The Rookies (1972)

ABC (ended 1976)
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  • An hour long '70s TV series about a trio of attractive crime-fighters from producer Aaron Spelling - No, it's not the Angels. Before Charlie's Angels, uber-producer Spelling introduced us to the less campy police drama The Rookies. Centered on officers new to the Southern California Police Department and the situations they faced in the line of duty such as kidnapping, teen runaways, gang violence and racism. They may be young and (sometimes) naive but they are always professional. Not only produced by Aaron Spelling but the show also came to us courtesy of Leonard Goldberg, who produced the big-screen version of Charlie's Angels, and also introduced us to future Angel Kate Jackson who plays the show's only female star Nurse Jill Danko. Before the series, The Rookies were first introduced in a full-length movie from ABC which served as the pilot. The original movie introduced us to the characters but featured a couple of different actors. The Rookies themselves were the same but in the movie Ryker was originally played by none other than "The Night Stalker" himself Darrin McGavin and Kate Jackson's role as Jill was first played by Jennifer Billingsley, probably best known as the female hoodlum who terrorized Olivia de Havilland in the 1964 shocker Lady in a Cage.The movie did well enough that ABC decided to pick it up as a series. When it finally premiered it became so popular that it eventually served as a jumping off point for a lot of great young actors of the time. Besides Kate and Twin Peaks' Micheal Ontkean you could also catch early glimpses of other future stars such as John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Martin Sheen, Nick Nolte, Tyne Daly and many more.TriviaWilliam Blinn, the co-creator of the show, also created Starsky and Hutch, another Spelling/Goldberg production. The Rookies served as a launching pad for the short-lived spin-off S.W.A.T. starring Robert Urich which is now a big-screen film starring Colin Farrell. The opening titles to Charlie's Angels were a little similar to that of The Rookies. In the titles of The Rookies we see the three main characters training at police academy and eventually becoming the Rookies.Where are they now?Georg Stanford Brown After honing his directorial skills directing episodes of The Rookies Georg went on to direct several more shows. His directing efforts on shows such as Hill Street Blues and Cagney & Lacey earned him an Emmy award and several nominations. He has even directed fellow Rookies cast-member Kate Jackson in several episodes of Charlie's Angels and Gerald S O'Loughlin in Roots: The Next Generation. Acting-wise George has been seen in the massively popular mini-series Roots, the mini-series North and South and most recently starred in the Showtime series Linc's with Pam Grier. Georg has also been spotted guest-starring on The District and Family Law. He's had three daughters with ex-wife and former Cagney & Lacey star Tyne Daly, who appeared in several episodes of The Rookies.Michael Ontkean Canadian actor Ontkean retired from acting after two seasons on The Rookies before returning in 1977 with the hit Paul Newman film Slap Shot which united his two loves; acting and hockey. He later reunited with "Mrs. Danko" herself Kate Jackson in the controversial 1982 film Making Love in which they played a married couple coping with the fact that Ontkean's character had fallen in love with another man played by Harry Hamlin. After appearing in '80s comedies, such as Maid to Order with Ally Sheedy and The Allnighter with Joan Cusack, he earned one of his most popular roles as Sheriff Harry Truman in David Lynch's creepy-yet-monumental 1990 series Twin Peaks. Since then he has appeared in several TV movies, such as The Stepford Husbands (a sequel to The Stepford Wives), and in the big-screen film Just a Little Harmless Sex (a film by Halloween: Resurrection director Rick Rosenthal and written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer producer/writer Marti Noxon). He is currently married to All the President's Men actress Jamie Smith-Jackson, who also guest starred on a few episodes of The Rookies.Sam Melville Sam continued to work in television appearing in shows such The Dukes of Hazzard, T.J. Hooker and The A-Team. He reunited with his TV wife Kate Jackson when he played her ex-husband Joe King in Kate's third popular TV series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. The actor, who co-starred in the original 1968 film version of The Thomas Crown Affair, has done a few movies, such as 1989's The Assassin and the horror Twice Dead, but sadly didn't get to do more. He died in 1989 at the age of 52 as a result of heart failure. You can visit The Official Sam Melville Memorial Website.Kate Jackson As if there's someone out there who doesn't already know that after The Rookies this Emmy and Golden Globe nominee went on to star in the '70s trademark series Charlie's Angels. In it she played Sabrina Duncan, the "smart" one of the trio. If you watch the opening titles of Angels you can see her as a police trainee shooting a gun during target practice. Sound familiar? It's exactly the same scene we see during the opening titles of The Rookies. It was Spelling and Jackson's way of saying that now it was her turn to fight crime. As mentioned previously Kate has reteamed with all three of the original Rookies; Brown directed her in episodes of Charlie's Angels, Ontkean played her husband harboring a secret in the 1982 movie Making Love and Melville played her ex-husband Joe King in Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Scarecrow and Mrs. King was Jackson's third attempt at a TV series after Rookies and Angels and it was a successful one as Mrs. King ran for 5 years. Like Georg, Kate decided to take a shot at directing starting with episodes of Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Since then Kate has starred in numerous made-for-tv movies such as The Cold Heart of a Killer which she also produced from a book called "Murder on the Iditarod Trail." Most recently the breast cancer survivor starred in the remake of her own 1973 film Satan's School for Girls along with Spelling outcast Shannen Doherty, both versions were produced by Aaron Spelling.Gerald S. O'Loughlin The distinguished actor still continues to work doing everything from television to film. After directing episodes of The Rookies and the 1970's Meredith Baxter series Family (Georg also directed episodes of that show) Gerald appeared in the mini-series Roots: The Next Generation, which reunited him with Georg Stanford Brown. Since then the actor has appeared in many films including 1996's acclaimed Crime of the Century with Isabella Rossellini and Stephen Rea. The film centered on the 1932 abduction of the Lindberg baby. Most recently he has guest-starred on shows such as ER, Chicago Hope, The Division and Judging Amy (reuniting him with Rookies recurring guest star Tyne Daly).Bruce Fairbairn Not much is known about Bruce except that after The Rookies he appeared in the campy 1979 film Vampire Hookers with John Carradine, the 1987 sci-fi actioner Cyclone and the made-for-tv movie Do You Know the Muffin Man?, a courtroom drama about sexual abuse supposedly inspired by the McMartin case. You can also look for him in the Charlie's Angels rerun Angel Baby. Aside from that Bruce landed recurring roles in several TV shows; first on Knots Landing as Ray Geary and then as Sheldon Ganz in the popular lawyer drama L.A. Law.The first three seasons of The Rookies aired Mondays nights at 8pm on ABC. The final season aired Tuesday nights at 9pm.Wardrobe for the show was provided by The GapAutomobiles were furnished by Chrysler Corp.The series was filmed at 20th Century Fox Studiosmoreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 4 : Ep 23

    Journey to Oblivion

    Aired 3/30/76

  • S 4 : Ep 22

    Deliver Me From Innocence

    Aired 3/2/76

  • S 4 : Ep 21

    Blue Movie, Blue Death

    Aired 2/24/76

  • S 4 : Ep 20

    The Mugging

    Aired 1/27/76

  • S 4 : Ep 19

    From Out of the Darkness

    Aired 1/20/76

  • Cast & Crew
  • Georg Stanford Brown

    Officer Terry Webster

  • Sam Melville

    Officer Mike Danko

  • Michael Ontkean

    Officer Willie Gillis (1972-1974)

  • Kate Jackson

    Jill Danko

  • Gerald S. O'Loughlin

    Lt. Eddie Ryker

  • Photos (1)
  • Top Contributor
  • karlmeszaros

    User Score: 357


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (48)

    • Terry: Hey, come on. We're supposed to roll. Willie: Yeah, just give me a minute. Terry: For what? Willie: I want to make sure I've some ideas of the main streets in the neighborhood. I've never been through there; and I, ah, can't think of anything more embarrassing than a cop getting lost. Can you? Terry: Got the perfect out for you. You ride passenger, and I'll drive. Willie: You know that part of town? Terry: Oh, do I know that part of town. Easy area to get lost in, in a lot of ways. Willie: It's a mean place, huh? Terry: (sarcastically) Oh, no. It's just as nice and calm as can be William.

    • Willie: So, how do we log this, disturbing the peace? Terry: Well, take a look around you Willie, not much peace around, just an occasional break in the war.

    • Terry: He in? Officer: He is. Terry: Good mood, bad mood? Officer: His mood. Terry: Very encouraging.

    • (to Jill, arriving as they are in the middle of a loud disagreement) Willie: (opening the door) What do you want? Jill: Well, I didn't come to present either of you with a brotherhood award. Terry: Sorry it got a little loud Jill. Jill: No, no, not a little loud. It got a lot loud, and Mike's trying to do some studying. Willie: Why didn't he come over and tell us himself, huh? Jill: Because I'm also here to ask you to dinner in half an hour when he's finished. Terry: I'm sorry, Jill, I just don't feel like ... Jill: Terry, I'd appreciate it very much if you both said yes; because you can't yell at each other with your mouths full, and I don't like to see nice people yell at each other anyway. I'll see you in half an hour.

    • Lt. Ryker: I don't know, Danko, am I crazy? Danko: In what way Lieutenant? Lt. Ryker: Those two, letting them walk in there like that. They could get their heads handed to them if they're not careful. Danko: Nah, they'll be careful. You can count on them. Lt. Ryker: There's another thing that bothers me. Danko : Yeah, what's that? Lt. Ryker: When I asked if I was crazy, you asked "In what way?" Why couldn't you say "of course not, Lieutenant?"

    • Lt. Ryker: Webster, Gillis. (Webster and Gillis stare at the Lieutenant and smile) What are you looking at me like that for? Webster: You're in a suit, Lieutenant. Lt. Ryker: Well that's not exactly front page news, Webster. Gillis: Yeah, but it's a suit like regular people wear. I mean, uh, civilians. Lt. Ryker: Gillis, I don't want to shake you up, but I am a regular person. And it just so happens that I'm the second guest on the Feedback talk show tonight, in an effort to publicize the new program which brought you rookies into the department. Any other questions? Gillis: No. Have a good time Lieutenant.

    • Lt. Monroe: Yeah, I must say, I don't know much about you new cops. They way Ryker went on and on about you on TV last night, I just had to see for myself. I mean, I figure, you know, you two guys must have a nice big red S across your chest. First heavy phone call comes in, you go racing for a phone booth to change your outfits, you know?

    • Webster: Well, if you've got any questions, anything you'd like to learn, please feel free to ask. Lt. Monroe: There's not much you can teach me, Officer Webster. Webster: No? Then how come you're riding with us? Lt. Monroe: Because some of the people in Internal Affairs are getting a little bit worried over the fact that, uh, we may have created a problem with all this new cop nonsense. Gillis: Well, what kind of a problem, Lieutenant? Lt. Monroe: A problem concerning an elite corps on the force, some young cops thinking they know all the answers, thinking they're better than men who've been on the force for 20 years, that's what kind of a problem. Webster: Then you don't agree with the program? Lt. Monroe: Well, it doesn't matter whether I agree or not, I wasn't consulted. Webster: But if you had been? Lt. Monroe: Well, I would have told them they're getting all hot and bothered because people don't like cops. So what? Who said people are supposed to like cops? Nobody likes anybody with power; and cops have the power. So nobody's going to like cops and that's all there is to it.

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    Notes (61)

    • The original TV movie (which ran 2 hours with commercials) that served as the pilot for the series.

    • Additional Credits for all episodes: Wardrobe provided By: THE GAP Automobiles Furnished By: Chrysler Corp. This has been a Spelling-Goldberg Production.

    • Kate Jackson and Gerald S. O'Loughlin took over the roles of Jill Danko and Lt. Ryker, which were originally played by Darrin McGavin and Jennifer Billingsley in the pilot.

    • Dane Clark is billed as a Special Guest Star.

    • Arlene Golonka is billed as a Special Guest Star.

    • Craig Stevens was billed as a Special Guest Star in this episode.

    • Guest star Roddy McDowall is best known as one of the stars of the original "Planet of the Apes".

    • Guest star Belinda Montgomery played Doogie's mother in "Doogie Howser, M.D."

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    Trivia (17)

    • The officers work out of Police Station No. 7.

    • During one of the basketball sequences, the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, Sweet Georgia Brown, is played. The song was written by Maceo Pinkard (music) and Kenneth Casey (words).

    • Regular Casting Director Bert Remsen is incorrectly billed as Cert Remsen in this episode.

    • When Don fires his revolver into the mirror, it leaves no hole in the wall.

    • It seems a little unlikely that a person could so easily steal a police uniform from the locker room the way Don did.

    • Gillis and Webster's police car code is Ludlow 9.

    • Danko and Webster's police car's code is Ludlow 7.

    • Gus T. Caldwell lives in the Bay Apartments at 1483 Bay Street. He drives a Ford LTD, which is the car that was stolen and used in the commission of the robbery. As a point of interest, the end credits of all shows say that Chrysler Corporation provides the cars.

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    Allusions (11)

    • John Wayne Refers to the world famous, Academy Award-winning American actor. Wayne (1907-1979), who epitomized rugged masculinity, is famous for his distinctive gait, voice and physical presence. Randolph Scott Refers to the American motion picture actor who was primarily know for his roles in Westerns. Scott's (1898-1987) career spanned five decades, from 1928 to 1962.

    • Superman Refers to the fictional comic book superhero created in 1932 by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster, while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio. Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in June 1938, and subsequently in various radio and television programs, movies, newspaper strips, and video games.

    • Captain Marvel Refers to the fictional comic book superhero, created by artist C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker in 1939. Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a young news reporter. Captain Marvel was also the first comic book superhero to be adapted to film, in 1941's The Adventures of Captain Marvel.

    • 63 yard field goal by a man with half a foot Officer Gillis is referring to Thomas John (Tom) Dempsey (b.1947), a former National Football League (NFL) placekicker. He was born without toes on his right foot and is best remembered for kicking an NFL record 63-yard field goal in the final two seconds of a game to give the New Orleans Saints a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions. The November 8, 1970 kick has remained a record through the end of the 2007 season. In order to compensate for not having any toes, Dempsey wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe surface.

    • Sir Galahad Refers to one of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table. He is one of the three knights who achieved the Holy Grail and is especially known for his gallantry and purity. Captains Courageous Captains Courageous was originally a novel - written by Rudyard Kipling in 1897 - that follows the adventures of 15-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr. It was made into a movie and 1937 starring Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Mickey Rooney, and John Carradine. Tracy won the Best Actor Academy Award for his work. Two more made-for-TV movies of Captains Courageous followed. The first was in 1977 and starred Karl Malden, Ricardo Montalb├ín, Fritz Weaver, Fred Gwynne and Neville Brand. The second was in 1996 and starred Robert Urich, Kenny Vadas, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Sandra Nelson and Colin Cunningham. Lastly, the novel was also made into an Off Broadway production in 1999. It played at the Manhattan Theatre Club. As an aside, Robert Urich starred in S.W.A.T., which was a Rookies spinoff.

    • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 Lt. Ryker is quoting the King James Version of the Bible. the verse in full reads: For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

    • Physicians heal themselves; Luke 4:23 Lt. Ryker is quoting from the Bible. The full verse (NIV) reads: Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.'

    • Welcome back Brother Lazarus Lazarus is the man who had been dead for four days when Jesus raised him from the dead. The story is told in Chapter 11 of the Gospel of John.

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