KCOP’s Police Lineup
Tired of Geraldo, Oprah and Phil? Sick of “The Price is Right”? Couldn’t care less if Anthony Geary is back on “General Hospital?”
Then turn the dial to KCOP weekdays and catch reruns of three ‘70s actions shows: Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco and Hawaii Five-O.
Kicking off the lineup at 1 p.m. is “Cannon,” starring William Conrad of the current CBS series “Jake and the Fatman.”
“Cannon” debuted on CBS in September 1971 and was a solid performer until it left the air in September 1976. Though in his 50s, Conrad was a new face on television. He had appeared as heavies in such 1940s films as “Body and Soul” but was best known for his distinctive voice. Conrad was Matt Dillon on the radio version of “Gunsmoke” and was the narrator of the cult favorite “The Bullwinkle Show.”
Conrad’s “Cannon” was a different type of detective: balding, middle-aged and fat. He rarely chased the bad guys or fired his gun. Cannon lived well, eating a lot of fine cuisine and cruising Los Angeles in his Cadillac convertible.
Following “Cannon” is “The Streets of San Francisco.” One of the best detective series of the 1970s, “Streets” featured gritty stories and strong guest stars (among the memorable: Peter Strauss, Brenda Vaccaro and John Davidson as a female impersonator/murderer).
But the main reason the series clicked was because of the seamless chemistry between veteran actor Karl Malden and newcomer Michael Douglas. Malden played widowed San Francisco police detective Lt. Mike Stone and Douglas was his young, college-educated partner Steve Keller.
“The Streets of San Francisco” debuted as an ABC movie of the week in the spring of 1972, based on characters from Carolyn Weston’s novel “Poor, Poor, Ophelia,” and became a series that fall. It was the first series for Malden, who received a best supporting actor Oscar for the 1951 “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and also for Douglas, who had appeared in a few minor feature films.
The series continued until June 1977, although Douglas left the show at the conclusion of the 1975-76 season, after producing the Oscar-winning “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Richard Hatch, who came to fame on “All My Children,” was Stone’s new partner, Dan Robbins, for the final season.
“Hawaii Five-O” completes the action afternoon. The CBS series, which was filmed in Hawaii, lasted an amazing 12 seasons--from September 1968 until April 1980.
Thanks to The Ventures, the instrumental theme song hit No. 4 on the Billboard charts.
No-nonsense Jack Lord, who had starred in the underrated 1962 ABC series “Stoney Burke” played Steve McGarrett, the unemotional head of the Five-O division of the Hawaiian State Police.
James MacArthur, son of actress Helen Hayes and writer Charles MacArthur, was McGarrett’s chief assistant, Det. Danny “Danno” Williams. Whenever McGarrett caught the bad guy he would say: “Book ‘em, Danno.” Kam Fong played Det. Chin Ho Kelly and Zulu was Det. Kono Kalakaua.
McGarrett’s chief nemesis was the criminal genius Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh). After playing cat and mouse with Wo Fat for 12 years, McGarrett brought him to justice on the final episode and Wo Fat woefully went to jail.
“Cannon” airs at 1 p.m., “The Streets of San Francisco” at 2 p.m. and “Hawaii Five-O” at 3 p.m. Monday-Friday on KCOP.