The Streets of San Francisco

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The Streets of San Francisco
The Streets of San Francisco.jpg
FormatPolice drama
Based onPoor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston
Developed byEdward Hume
Directed byWilliam Hale
StarringKarl Malden as Det. Lt. Mike Stone
Michael Douglas as Inspector Steve Keller (1972-1976)
Richard Hatch as Inspector Dan Robbins (1976-1977)
Country of originUSA
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes121 (List of episodes)
Production
Running timeApprox. 44 minutes
Production company(s)QM Productions
Warner Bros. Television (Season 1)
DistributorWorldvision Enterprises (syndication)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Original runSeptember 16, 1972 – June 9, 1977
 
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The Streets of San Francisco
The Streets of San Francisco.jpg
FormatPolice drama
Based onPoor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston
Developed byEdward Hume
Directed byWilliam Hale
StarringKarl Malden as Det. Lt. Mike Stone
Michael Douglas as Inspector Steve Keller (1972-1976)
Richard Hatch as Inspector Dan Robbins (1976-1977)
Country of originUSA
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes121 (List of episodes)
Production
Running timeApprox. 44 minutes
Production company(s)QM Productions
Warner Bros. Television (Season 1)
DistributorWorldvision Enterprises (syndication)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Original runSeptember 16, 1972 – June 9, 1977

The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in association with Warner Bros. Television (QM produced the show on its own for the remainder of its run).

It starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas as two detectives in San Francisco. The show ran for five seasons, between September 16, 1972, and June 9, 1977, on ABC, amassing a total of 119 60-minute episodes.[1]

The series started with a pilot movie of the same title (based on the detective novel Poor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston) a week before the series debuted. Edward Hume, who wrote the teleplay for the pilot, was credited as having developed the series based on characters in Weston's novel. The pilot featured guest stars Robert Wagner, Tom Bosley and Kim Darby. Douglas left the series at the start of its final season and was replaced by Richard Hatch.

The Series[edit]

History[edit]

Malden as Mike Stone.

The Streets of San Francisco debuted on ABC on Saturday, September 16, 1972, at 9 p.m. Eastern, competing against two popular CBS sitcoms, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. Another critically acclaimed crime drama, The Rookies, debuted just five days before Streets; it was also seen on ABC. After Streets gained attention on Saturday nights during the first season, the show was moved to Thursday, where it stayed for the remainder of the run, beginning with the second season, competing against other successful 1970s crime dramas, in different timeslots.

By all accounts Malden and Douglas developed a strong professional and personal relationship from their time on the series. Twenty years after last working together on an episode they were both onstage at the 1996 People's Choice Awards. Malden referred to Douglas as "the son I never had" and mentioned that he had wanted producer Quinn Martin to cast Douglas on the series. Douglas responded to the compliment by calling Malden "my mentor," and both also expressed that they enjoyed working together on the show.

Plot[edit]

Douglas as Steve Keller.

The show revolved around two police officers who investigated homicides in San Francisco. The center of the series was a veteran cop and widower, Lt Mike Stone (Karl Malden), who had more than twenty years of police experience and was now assigned to the Homicide Detail of SFPD's Bureau of Inspectors (ex: Detective Division). He was partnered with a young, plainclothes detective and energetic partner, Assistant Inspector Steve Keller (Michael Douglas), a college graduate, age twenty-eight, who had no experience in the police force. Stone would become a second father to Keller as he learned the rigors and procedures of detective work. Eventually, Keller was promoted to full inspector. As the series went on, Douglas became a star in his own right. Mike's daughter, Jeannie Stone (Darleen Carr), made occasional appearances.

After the second episode of the fifth and final season, Douglas left the show after successfully producing the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won the Academy Award for Best Film for 1975.[1] He in turn would also establish a film career. His character's absence was explained by having him take a teaching position at a local college, while Lt. Stone was partnered with another detective, Insp. Dan Robbins, played by Richard Hatch, who had started his career on the ABC soap All My Children and would later go on to Battlestar Galactica. The change was not popular with audiences, and the show ended in 1977, due to low ratings. Also in 1977, writer James J. Sweeney won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for the season four episode "Requiem for Murder".

Authenticity[edit]

Both Malden and Douglas spent time with SFPD detectives in order to lend an air of authenticity to the show. SFPD Detectives took a liking to both Malden and Douglas, whom they characterized as "very fine fellows". Unlike subsequent generations of television production the show made an effort to insinuate itself as seamlessly as possible into the fabric of the city.

Guest stars[edit]

Many actors guest-starred on the show; some were relatively unknown at the time and became successful stars in their own feature films or television series. Guest stars included: Pernell Roberts, Edmond O'Brien, Ricky Nelson, Ron Glass,Susan Dey, Marion Ross, Van Williams,Paula Kelly, Don Johnson, Tom Selleck, Leslie Nielsen, James Woods, Nick Nolte, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Martin Sheen, Dabney Coleman, David Wayne, Vera Miles, Brenda Vaccaro, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Tony Young, Cal Bellini, Marshall Colt, Pat Conway, Patty Duke, Denver Pyle, Richard Egan, Richard Eastham, Don Keefer, Flip Mark, Nora Marlowe, John Ritter, Robert Wagner, Wayne Maunder, Dick Van Patten, Mark Hamill, Stefanie Powers, Tom Bosley, Larry Hagman, Tim O'Connor, Bill Bixby, John Davidson, Eve McVeagh, Norman Fell, Anthony Geary, Charles Aidman, Beverly Washburn, Michael Constantine, Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul, and Meredith Baxter, among many others. Even Michael Douglas's own mother, Diana Douglas, guest-starred in a season two episode, "Chapel of the Damned". Character actor Robert F. Simon appeared eight times as Captain Rudy Olsen. Gary Vinson appeared toward the end of his career.

Episodes[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

Region 1 / Region 4[edit]

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all five seasons The Streets of San Francisco on DVD in Region 1, and the first two seasons in Region 4. All seasons have been released in two volume sets. Season 4 was released in Region 1 on August 28, 2012,[2] followed by the final season 5 on October 30, 2012.[3]

DVD NameEp # theRelease dates
Region 1Region 4
Season 1, Volume 116April 10, 2007October 1, 2009
Season 1, Volume 213September 25, 2007October 1, 2009
Season 2, Volume 111July 1, 2008October 1, 2009
Season 2, Volume 212November 11, 2008October 1, 2009
Season 3, Volume 111July 3, 2012N/A
Season 3, Volume 212July 3, 2012N/A
Season 4, Volume 111August 28, 2012N/A
Season 4, Volume 212August 28, 2012N/A
Season 5, Volume 112October 30, 2012N/A
Season 5, Volume 212October 30, 2012N/A

Region 2[edit]

Paramount Home Entertainment has released the first two seasons of Streets of San Francisco on DVD in the UK.

DVD NameEp #Release Date
Season 126August 18, 2008[4]
Season 223September 14, 2009[5]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]