Streets of San Francisco - Season 2, Vol. 1
Moving from Saturday nights to its more familiar Thursday-evening berth on ABC, Streets of San Francisco launched a second season of hard-hitting, location-filmed cop dramas, starring Karl Malden as veteran SFPD detective Mike Stone and Michael Douglas as Mike's younger but no less capable partner, Inspector Steve Keller. As with any Quinn Martin TV production, one of the great strengths of Streets of San Francisco is its roster of guest-star talent. Season Two is distinguished by two remarkable examples of casting against type, both involving popular singers. In the first, Rick Nelson utterly shatters his Ozzie and Harriet image as a charming, sexually ambivalent "Pied Piper" who lures teenage girls into prostitution; and in the second, Lola Falana plays the grim-visaged girlfriend of a professional thief--and even gets to sing in the bargain. Other guest performers this season include Tom Bosley as a pathetic two-bit thief, Martin Sheen as a womanizing bank robber, Leif Erickson as a troubled priest, Leslie Nielsen as a terminally ill cop, Paul Fix as a septugenarian "Robin Hood," Signe Hasso as a colorful psychic, Celeste Holm as a vengeful widow, and series star Michael Douglas' real-life mom Diana Douglas as the mother of a kidnap victim. And of course, viewers are treated to early performances by a number of stars-to-be, including Nick Nolte as a troubled Vietnam vet, Sam Elliott as a rodeo star, future ChiPs costar Larry Wilcox as a nomadic teen, and Cheryl Ladd--still using her pre-Charlie's Angels billing of Cheryl Stopplemoor--as a murder victim. The move to Thursdays did wonders for the ratings of Streets of San Francisco, with the series ending up as the 22nd most-watched program in America.