Streets of San Francisco, The

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents




The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, USA, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in association with Warner Bros. Television (QM produced the show on its own for the remainder of its run), where it starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas who were both detectives in the Bay Area. The show ran for five seasons, between September 16, 1972 and June 9, 1977 on ABC, amassing a total of 120 60-minute episodes. The series started with a pilot movie of the same title (based on the detective novel Poor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston) earlier in 1972.

The show revolved around two police officers who investigated homicides in San Francisco. The centre of the series was a veteran cop and widower, Lt Mike Stone (Karl Malden), who had more than twenty years of police experience and was now assigned to the Homicide Detail of SFPD's Bureau of Inspectors (ex: Detective Division). He was partnered with a young, plainclothes detective and energetic partner, Assistant Inspector Steve Keller (Michael Douglas), a college graduate, age twenty-eight, who had no experience in the police force. Stone would become a second father to Keller as he learned the rigors and procedures of detective work. Eventually, Keller was promoted to full inspector. As the series went on, Douglas became a star in his own right. Mike's daughter, Jeannie Stone (Darleen Carr), made occasional appearances.

After the second episode of the fifth and final season, Douglas left the show after successfully producing the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won the Academy Award for Best Film for 1975. He in turn would also establish a film career. His character's absence was explained by having him take a teaching position at a local college, while Lt. Stone was partnered with another detective, Insp. Dan Robbins, played by Richard Hatch, who had started his career on the ABC soap All My Children and would later go on to Battlestar Galactica. The change was not popular with audiences, and the show ended in 1977, due to low ratings. Also in 1977, writer James J. Sweeney won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for the season four episode "Requiem for Murder".


Karl Malden as Det. Lt. Mike Stone

Michael Douglas as Inspector Steve Keller (1972-1976)

Richard Hatch as Inspector Dan Robbins (1976-1977)

No. of seasons 5

No. of episodes 120


Running time approx. 44 minutes


Original channel ABC

Original run September 16, 1972 – June 9, 1977


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Dorothy C. Fontana

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Dorothy Fontana on writing for The Streets of San Francisco

Anthony Geary

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Anthony Geary on the various roles he played in Streets of San Francisco

Paul Michael Glaser

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Paul Michael Glaser on guest-starring on Streets of San Francisco 

Walter E. Grauman

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Director Walter Grauman on the production's move from L.A. to San Francisco to accommodate the extensive location shooting on The Streets of San Francisco
Director Walter Grauman on retaining a location when the owner came down with the flu, on the pilot of The Streets of San Francisco

Barry Livingston

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Barry Livingston on appearing on Streets of San Francisco

Diana Muldaur

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Diana Muldaur on being Arnold Schwarzenegger's first kiss on television on The Streets of San Francisco

Del Reisman

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Del Reisman on doing freelance writing in the 1970s for shows like The Streets of San Francisco

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