The Streets Of San Francisco (1972)

The Streets of San Francisco debuted on ABC on Saturday, September 16, 1972, at 9 pm Eastern. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas starred in the show that ran for 121 episodes over 5 seasons.

The show went up against some pretty tough competition at CBS with The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. While it was tough, the show gained an audience and traction on those Saturday nights. For the second season, ABC moved the show to Thursdays where it remained for the rest of its run.

Let’s go back to 1972 for this show’s pilot episode

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. Michael Stone, star #897 (played by Malden), who had more than 20 years of police experience and was now assigned to the homicide detail of the San Francisco Police Department’s Bureau of Inspectors. He was partnered with a young inspector and energetic partner, Assistant Inspector Steve Keller, star #2248 (played by Douglas), a college graduate, aged 28, who had little experience on the police force. Stone became 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 progressed, 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.[2] He, in turn, also established a film career. His character’s absence was explained by having him take a teaching position at UC Berkeley, a local college, while Lt. Stone was partnered with another Inspector, Inspector Dan Robbins (Hatch). Hatch started his career on the ABC soap All My Children and later went on to Battlestar Galactica. The change was not popular with audiences, and the show ended in 1977 due to declining ratings and increased production costs. Additionally, 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”.

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Source: Sal Amato