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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1949 - On the Radio - Dragnet
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1949!
Dragnet started life on the radio on June 3, 1949. With it's opening line (now so familiar to everyone), "The story you are about to hear is true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent," Dragnet became immediately popular. It ran on the radio through 1957, while simultaneously running on television from 1952 to 1959. It has been made into movies, revived on television several times, and even remains on the radio in syndicated reruns of the original series.

Main Characters:

  • Sergeant Joe Friday played by Jack Webb (1949-1957)
  • Joe's partner played by Barton Yarborough (1949-1951)
  • Joe's partner played by Barney Phillips (1951-1952)
  • Joe's partner played by Martin Milner and various others (1952-1955)

Show Concept:

  • The show was originated by its long-time star, Jack Webb, and focused on crime solving by the LAPD detective squad. Despite myths to the contrary, Webb wasn't ever a real LA cop, but he did attend the police academy and hung around LAPD headquarters to learn the language, character, and qualities of a real policeman.

Hosts or Guests:

  • Stars appearing in various episodes:
    • Raymond Burr
    • Frank Lovejoy

Writers or Producers:

  • Jack Webb, writer


  • Fatima Cigarettes (1949-1952)
  • Chesterfield Cigarettes (1952)

Networks or stations:

  • NBC

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered on June 3, 1949
  • Final episode on February 26, 1957
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