Synopsis of TV Show

When Jack Webb returned to primetime television in the late 1960’s with Dragnet, he also stayed busy as a producer. One of his most enduring creations was Adam-12, a realistic cop show that became a major hit through its combination of compelling stories and detailed policework. This half-hour drama also continues to be a major cult favorite amongst cop show enthusiasts, who consider it one of the finest of its type.

Adam-12 was a spinoff from Dragnet that was built around some police characters who had appeared on that show. It focused on the day-to-day travails of Officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed as they went about their daily duties as patrolmen for the Los Angeles Police Department. Malloy was a veteran cop and Reed was a rookie, so these differing levels of experiences added an interesting spark to their working relationship.

Instead of focusing on one crime each week a la Dragnet, Adam-12 took the novel approach of tackling several cases each week. Each episode took the two men driving around the city and answering various calls for help. Some ended with laughter and some with tragedy, but they were always riveting. The show also benefited from its thoroughly realistic depiction of police procedures, which gave the show a reality that enhanced its drama.

Like Dragnet, Adam-12 was an instant hit that enjoyed a long run. As the show continued into the 1970’s, both policemen were promoted: Officer Malloy became a Policemen 3 (the closest rank to a Sergeant) and Reed went from rookie to full-fledged officer. The show eventually racked up an impressive 174 episodes before ending its run in the summer of 1975. Adam-12 also inspired another Webb-produced series, the medical drama Emergency! Periodically, both shows would feature crossovers of their characters.

Since then, lead actors Milner and McCord have been reunited in a television film called Nashville Beat. Adam-12 was also remade with new actors in 1989 for a short-lived program entitled The New Adam-12. Meanwhile, the original Adam-12 continues to be a popular item in television syndication. This enduring success shows that Adam-12 can still capture the attention of viewers as well as its policemen characters capture the bad guys.

Release History of Prime Time Show

9/21/68 - 8/26/75 NBC

TV Sub Categories


Television Network


Television Studio

Mark VII, Ltd.

TV Cast

Officer Pete Malloy Martin Milner
Officer Jim Reed Kent McCord
Sergeant MacDonald William Boyett
Dispatcher Sharon Claridge
Officer Wells Gary Crosby
Officer Jerry Walters (1968-69) William Stevens
Sergeant Miller (1969) Jack Hogan
Jean Reed (1969) Mikki Jamison
Officer Norm Green (1970-71) Claude Johnson
Officer Woods (1970-71) Fred Stromsoe
Officer Brinkman (1973-75) Claude Johnson
Officer Grant (1974-75) William Elliott
Mrs. Jean Reed (1974-75) Kristin Harmon

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