The Streets of San Francisco (1972)

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ABC (ended 1977)

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SHOW REVIEWS
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The Streets of San Francisco (1972)

Show Summary

Welcome to The Streets of San Francisco guide at TV.com.

"Inspectors eight-one, responding." This 70's crime drama was one of many Quinn Martin Production shows, a roster which included Cannon, The FBI, The Fugitive and Barnaby Jones. It was filmed entirely on location in San Francisco.

The show first aired on September 16, 1972 in a time slot of Saturday at 9 p.m., playing against two popular half-hour shows, Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart. Due to the success of its first season, it moved into a more prominent spot -- Thursdays at 10, and later, Thursdays at 9, showing in the same time slot as Kojak, Ironside, and Barnaby Jones.

The Streets of San Francisco starred Karl Malden as veteran detective Mike Stone and Michael Douglas as Steve Keller, a rookie detective who is college- educated in a workingman's SFPD.

The show ran for a total of five seasons. After the second episode of the 1976-77 season, Michael Douglas left the show; writers explained that Steve Keller was going to pursue a teaching career. The insufferably pretty Richard Hatch was chosen to play the ingenue-detective role, but the show foundered and lasted for only another season, airing for the last time on June 23, 1977.

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Karl Malden

Karl Malden

Detective Lieutenant Mike Stone

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

Inspector Steve Keller (seasons 1-4)

Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch

Inspector Dan Robbins (season 5)

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Fast paced, entertaining cop show that showcases San Francisco as it was in the 1970's.

    7.5
    It has been said before that the real star of this show is the City itself, with its charismatic blend of scenic vistas and cold cement alleyways. Having only gotten halfway through the first season, I must admit that this is the thing that keeps me coming back more than any other facet of the show. The endless parade of long-defunct nightclubs, restaurants and stores play a role in each episode, and indeed, seem to have a story of their own.



    The dramatic element of this series is pretty lightweight by contemporary standards though, and there isn't a whole lot of intrigue or heavy tension, as you might expect from cop shows like the Wire, for instance.



    Instead, each episode presents a quirky case that must be solved within the four acts of the main story. No real mystery ever develops, and no loose ends are left dangling afterwards, although an epilogue closes each episode.



    Karl Malden's hammy "buddy boy" exclamations and throwback fashion sense grow on you after a while, and the depth of Michael Douglas' acting ability is a pleasant surprise. Its a show well worth watching if you've spent enough time in San Francisco to recognize any of the places in the background.moreless
  • A Truly great Police Drama that holds up very well over time!

    10
    I recently re-discovered this gem when reruns started appearing on a local TV station. I remember watching this show when I was young and even remember that we used to watch it dubbed in German on West German TV when my father was stationed there in the mid 70's. I am not in any way an experienced critic, but in watching the Streets of San Francisco reruns, in my humble opinion, it is, and was, a truly great show of it's genre. The interaction between Karl Malden and Micheal Douglas was very believable and their acting was by far the best part of the show. Some of the story lines were pretty weak and don't hold up under close scrutiny, but unlike most current Police Dramas, "SOSF" holds my attention for the entire hour. I have a typical male attention span which is pretty short for anything but sports, but am glued to the TV for the entire hour of nearly episode of SOSF that I have watched recently. It is great to see a show actually filmed on location and not one that uses LA or Vancouver as the stand-in for every city on the planet. One thing I have noticed that is unusual and that is no longer used on network TV, is the frequent use of the same guest stars. By my calculation, our local station is about midway through season 3 and I have already seen alot of the same actors show up as guest stars, all playing different characters. Leslie Nielsen is one that comes to mind as I have already seen him pop up on three different episodes, all playing new characters. All in all, I think this was a great Show. All I ask of any TV show is that it entertain me and hold my attention till the ending credits. The Streets of San Francisco does that easily. I see that CBS is thinking of doing a modern re-make of this series. It will be hard to match the original.moreless
  • Though enjoyable, it doesn't hold up nearly as well today.

    7.5
    Unlike some other 1970s shows (I'm thinking mainly of "Columbo" and "The Rockford Files") "The Streets of San Francisco" doesn't really hold up as well some 30 years later. While it certainly isn't bad, I see it more as a competent cop drama rather than a classic.



    The ingredients are there - Karl Malden and Michael Douglas are terrific actors and they have the potential to make a great "odd couple" pairing. However, the pedestrian scripts don't give them a lot of room to work and there's nothing outstanding about the show. Crimes are regular stuff, and they tend to blend together. Malden and Douglas bicker and banter, but it never really feels genuine. It hurts even more, knowing that these actors are capable of better performances.



    There's plenty of local color, and the show gets points for taking advantage of its locale. It's rare in TV today to see a show like "Streets" or "Hawaii 5-0" that makes its setting such a major part of the drama.



    Don't misunderstand me - I don't think "Streets" is bad. I'd still take it over most of the prime-time dreck today. But I don't think its writing was strong enough to rank it up among the kings of 70s crime drama.moreless
  • Young homicide detective partnered with savy veteran take to the Streets of San Francisco to solve the city's murders.

    10
    This was my favorite show in the 70's.I loved the fact that it was actually filmed on the Streets of San Francisco, which to me is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.The Team of Douglas and Malden was a perfect fit.The young college educated detective with the older street wise veteran.

    This show help to inspired me to seek a career in Law Enforcement even though my own father was a police officer and also an inspiration to me.

    When Douglas left after year four it lost it's appeal.The new actor could not click with Malden the way Douglas was able to.Douglas went on to big screen stardom and Malden kind of faded away after the show ended.I hear that they are still great friends or more liken to father and son.moreless
  • The Streets of San Francisco is one of my favorite shows from my childhood.

    9.0
    I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, across on the Oakland side, so a lot of the show’s locations were familiar to me. The San Francisco area gave the show some beautiful locations in which to shoot, and the producers were smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity.



    This was a Quinn Martin produced detective show, which gave it an advantage out of the gate. Martin had produced several highly respected shows of the time. Streets had the added bonus of starring the excellent Karl Malden and the talented, young and very handsome Michael Douglas. Douglas left after four seasons to produce “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest” and the show never recovered.moreless
  • MAKE SURE YOU ORDER YOUR DVDS IN TIME FOR COZY TELEVISION VIEWING DURING THE HOLIDAYS! WITH COMPLETE SERIES LIKE THE SOPRANOS AND FIREFLY AND CLASSICS FROM THE WALT DISNEY VAULT YOU'LL NEVER GET BORED!

    November 11, 2008 DVD Releases

  • MOTHERSHIP DEVELOPING STREETS OF SF REMAKE, SHOWTIME HEADS TO STUDIO 54; HBO SHOWS NO LOVE FOR TELL ME.

    CBS developing pair of '70s shows

    • Whose Little Boy Are You?
      The problem I have with this story is the same I have with most shows/movies that deal with this subject. They try to make the doc...
      06/12/11
      1
    • Recommendation?
      I've been curious about checking this show out - as a fan of Columbo, Rockford and other 70s era detective shows, is this somethin...
      06/24/09
      4
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