked closely with the LAPD for research and story ideas, and would often use real names of the police when presenting a case. One side note about using real names was that people would call the police department thinking Joe Friday was a real person. The cops usually told the caller that it was Friday's day off.

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