San Francisco on Television

For many years, it was tradition to debut new television shows on the three major networks – ABC, CBS, NBC – in the fall. The family would gather around the only television in the house and either love or hate what was offered.

Television in the 1960s mirrored life. Some shows were silly and others were serious. In 1969, a 25-year-old Michael Kirk Douglas (named for his famous actor father) played a liberal young scientist who has to choose between his ideals and a lucrative job with a chemical company.

Here is a clip of the actor, who is identified as MK Douglas, in an episode of CBS Playhouse in 1969:

By 1972, Douglas was starring with veteran actor Karl Malden in “The Streets of San Francisco.” The show ran until 1977. Here is the pilot of the show, with great scenes of the City, that debuted on September 19, 1972 on ABC. And as a bonus, in the first five minutes, you will also see a 39-year-old Robert Wagner, who had just concluded his popular TV series, “It Takes a Thief,” that ran from 1968 to 1970.

The latest television detective show set in San Francisco was introduced June 9, 2014. “Murder in the First” followed one case for 10 episodes. This so called “summer series” on Turner Network Television (TNT) has just been renewed, so expect more shows for Season 2 that you can watch on your television, your computer and even on your phone.  Here is the trailer: