Los Angeles Police Report

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Television series
German title Los Angeles Police Report
Original title Dragnet (Season 1)
LA Dragnet (Season 2)
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 2003-2004
length 40 minutes
Episodes 22 in 2 seasons
genre Thriller
idea Jack Webb
production Dick Wolf
camera Russ T. Alsobrook
Johnny E. Jensen
Bing Sokolsky
First broadcast February 2, 2003 (USA) on ABC
first broadcast
May 13, 2007 on Super RTL

Police Report Los Angeles (original title: Dragnet , later LA Dragnet ) was an American television series launched in 2003 and produced by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf . The series was based on the successful Dragnet series with Jack Webb in the 1950s and late 1960s , the second edition of which was also shown in Germany under the title Police Report .


Each episode of the series begins with a voiceover pointing out that the following story is based on facts and that the names of the people appearing have been changed to protect innocent people. This is a close reference to the original Dragnet series from the 1950s, where the stories were even passed off as true events at the time and, as a rule, are likely to have been closely based on such events. The present series was designed much more freely.

Police report Los Angeles was also based in the first season on the classic Dragnet concept, which is characterized by two special factors:

On the one hand, the main investigator Joe Friday guides the viewer with his explanatory off-commentaries through each episode, some of which also capture the immediate events on the screen, similar to an audio commentary , when Friday expresses his thoughts on the body language of an interrogated person, for example. The saying “My name is Friday” has a special recognition value in the voiceover comments . I'm a cop. ” (In the dubbed version: “ My name is Friday. I'm a cop. ” ), Which can be heard at the end of the narrative passage opening the respective episode. During this introductory narrative passage, Friday can be seen arriving at the scene of the crime by car, where the investigation into the case, which is fundamental for the episode, is subsequently started. The saying “My name is Friday. I'm a cop. ”Can usually be heard during or just before Friday is shown for the first time in a take from the front.

A second characteristic of the classic Dragnet concept is the fact that two investigators with the rank of detective who work for the Los Angeles Police Department are followed through the entire episode as they get to and solve a case. The names of the investigators, Joe Friday and Frank Smith , also go back to the classic version. In contrast to the classic version from the 1950s and 1960s, Friday also took on a kind of mentor role towards his partner in the present version, as he was now much younger.

For the second season, only the characteristic of having Friday explain the events from the off was retained and reduced at the same time, while the usual investigative structure was completely abandoned and Friday was promoted from detective to lieutenant, who now has three to four detectives in an authorized position coordinated.

The look of the series has also changed: while the first season looks very classic and Frank Smith even wore a retro hairstyle, the second season was designed much darker. The colors were taken back and a shaky camera was often used.

The change in the concept should u. a. go back to the fact that Ed O'Neill , who played Joe Friday, was 57 years old at the time and whose two children were toddlers and preschoolers at the time, asked to spend less time. According to O'Neill, filming for the series was five days a week, 14 hours a day.


In addition to the changes to the concept , the original title of the first season, Dragnet , was changed to the second season in LA Dragnet . In some countries, such as the Netherlands , however, the series was known under the, also English, title Murder Investigation . In addition, a separate closing credits were created for the broadcast in France, during which you can see pictures from the 1st season in the background. In other versions, including the original version, the text panels of the credits can only be seen on a black background.

In Germany they used the unusually classic title Police Report Los Angeles based on the series Police Report (1967-1970) with Jack Webb , on which the present series was based. The title LA Dragnet was used in Germany only for pay TV and there only for advertising purposes (without it being featured in the opening credits).

The change of the title during the first broadcast in the USA , from Dragnet to LA Dragnet , suggests that there were plans to establish the Dragnet concept in other cities sooner or later (e.g. as NY Dragnet or similar). This scheme is relatively typical for Dick Wolf series. Wolf is said to have always been interested in equipping an entire channel with Law & Order versions around the clock . However, the title change caused contradictions, as Dragnet always played in Los Angeles anyway and the reference to it in the name, under this condition, seemed nonsensical. A similar faux pas happened in Germany to another series produced by Dick Wolf when Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was given the title Law & Order: New York , although the mother series Law & Order also played in New York and the German title of the Spin -offs was therefore misleading.


Danny Huston was originally intended for the main role of Joe Friday , but after a first episode under the title Three Blondes had been filmed, he left the project prematurely because he was overwhelmed by the time requirements of a series shoot. Huston was replaced by Ed O'Neill , who had already played a detective in the early-ended Big Apple in his last previous leading role in the series and, despite the short-lived nature of this series, earned a lot of critical acclaim for it. O'Neill, who lives in Los Angeles and was a first point of contact for the producers in the necessary hurry, did not want to take on the role of Joe Friday at first, as he was already scheduled for the HBO series Deadwood , where the character of Swearengen was , which was later played by Ian McShane . In the end, he decided to accept Dick Wolf's offer, especially since he wanted to work with Walon Green . Ethan Embry appeared as Fridays partner Frank Smith . However, the role was canceled after the first season. Towards the end of the first season, Embry was completely absent from one episode and was only marginally seen in another because he was injured while skateboarding. He was represented in the role of Det. Denise Beltran in these episodes, which were distributed in the broadcast to positions 9 and 11 of the season, by Lauren Vélez . Embry's absence in the ninth episode was justified in the series with a stroke on Frank Smith 's father . In the eleventh episode, he only did desk work as it was apparently still difficult for him to walk.

In the eleventh episode, in addition to Ed O'Neill, Lauren Vélez and Ethan Embry, Paul Leyden also played a relatively large role as Det.Langler and the investigative duo Friday / Smith was consequently replaced entirely by Beltran / Langler, In a way, this episode anticipated the concept of the second season.

In the second season, Desmond Harrington ( Det. Jimmy McCarron ), Eva Longoria ( Det. Gloria Duran ) and Evan Parke ( Det. Raymond 'Coop' Cooper ) played the three investigators who worked regularly with Friday . In three episodes, the team was also supplemented by Roselyn Sánchez in the role of Det. Elana Macias , who appeared instead of Eva Longoria on her first assignment, but then together with her in the other two episodes. Christina Chang , after two guest appearances in the last two episodes of the first season, had a recurring role as District Attorney Assistant Sandy Chang in the second season .

Despite regular central appearances without a mention in the intro of the series, Lindsay Crouse , who played the role of the captain in the first season, to whom the two Dragnet detectives report, as well as Erick Avari (season 1 to beginning of season 2) and Robin Bartlett remained (hereinafter), who were to be seen as the chief medical examiner in charge. Daniel Zacapa , in the role of gang crime specialist Detective Gomez , was also seen in several episodes , as well as Denise Dowse as forensic technician Juanita Hendrucks . The scientific team also included, for example, the forensic scientist Chavez, played by Peter Trencher . In three episodes of the second season, a Friday now superordinate Captain Silva appeared. He was played by David Andrews .

In the first season, several detectives were also regularly used in small roles, who supported Friday and Smith with preparatory work, which was usually limited to informing the main investigators shortly after they had obtained information. These assisting detectives were played by Katherine Kamhi and Morocco Omari , among others . After changing the concept for Season 2, these roles became practically redundant and dropped.

Television broadcasts

The final version of the series (after the departure of Danny Huston ) was produced from October 2002, the first episode aired on February 2, 2003 on ABC . Up until May 11, 2003, a total of twelve episodes were shown on Sundays at 10:00 p.m. It was originally planned to be broadcast on Monday evening at 9 p.m., but it never happened. Due to the positive response, the broadcaster commissioned a second season with thirteen additional episodes, the first of which was broadcast on October 4, 2003, now on Saturdays (still at 10:00 p.m.), on a previously rather problematic program slot. After broadcasting the fifth episode of this second season on November 1, 2003, the series was canceled because the changed concept met with little approval from the audience and Police Report Los Angeles fell short of expectations with an average of around 4.8 million viewers. The audience ratings resulted in a very poor performance both in direct comparison with other ABC series and in comparison with competing formats from other stations. The format was accused, among other things, of acting like another Law & Order version thanks to the new concept . In addition, the multicultural cast of the second season appeared as too intentional ingratiation. Last but not least, it seemed strange that Joe Friday , after his promotion to lieutenant, only played a minor role within Dragnet .

Three of the five other episodes that had been finalized aired on USA Network from April 21 to May 5, 2004 . The other two episodes were first broadcast on December 4, 2004 on the French channel TF1 , in a dubbed version, and were only shown in the USA in 2006 by Sleuth .

In Germany, RTL , which, together with its "daughters" VOX and RTL II , also holds the other series produced by Dick Wolf for the German free TV market, received the broadcasting rights to the series. After the cancellation in the USA, however, there was initially no broadcast, as RTL usually does not include series in its program that cannot be built into an effective advertising constant from the outset. In spite of this, a German version was completed in 2005 and the trade press announced a delayed broadcast on RTL in 2006, but in fact it did not appear on Super RTL until May 13, 2007 . A double episode was broadcast every Sunday at around 10:00 p.m. In the first season, the episode order of the broadcast in the USA was retained, while the 10 episodes of the second season, which were broadcast for the first time in Germany from July 1 to 29, 2007, were placed in a relatively free order. The five episodes that had been broadcast in the US before the cancellation were combined with one of the other five episodes to form a double episode. Although the first five episodes ran in the correct order over the five weeks, the pattern according to which the other five episodes were placed as the second episode per week is questionable.

After all 22 episodes had aired once, the Los Angeles Police Report was broadcast again immediately following the same double-episode pattern. Then there were two more repetitions, during which the series, however, had to establish itself on an even later broadcast slot around midnight. As a result, only one episode was broadcast per week. Overall, despite its only 22 episodes , the Los Angeles police report was present on Super RTL's Sunday evening program from May 2007 to October 2008, with a few isolated exceptions (mainly public holidays).

The series then switched from Super RTL, again without any notable interruption, to the pay-TV broadcaster AXN , which began broadcasting in November 2008. The title LA Dragnet was used in advertising, but the title Los Angeles Police Report was retained in the opening credits . Through January 2011, all episodes on AXN were repeated continuously.

While the series was only broadcast synchronized in Germany and France, it was shown in Spain on Calle 13 , the local equivalent of 13th Street , and in Switzerland in two-channel sound (Spanish or French synchronization + original version).

Episode list

The 22 episodes are listed below with their first broadcast dates and original titles as well as German titles. The designation "EA (worldwide)", for the very first broadcast of the respective episode, was chosen because the last two episodes did not premier in the USA, but in France. Further information can be found in the "Television broadcasts" section, explanations of the investigators used in the "Concept" and "Casting" sections.

Season episode Original title German title EA (worldwide) EA (Germany) Investigator
1 - 01 The Silver Slayer The silver killer February 2, 2003 May 13, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 02 The Big Ruckus Violent Videos February 9, 2003 May 13, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 03 All that glitters Nice shine February 16, 2003 May 20, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 04 Well Endowed The Heritage February 23, 2003 May 20, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 05 The Cutting of the Swath Sequentially March 2, 2003 June 3, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 06 The Brass Ring Death of an actor March 9, 2003 June 3, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 07 The Artful Dodger The $ 40 million heist March 16, 2003 June 10, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 08 Sticks and stones Driving lessons March 30, 2003 June 10, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 09 Redemption Fateful video April 6, 2003 June 17, 2007 Friday & Beltran
1 - 10 Let's make a deal kidnapping April 13, 2003 June 17, 2007 Friday & Smith
1 - 11 For Whom the Whistle Blows The armaments company April 27, 2003 June 24, 2007 Friday, Smith, Beltran & Langler
1 - 12 The Little Guy Deadly trap May 11, 2003 June 24, 2007 Friday & Smith
2 - 01 Daddy's girl Why not? October 4, 2003 July 1, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper
2 - 02 Coyote Without a chance October 11, 2003 July 8, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Cooper & Macias
2 - 03 17 in 6 The gang massacre October 18, 2003 July 15, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper
2 - 04 The Magic Bullet The end of a dream October 25, 2003 July 22, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper
2 - 05 Slice of Life Blind parental love November 1, 2003 July 29, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper
2 - 06 Abduction Deadly mask April 21, 2004 July 15, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran, Cooper & Macias
2 - 07 Frame of Mind Death lurks in the chat room April 28, 2004 July 8, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper
2 - 08 Retribution Late revenge May 5, 2004 July 29, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper
2 - 09 Riddance Toxic drug mixture 4th December 2004 July 22, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran, Cooper & Macias
2 - 10 Killing Fields The battlefield 4th December 2004 July 1, 2007 Friday, McCarron, Duran & Cooper


With a total of 3 episodes, Kevin Dowling was the most frequently used director for the Los Angeles Police Report . Dowling was also the only one who was allowed to direct in both (stylistically very different) seasons. Darnell Martin , Jean de Segonzac , Guy Norman Bee (all 1st season) and Steve Shill (2nd season) each took on two directing assignments . The remaining 11 episodes were each directed by a different director. The 16 directors included 3 women (in addition to Darnell Martin also Donna Deitch and Joe Ann Fogle), who were responsible for 4 of the 22 episodes.

In the first season the camera was mainly operated by Johnny E. Jensen (7 episodes) and Bing Sokolsky (5 episodes). The second season, however, was completely in the hands of Russ T. Alsobrook, who apparently already joined the team for the last episode of the first season.

Also in the cut part of the staff was exchanged parallel to the concept change for the 2nd season. Stephen Semel was only used in the 1st season, while Kevin Krasny was only hired as an editor in the 2nd season. The majority of the episodes, however, denied Leon Ortiz-Gil and David Siegel, who also participated in both seasons. Thus, the change in stylistic handwriting from season 1 to season 2 in the direction and camera was more clearly linked to the people involved than in the editing.

As is customary with Dick Wolf series, the music came mainly from the pen of Mike Post , whose furiously modernized cover theme was based closely on the popular original Dragnet theme, which was already used before the corresponding TV series from the 1950s ( ua) in the Robert Siodmak film Avengers of the Underworld was used. In some episodes, the musical design was transferred to Atli Örvarsson , who was closely based on Post's style.

Producer and co-producer for the series, Tyler Bensinger has written several episodes. Frequently used writers were Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin, who are said to have been jointly responsible for the scripts of 5-6 episodes. All other authors probably did not get beyond a maximum of two (mentioned) assignments.

DVD & video on demand

In the US, the first season should be released towards the end of 2003 on DVD. After the series was withdrawn from the US TV program, this publication was discontinued. Apart from the broadcasts on television and the corresponding recordings, the German version is nowhere regularly available.


Above all, the nuanced acting performance of Ed O'Neill in the lead role, who embodied a character that is practically the complete opposite of his most famous role, Al Bundy , was praised by many viewers in the highest tones. O'Neill succeeded again, as in the Big Apple , a very sensitive, credible representation of police investigative work, here with a skilful balancing act between sober, analytical appearance and coolness.

Viewers' protests were generally more against the change in concept after Season 1 than against the eventual cancellation of the format the series was made into for Season 2.

German synchronization

Year of production: 2005 (1st season possibly as early as 2004 )
Dialog book & director: Peter Stein
Produced in: Bavaria Filmstudios , Munich

role actor Dubbing actor
Detective / Lieutenant Joe Friday Ed O'Neill Rudiger Bahr
Detective Frank Smith Ethan Embry Philipp Brammer
Detective Jimmy McCarron Desmond Harrington Philipp Moog
Detective Gloria Duran Eva Longoria Parker Anna Carlsson
Detective Raymond Cooper Evan Parke Erich Rauker
ADA Sandy Chang Christina Chang Natascha Geisler (1st season)
Melanie Jung (2nd season)
Detective Elana Macias Roselyn Sánchez Natascha Geisler
Detective Denise Beltran Lauren Velez Kathrin Simon
Captain Ruth Hagermann Lindsay Crouse Kornelia buoy
Sanjay Ramachandran Erick Avari Dieter Memel (1st season)
Tonio von der Meden (2nd season)


  • Ed O'Neill was the first and only actor after Jack Webb to make it to screen in the role of Joe Friday . Webb had previously played the role in over 360 episodes and was firmly attached to it. The only other actor who otherwise appeared as Joe Friday was Dan Aykroyd in the 1987 film Schlappe Bullen Not Bite . This is, however, a parody.
  • Ed O'Neill and Ethan Embry played the leading roles together in The Poison Dwarf 12 years before the Los Angeles police report . While O'Neill had already gained popularity through A Terribly Kind Family , Embry was only 12 years old.
  • The number 714 on the opening credits of Dragnet visible badge Joe Fridays is the Los Angeles Police Department not forgive in reality. It refers to July 14th (English = 07/14 or seven-fourteen), which was the birthday of the mother of Jack Webb, the actor and intellectual co-founder of the series, who embodied Joe Friday in all previous versions .
  • Before Dragnet in the 1950s (1st version: 1951–1959), 1960s, 1970s (2nd version: 1967–1970), 80s and 90s (3rd version: 1989/90), as well as for this series in the first Decade of the new century was evaluated on TV, the broadcast could already be heard on the radio from the 1940s.
  • The Stahlnetz series is the German version of the police report and also uses a variant of the same popular theme song.
  • The often quoted original title melody of the first series version, adapted here by Mike Post , is called Danger Ahead and was composed by Walter Schumann , but had already become conspicuous through the film Avengers of the Underworld , for which Miklós Rózsa had devised the music. It remained unclear whether Schumann had knowingly copied the music or whether it had stuck in the back of his mind from a visit to the recordings of Rózsa's melody. It was agreed that both should be named together as composers in the future. Miklós Rózsa had nothing to do with the compositions for the 1950s version of Dragnet .
  • The only exclusively produced Dragnet film to date that is neither a parody nor a compilation of series episodes was created under the direction of original Joe Friday Jack Webb and released in US cinemas in 1954. In contrast to the complete 1950s version of the series, this film was also shown in Germany from April 1955 under the title Großrazzia . This was the first time Joe Friday appeared in front of a German audience. With the Los Angeles Police Report , the latest version so far, the circle has come full circle, as things stand.
  • The fact that the first season only had 12 episodes, while 13 episodes were ordered from the second season, could be explained by the fact that the first wacky episode Three Blondes was made with Danny Huston as Joe Friday , who subsequently left the project. There is a rumor that Huston's scenes were simply filmed again with Ed O'Neill, which seems absurd on closer inspection, since Joe Friday is in almost every scene in all episodes of the series in which he only investigated with Frank Smith was seen. The seemingly simple re-shooting of Friday's scenes would have been equivalent to re-shooting the entire episode, for which almost everyone involved in the episode would have had to pay again. The final pilot episode The Silver Slayer should therefore not correspond to the episode originally planned as Three Blondes . If the episode had actually been shot again, it would be questionable anyway why it was then given a different title, since this has nothing to do with the actor who appears as Joe Friday .
  • The New Zealand basketball team The Wellington Saints used the theme tune of the series composed by Mike Post as recognition or, if necessary, invasion music, and in 2003, shortly after the series started in New Zealand, they won their first championship in the National Basketball League since Celebrate 15 seasons. In the wake of the success, the melody became a kind of master anthem for the team. The title , known as the Dragnet 2003 Theme , was also offered as a download on the team's website .
  • Ed O'Neill was the only actor in all 22 episodes of the series. The other, recurring actors only played in a maximum of half of the episodes. This is primarily due to the concept change between the first and second season, which resulted in only three regular actors (next to O'Neill only Christina Chang and Erick Avari ) being involved in both seasons. In the German version, this already minor continuity between the seasons was even lost a bit further, as Christina Chang and Erick Avari dubbed the second season each - apparently despite the shortness of the series, with a certain distance to the previous episodes got a new dubbing voice . Only with Ed O'Neill was continuity here as well.
  • Police Report Los Angeles was the last series to date outside the Law & Order franchise to be overseen by Dick Wolf as executive producer. Wolf was rarely successful with projects beyond the network of the Law & Order series. The police report was despite only 22 episodes, behind New York Undercover , including the longest-lived, the episode number even of the Law & Order -Ablegern Trial by Jury and Conviction was not reached. It was not until 2012 that Wolf took on another subject with Chicago Fire .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Interview with Ed O'Neill from September 14, 2009