Where's Dragnet '68-70? Universal..WAKE UP!!!

Carlos Garcia

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
1,065
Ok, before I start on my rant, let me tell you that I grew up watching all the classic Jack Webb shows, Dragnet, Adam 12, and Emergency to name a few...I also loved all of them...Now my rant...Why does Emergency have the season 3 DVD announced, while Dragnet still has only the first season out? Hello? Does Universal even realize what Dragnet was? DUM DEE DUM DUM? It's only the show with the most identifiable TV theme song of alltime! Does Universal know how big a name Dragnet is? The granddaddy of ALL TV cop shows? Without Dragnet there would be no COPS, or Law and Order, etc...Let's show some class and release the rest of this great TV series from the 60s, and while you're at it, why not remaster the ORIGINAL series from the 50s (which was even better than the 60s version) and release those also so that fans can finally see a great show from TV's golden age!
 

Doug^Ch

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
451
I'll second your request for Dragnet; I just loved the show. Apparently neither Dragnet or Adam-12 sold well enough on the first go around to make Universal want to release them. It is a shame, but I would be surprised at this point if we ever see them released.
 

Bob Hug

Screenwriter
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
1,760

Gotta be sales, Carlos. But I'm in agreement with you, "Dragnet" is one of the most influential television shows of all time and I would buy any and all official releases from Universal, especially the 1950s version, if it were made available. It's a shame that the 50s version has been relegated to the public domain releases. Dragnet continues to influence police crime dramas to this very day. Jack Webb certainly had a knack for making shows both informative AND entertaining. Incidentally, Webb played a criminologist (an early version of CSI) in the film "He Walks by Night," which gave Webb the inspiration to create "Dragnet" first for radio and then TV.
 
S

silverking


Yes, it looks like a 'one & done' situation.The rather odd layout & widely reported problems with the discs possibly didn't help either.

The failure of this series almost certainly ensures we will never get the 50's Dragnet apart from the PD issues.A real shame. I've also heard that the prints for the old series were dropped down some coal mine in Pennsylvania.
 

Carlos Garcia

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
1,065

I heard they were "stored" in a coal mine. There is a difference, the version I heard implies they still exist somewhere, but the version you heard sounds like they're forever lost and the PDs will be all that will ever survive. Sad really, because this show was the pioneer of all the cop shows yet to come.
 

Peter M Fitzgerald

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 21, 1999
Messages
2,138
Real Name
Peter Fitzgerald
I was never much of a fan of ADAM 12, EMERGENCY, etc, but I need the remaining episodes of the 1960s and 1950s versions of DRAGNET on legit R1 DVD from Universal.

So many great 1960s episodes still unavailable, here's just a small sampling--

"The Grenade" --deranged kid holds a party at bay with the title weapon!
"The Big High" --baby in the bathtub!
"The Pyramid Swindle" --scam artist 'Horton Bonnie Bates'!
"The Big Neighbor" --dinner and football at Frank's house!
"The Senior Citizen" --ancient crook Burt Mustin!
"The Shooting Board" --Joe's under investigation!
"The Christmas Story" --by all rights, we fans should be watching this now!
"The Big Prophet" --Joe & Frank vs Timothy Leary clone, 'Brother William'!
"The Big Amatuer" --phony officer Gideon C. Dengle!
"The Big Departure" --teen thieves plan their own society!
"Burglary DR-31" --fanboy thief 'Stanley Stover' a.k.a. "The Crimson Crusader"!
"Burglary - Mister" --MISTER Daniel Loomis!
"Burglary Auto - Juvenile Genius" --Joe & Frank vs a pre-teen safecracking poindexter!
Etc, etc.

Plus these:

* The color 1954 theatrical feature film (TCM is running it in January)
* The color 1966 feature-lengthr TV pilot
* The Jack Webb/Johnny Carson "Copper Clappers" sketch from THE TONIGHT SHOW

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, I gotta have the complete Jack Webb DRAGNET on DVD. Please, Universal, pleassssse...
 

Charles Ellis

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
2,098
And more appearances of one of the best character actresses ever- Virginia Gregg (who also was the voice of Mrs. Bates in Psycho)!!
 
S

silverking


Yes, you're correct. Stored not dumped, poor choice of words on my part.
However, as it appears they may never be seen again they may as well have been dumped.

Curiously, here in the UK, back in the very early 80's London Weekend TV actually screened a number of random episodes in a late night slot.They included several which have not appeared on PD releases to my knowledge.
At the time video tape was horrendously expensive & though I taped a number of them I didn't keep them all but still have a few to this day.

As a kid I remember watching 'Dragnet' on a Friday night. Two episodes still stick in my memory. One where Friday & Smith try to arrest a murderer & he hits Joe with a lamp, then tries to strangle Smith with his tie. As Dragnet hardly ever had any fights or gunplay this was very unusual,I recall my parents being shocked at the violence.! The other segment had Jack Webb appearing before the episode commenced & explaining that the LAPD did not always solve a case & the episode would show this.It was about a body that disappeared from the sidewalk.

Sadly it looks like I will never get a chance to relive those childhood memories.
 

Dan_V

Agent
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
27
I really love Dragnet and Adam 12. Haven't bought either of them,mainly because I already have a glut of tv series to catch up on. Now I really have reservations on buying either if Universal seems to be uncommited to releasing more seasons. If I'm going to invest, I want the whole series, not just a single season.
 

Michael Alden

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
Messages
825
Universal never has done anything with the b/w Dragnet. When they produced the show in color in the 60s they bought up the 50s version to take it off the market so as not to compete with themselves. To the best of my knowledge Universal has never offered the black and whites domestically.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
47

That's not exactly true. Prior to their 1961 merger w/Universal Studios, MCA-TV bought Dragnet from Jack Webb, at the end of 1953. Webb was hoping to get out of the show after completing 100 episodes, and create a Pete Kelly's Blues series with himself in the lead. That didn't work out for several reasons. Anyway, MCA (by then merged with Universal) assumed the syndication rights to the original Dragnet once Webb's contract with NBC Films expired in the early 1960's. The original had been canceled by then, so the syndication title Badge 714 was shelved and the films re-ran as Dragnet until the mid-sixties.

So Universal owned the property from the time they merged with MCA, and syndicated it almost since that time. They didn't buy it specifically to pull it when Dragnet was revived in 1966. Rather, because they owned Dragnet, and had contracted with NBC to do made-for-TV features, they were able to convince Jack Webb (who'd been out of work since December 1963) to do a Dragnet TV feature, which led to the series' revival, which then led to the shelving of the original.

As a footnote, I know that Universal has since distributed at least two 1950's episodes to cable. One was circa 1985, on Los Angeles' local (and now defunct) Z Channel, they aired "The Big Jump" - which was the second-season opener from September 1952. The other ("The Big Suicide" 1956) was on TV LAND just a year or so ago, as part of the "TV Moguls" program. Both looked nice and crisp, although the latter was time-compressed and edited in the usual TV LAND fashion.

Michael
 

Kenneth V

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
227
I would like to see the rest of Dragnet released too. I also want to see the original B&W series released.
 

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