TV Draft Round 3 – Pick 8 – Adam 12

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. The remaining 8 rounds will be posted here. We will have 64 different TV Shows by 8 different writers. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Max from

Adam 12

The show was simple… it focused on a pair of beat cops doing their everyday jobs… responding to calls and patrolling the city of Los Angeles

I watched this in syndication in the late seventies after school. I never thought much of it at the time. When I started to watch it as an adult, I was surprised at how good this show was. I thought it was strictly a kid’s show. I couldn’t believe how realistic it was for that time and some now. They covered subjects like child pornography, drug addiction, gangs, racial tension,  and everything else criminally related. It was on for 7 seasons from 1968 through 1975.

Sometimes as an adult and you watch shows or movies you did as a kid you think wow…how did I like this? Now I’m thinking why didn’t I like Adam 12 more? The show starred Martin Milner as Officer Pete Malloy and Kent McCord as Officer Jim Reed. It was created by Jack Webb and Robert Cinader. The pair also created a spinoff from Adam-12…Emergency. Jack Webb also created Dragnet. Emergency and Adam 12 did crossover in a few episodes.

Adam-12 had a crossover with Emergency! and the very idea was a huge plot  hole

Before this show, Martin Milner was in the fantastic tv show Route 66 that would film in different locations every week. Kent McCord knew Ricky Nelson well and appeared on The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriett. They both knew Jack Webb and were cast for Adam 12.

How realistic was it? The LAPD would use some episodes as training guides for new policemen. The reason for that is that the LAPD worked with the show for realism. Kent McCord said that more than once while filming…someone would come up to them and thought they were real policemen.

They wanted to capture a typical day in the life of a police officer. There was no Dirty Harry on this force. These officers went by the book even if it would have benefitted them at times to stray off. The episodes were written around actual police cases to add some realism. They showed all that the censors would allow.

Some of the guest stars were… Tony Dow, Willie Aimes, Ed Begley Jr, Karen Black, David Cassidy, Micky Dolenz, Tim Matheson, Ozzie Nelson, and many others. It was odd seeing Robert Donner…who played Yancy Tucker on The Waltons a few years later…playing a heroin addict-informant.

Reed is happily married, and Malloy is the happy bachelor. The interplay is natural and not forced. The one big thing I like about the show is the continuity from beginning to end. You see a raw rookie in Jim Reed with Malloy slowly training him up and eventually both becoming friends as seasons pass by. The conversations that take place between the crimes happening are things we all talk about so you can relate to these two.

TV's 'Adam-12' in Los Angeles – Then & Now

Los Angeles historians have a field day with the episodes. They show how the city was at that time. They recorded the bulk of this show on location. On youtube you can find “then and now” film segments. Many policemen have said that this show inspired them to join the force.

Martin Milner passed away in 2015. The LAPD hosted a ceremony in Milner’s honor at its downtown Los Angeles headquarters. I binge-watched this show last year and the quality never went down in the 7 seasons.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “TV Draft Round 3 – Pick 8 – Adam 12”

  1. I really liked this show when I was a kid, but haven’t ever watched the reruns. Sounds like I should make the effort. I had no idea it was so realistic and legitimate. I see why you made it one of your draft picks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It surpised me also. My cousin wanted to see it so we watched a few episodes while he was down…I ended up getting all of them.


  2. No surprise that the LAPD loved the show as they worked with Webb very closely for all those years on Dragnet. Adam 12 was a lot like Dragnet in that many of the cases were based of real events. On Dragnet Joe Friday was single and his partners were always married. Lots of Webb influence on the show…

    I guess I didn’t realize Emergency was a spin off from Adam 12. Now I will have to search for crossover episodes..

    Good pick, Max!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 1-Adam 12 we have Deke causing a ruckus playing his bass too loud…

      Yea man it brought my childhood back and it was much better than I thought.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Similar to your take – I often watched , I guess re-runs of it in the 70s, fairly OK with it but I think as a kid it could be a little slow compared to other police shows. In recent years, I’ve seen some on the oldies station (Me TV I guess it is) and like it more. Like you suggest, it was more real than most of its genre and was well-written because of the input from real police. BTW, I think I will be picking it’s “spin off” Emergency in a round or two… always liked that one a lot .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That will be great if you pick it…now if I can get someone to pick Dragnet…all of those would be covered. Keith might pick it.


  4. Missed out here I believe; heard of the show very vaguely by name- I thought was a kind of puppet show, sort of like Joe 90- well, Adam 12 sounds similar! Anyway, till now I’d thought of it as no more than Thunderbirds kids stuff, or at least a show for ‘tweens, Dr Who-ish.
    Thats what you get for growing up living way out on the edges of Western civilisation. (When I wuz a kid it was one TV channel fits all, so no choice but channel One.)


  5. This is on at 5 and 5:30 Eastern on MeTV. I like it because it shows that a lot of police work is just routine stuff, and really liked the way the relationship between Reed and Malloy grew from Pete having to show Jim the ropes and turn him into a real cop (including chewing Jim out for screwing up on occasion) to them being good friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit upon the very thing I liked…it was the relationship between the two talking about real things that we all see. It never really dipped in quality in the 7 seasons .


      1. I’ll have to look up Sierra…I never heard about that one. He was going to bring Dragnet back and get Kent McCord as his partner in the early eighties but he passed away before that happened.


      2. No I never did…now I’m glad I didn’t…I did see the movie but it was more of a spoof.


    1. It is consistent also…it’s hard though seeing Yancy Tucker from the Waltons as a heroin addict.
      The child pornography subject really surprised me that they would get that deep. I’m glad they showed it existed though and made everyone aware and what to watch for.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dude…another one I always watched, sitting on the floor, with my dad controlling the TV. LOL! Remember me telling you I had the disc viewer with Adam-12?

    I also watched Emergency with my dad. My paternal grandfather was a FF and my dad wanted to be a FF but, the women in the family screamed “NO.” So, he went into law enforcement (long story). My early years, we lived next door to my paternal grandparents. We were “yards” from the railroad and two blocks from the fire department HQ. During the summer, they would have the bay doors open and my dad could tell you which truck was going out by the sound of the engine. Plus, the code tones that would go off during a call sounded WAY too close to the code tones in the show. Drove me crazy…🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yea! I would have never thought they would have had a viewer of it but I guess they would.
      Yea those are distintive rings each had…I watched Emergency also…I watched that more as a kid than I did Adam 12. Both still still stand up today

      Liked by 1 person

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