It looks like CBS wants to send Detectives Mike Stone and Steve Keller back to The Streets of San Francisco, albeit without the show’s original stars.
The Streets of San Francisco debuted on September 16, 1972 on ABC. The series follows veteran detective Mike Stone (Karl Malden) as he is partnered with a rookie and recent college graduate, Steve Keller (Michael Douglas). Over time, Keller learns the ropes and is promoted. Towards the end of the series’ five year run, Keller leaves the force to become a professor at a local college and Stone is partnered with another young detective, Dan Robbins (Richard Hatch). Malden won four Emmys for the series while Douglas took home three. The show ended its run on June 23, 1977.
On January 27, 1992, NBC aired the Back to the Streets of San Francisco TV movie. Malden returned to his iconic role as Stone, now Captain of Inspectors. His old partner Keller goes missing and Stone suspects foul play. At the same time, Mike must decide which of two very different lieutenants he should recommend for a promotion. The movie ranked respectably in the ratings but there wasn’t a follow-up.
Now, over 30 years after the ABC series went off the air, CBS is hoping that a remake of the series will attract viewers, particularly those too young to have seen the original.
Numb3rs producer Robert Port and screenwriter Sheldon Turner have been working on modernizing the concept since January. Port is a certified member of the LA County Sheriff’s Department and the duo have spent time in the Bay area, riding with San Francisco cops for research.
CBS has commissioned the pair to write a script and if a pilot is ordered, Simon West will direct. West has a deal with CBS Paramount TV and will executive produce along with Jib Polhemus, Port and West’s producing partner. CBS Paramount TV owns the rights to the original Quinn Martin Productions series.
Turner tells The Hollywood Reporter that the remake will keep many of the elements from the original series. The main characters’ names will be the same, as will the series title and location. He said, “The times are very similar — it was the Vietnam War in the 1970s and the Iraq War now. There is the same sort of tension between generations, and we wanted to carry that to the new series.”
He compares the personalities of the new Keller and Stone to the current presidential candidates. “One, like Obama, wants to be active and believes in rehabilitation, while the other one, like McCain, doesn’t quite believe in rehabilitation and believes that the enemy is the enemy.”