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Dragnet is an American radio, television and film series, following the exploits of dedicated Los Angeles Police Department Detective Joe Friday and his partners, created by actor and producer Jack Webb. The show took its name from the police term “dragnet”, a term for a system of coordinated measures for apprehending criminals or suspects.
Dragnet is perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural crime drama in American media history. The series portrayed police work as dangerous and heroic, and helped shape public perception of law enforcement in the 20th century. Dragnet earned praise for improving the public opinion of police officers. Webb’s aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting.
Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media. The show’s cultural impact is such that seven decades after its debut, elements of Dragnet are familiar to those who have never seen or heard the program.