48 votes


NBC 1968

Follow two Los Angeles police officers as they patrol the streets of Southern California. Adam-12 was the first series to realistically portray the joys/frustrations of being a police officer in the late 1960's-early 1970's. This attention to detail made the show a catalyst for uncounted numbers of people to enter public service as adults. "1-Adam-12" was the radio call number of the unit that Malloy & Reed worked: "1" was the division assigned, "Adam" was LA Phonetic for "A" designating a 2-person patrol unit, and "12" was the beat area assigned. (Although, Malloy & Reed could be seen patrolling the streets anywhere in L.A. from Downtown to the Valley, they retained the number division #1, no matter where they were). The police station used throughout the series was the newly-built (at the time) Rampart Station.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Adam-12

Adam-12 - S2E14

#1 - Log 014: S.W.A.T.


Season 2 - Episode 14

A rooftop sniper endangers the lives of people in a neighborhood, resulting in Malloy and Reed calling in the SWAT unit to secure the scene.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Adam-12 from 6 votes.

Adam-12 - S4E23

#2 - Eyewitness


Season 4 - Episode 23

Malloy and Reed are searching for a missing six-year-old boy and they believe a elderly witness' inaccurate account may actually be for a different crime. They also respond to a suspicious dog complaint, a domestic dispute over a husband's desire to watch football, a college prank, and search a train station with a police helicopter for fleeing robbery suspects.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Adam-12 from 6 votes.

Adam-12 - S5E23

#3 - Keeping Tabs


Season 5 - Episode 23

Malloy and Reed pull over a speeding car full of teenagers, including Sgt. MacDonald's son, and Malloy finds himself in the middle between father and son on how to handle it. Other calls include a burglar who tries to run up the fire escape unsuccessfully, complaints about a woman feeding ducks interrupting two men and a chess game; Malloy suggests she join them when she comments that they are poor chess players, two boyfriends fight at knifepoint over a woman, who leaves with a third man after the two combatants are arrested, and Reed has to save a drunk (played by Pat Buttram) who is trying to direct traffic at a busy intersection.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Adam-12 from 6 votes.

Adam-12 - S4E18

#4 - Adoption


Season 4 - Episode 18

Malloy and Reed investigate when a college football locker room is ransacked, and uncover systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs. They also investigate parents who dispute their maid's report that their baby is missing, arrest a prowler who is suspiciously allowed into a home by his female accuser, and get involved in a high-speed chase that resulted from a domestic disturbance.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Adam-12 from 7 votes.

Adam-12 - S5E10

#5 - The Chaser


Season 5 - Episode 10

An out-of-state armed private investigator is inside a bar, Malloy and Reed arrive and determine the PI is legally allowed to carry but takes him to his car to stow the gun, and find he is in town looking for a bail jumper. Later the PI is in the middle of an altercation with two black men, one of which is seriously injured. The PI claims the men tried to rob him, later the men tell a different story, and Sgt. MacDonald orders the PI arrested. The PI is found after catching (and roughing up) the bail jumper, and is arrested. Other calls include an elderly man wanting a group of cars driven by hippies ticketed for illegal parking, and a woman who demands the officers ticket her husband's car because he refuses to replace the balding tires on it.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Adam-12 from 7 votes.

Adam-12 - S6E3

#6 - Foothill Division


Season 6 - Episode 3

Sgt. MacDonald reported his camper was broken into with three fishing rods and a pair of custom-made cowboy boots missing, and offers two free steak dinners for their return. The officers come across another man with the same "one of a kind" boots that Mac lost. Cases include Malloy, Reed, and Mac riding horseback to locate three suspects in a break-in at a stable, later the station is under sniper fire, Malloy, Reed, and Air Ten assist in capturing the sniper, and Officer Wells (showing his rarely-seen compassionate side) takes up a collection for a couple and their cancer-stricken daughter to get to San Francisco, later Wells finds out he's been had as the "couple" were well-known con artists with a long rap sheet.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Adam-12 from 4 votes.

Adam-12 - S5E14

#7 - Clear with a Civilian (1)


Season 5 - Episode 14

Reed spreads his flu to several other officers, leaving the station undermanned. Reed has a shootout with a rifle-toting man and finds he is wanted for bookmaking. Malloy has an argument with a storekeeper and a customer of the quality of merchandise while Reed writes a speeding ticket, later the officers catch a man on a rooftop of a store after Reed noticed flashing lights there, later another suspect gets away from a foot pursuit with Reed. Due to the understaffing situation, Malloy and Reed are asked to do double shifts, and Malloy tickets a woman for failing to stop at a stop sign, later when Sgt. MacDonald asks the officers to escort the police commissioner they get a surprise--it's the woman Malloy stopped earlier for running a stop sign!

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Adam-12 from 9 votes.

Adam-12 - S4E22

#8 - Who Won?


Season 4 - Episode 22

Malloy and Reed work to curtail the rise in illegal street racing by working with the leaders of rival racing clubs and obtaining the legitimate use of a drag strip through a race promoter. Their work is threatened, along with an anticipated race between Reed and Officer Wells, when one of the racers resorts to sabotage.

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Adam-12 from 5 votes.

Adam-12 - S6E4

#9 - West Valley Division


Season 6 - Episode 4

Malloy and Reed notice an attractive woman walking her scottie when they get a call from Air Ten to assist with a motorcyclist who is also a potential firebug. They track the young man to his mother's house and the officers warn him about the pitfalls of arson. While the woman continues to walk her dog, the officers investigate a robbery at a movie theater where the manager and ticket taker are tied up; she lets them know a man on a gray motorcycle committed the crime, Malloy and Reed stop a gray motorcycle but the rider is a woman, they locate another motorcycle and catch the suspect after pursuit and the motorcycle crashing. The officers respond to another robbery at a department store where the security guard was shot and provides a dying declaration of who shot him, then Air Ten locates a possible suspect vehicle; the pursuit ends with two people just wanting to experience the thrill of a police chase. The Scottie dog is found tied up and the officers discover the woman is in reality a fur thief, and is arrested.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Adam-12 from 5 votes.

Adam-12 - S6E5

#10 - Venice Division


Season 6 - Episode 5

The officers investigate a woman nude sunbathing on the beach, with her "agent" begging for her arrest, later Reed arrests a man trying to steal coins from a phone booth, assist a motorcycle policeman in catching a dune buggy thief, a leotard-wearing woman who fears for her life after receiving obscene phone calls, later is attacked by the caller and the officers locate and arrest him, a wino that dies after eating dinner, and a low-speed pursuit of a jack-o-lantern.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Adam-12 from 5 votes.

#11 - O'Brien's Stand
Season 5 - Episode 13

Malloy's fiesty landlady, Mrs. O'Brien, has her purse stolen and refuses to leave the station until her case is settled. O'Brien resorts to other means, including hounding detectives and setting up a picket line to vent her frustrations. Malloy determines that there may be a connection between O'Brien's theft and a string of purse snatchings involving Social Security checks, and suggests using a decoy to put an end to the heists, which works and the ring is brought down. Another incident involved two men arousing suspicion for their erratic behavior; in the ensuing pursuit the men are arrested and heroin is found in their car; later a call to a home where a man killed his son with a shovel, during the murder investigation they find candy wrappers and tire tracks that link with the two men arrested earlier.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Adam-12 from 8 votes.

#12 - Clear with a Civilian (2)
Season 5 - Episode 15

While on second shift, Malloy and Reed take Police Commissioner Dixon on a ride-along. They encounter a bar owner who locked a naked, elderly man inside, a fight with a knife-wielding man and another man with a gun, and a missing 17-year-old deaf boy with mental instabilities, which Reed recognizes as the boy that escaped his foot pursuit earlier. The officers and Commissioner Dixon observe the boy in a car running from another police unit, and they join in to alert the pursuing unit to the boy's condition.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Adam-12 from 8 votes.

#13 - Killing Ground
Season 5 - Episode 18

Malloy and Reed pull over a car on a routine traffic stop and are taken hostage by two robbers escaping from their heist. The officers have to use all their skills to escape the situation.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Adam-12 from 8 votes.

Adam-12 - S2E26
#14 - Log 173: Shoplift
Season 2 - Episode 26

Malloy and Reed track down a kooky female shoplifter involved in a cult-type relationship with a ego-maniacal spiritualist weirdo. Malloy gets help tracking her down from an old girlfriend.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Adam-12 from 4 votes.

#15 - Mary Hong Loves Tommy Chen
Season 4 - Episode 19

A young girl from Chinatown is ordered by her father to withhold information from Malloy and Reed regarding her boyfriend, an undercover cop left in a coma after investigating a potential attack on a Chinese elders' association. Meanwhile, the officers also encounter a middle-aged marijuana user and a cross-dressing criminal who leads them to a counterfeit money ring while trying to pay his lawyer.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Adam-12 from 6 votes.

#16 - Sub-Station
Season 4 - Episode 20

Malloy and Reed are temporarily assigned to a police sub-station at LAX. While there, they deal with a hostage situation between a flight attendant and a man desperate for the attention of a television producer, go undercover to intercept a drug shipment from Toledo, Ohio, and prevent a rape suspect from escaping on an outbound flight.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Adam-12 from 7 votes.

#17 - A Clinic on 18th Street
Season 6 - Episode 24

Malloy and Reed investigate the death of an old man wearing an unusual belt, which leads to the case being turned over to Frauds Division, who finds that Dr. Gantman, running a clinic, is treating a blind seven-year-old patient with a pituitary gland condition but his "treatment" is worthless and preventing a real treatment (removal of the gland). Later, a TV repairman who makes oscillator belts for Gantman is busted for bookmaking and agrees to testify against the doctor, but Gantman demonstrates his "treatment" in open court and fails miserably.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Adam-12 from 2 votes.

#18 - The Parole Violator
Season 4 - Episode 17

Malloy doesn't believe that the best player on the rec-league basketball team he coaches is back on drugs, even in the face of evidence that suggests otherwise. Meanwhile on their beat, Malloy and Reed must find a hit-and-run driver who struck a child and pull over a traffic violator whose passenger is belligerent (and wanted).

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Adam-12 from 8 votes.

#19 - Night Watch
Season 5 - Episode 19

Reed spends a Saturday night talking about buying a used car, during the watch the officers handle a possible DUI but the driver passes the field sobriety tests, a shooting during which a man kills his recently paroled son-in-law, a car stripper, trick a man into revealing his name after pulling him over for speeding and finding the car has over $900 of unpaid tickets, and two beatings at motels.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Adam-12 from 8 votes.

#20 - Suspended
Season 5 - Episode 20

Reed spends an evening on the firing range, then stops by a all-night grocery store. When Reed leaves, a man approaches him as if he knew him, then points out another man in a green Beetle holding a gun on the officer. Reed drops his groceries, pushes the man, jumps and fires at the man in the Beetle, hitting the car, but the man in the Beetle shot and hit his accomplice. The grocer swears he only heard one shot, and the accomplice gave a dying declaration that Reed was trigger-happy and shot him. Reed (as per standard procedure) is assigned desk duty until the Review Board completed its findings, but the accomplice's death makes it look more and more like Reed could face a murder charge until Malloy (along with his by-the-book replacement partner) locates the green Beetle after going through numerous DMV checks, and locates the other man, exonerating Reed with both the courts and the department, who cleared him in the shooting.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Adam-12 from 8 votes.

Last updated: oct 26, 2020



Watched many of these but not sure which ones. Great show and I watched many of them as a kid and also later in re-runs. I got to meet the two actors at Comic-Con, too! Here's a pic of them http://suzann.com/images/famous/adam12.jpg


I have to be honest, the only reason I found to watch this show were actors, Martin Miner and Kent McCord. They were absolutely GORGEOUS!! Back from that, there was no way I could tolerate more than 2 or 3 episodes of this show. It was waaaay too "goody two shoes," for my taste. I put this in the category of one of those "made for TV" shows. The episodes were so bubblegum, they became unrealistic after awhile. They might as well made it into a children's show on how to obey your parents, and always "do the right thing," kind of show. This show was definitley not for me.

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