Top thirty crime procedurals, #23: Dragnet (both the 50s version and the 60s version)

IMDB links.

Basic Premise: “The story you are about to see is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

Why it’s here: The most iconic theme music of any crime procedural. The granddaddy. It wasn’t flashy, it didn’t have special effects, but it was a fine television program that made this entire genre possible. (As an aside, the 1987 movie was pretty great too.)

Why it isn’t higher: It’s too low-key to be taken seriously. These are idealized versions of the police; if the world actually worked like Dragnet, it would be a far nicer place to live.

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