The Streets of San Francisco: CBS Wants to Revive Popular Cop Show

The Streets of San FranciscoIt 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.

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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.”

If the new Streets of San Francisco actually becomes a series, will viewers be interested in taking a trip back to the City by the Bay with a new Stone and Keller? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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14 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. says

    I’m posting this in 2011. It’s almost Christmas. I wonder how far they’re coming along with the revival, if they’re really serious about it. Not only would it bring some excitement and energy into the SF Bay Area, but also much needed business. Back in the 70’s, they even let locals onto the show for walk-on roles and to play as extras. I, for one, would love to be immortalized (credited or not) by appearing in even just one episode…. which may even end up on DVD/BluRay someday afterwards!

  2. Joann says

    There will never be another “Streets …” like the original. Malden and Douglas were an ideal coupling for their roles – notice how it went down the tubes when Michael Douglas left. Richard Hatch just couldn’t fill Douglas’ shoes.

  3. Jon Jon says

    It would cool to see The Streets of San Francisco revived, but if by any chance it will, the show better be filmed within the city itself like the original series and not be hollywood-ize!

  4. Avi says

    I moved to the U. S. from Israel in 1974 and loved The Streets of San Francisco show. I would love to see a remake.

  5. tom says

    This is my favorite show of all time. If you make a new series you really need to focus on the genuine friendship of the the two partners with an age difference involoved. As everyone on here seems to agree it has to have the edgy feel of the streets and the city of sf will add alot to the show. Good luck and i’ll be waiting.
    inspectors 81 out

  6. Justin from Fremont says

    Love the old show.. though nobody could replace Malden and Douglas. Acting will be paramount as the new actors have HUGE shoes to fill. Again the new show must not diverge from the original gritty style of the old show format.. or else it will fail miserably like many of the shows out there.
    Unfortunately for TV today, shows cheapen themselves to attempt so semblance of a storyline which ends up being as bad as Pamela Anderson in ‘Barbed Wire’.
    I have faith that you won’t mess this up, buddy boy.
    Inspectors 8-1 out.

  7. brandon dennis says

    Don’t forget car chases! and chasing bad guys on the rooftoops! But don’t forget good scripts! I’ve watched the first two seasons so far on dvd, and the writing on the shows have varied between great to down right compelling. i think most fans of cop dramas would welcome a new sosf, but remember to keep it Gritty!

  8. D-Knuckle says

    SOSF was the best cop show ever made. Please respect the show’s legacy and do not make a retread like Knight Rider or BH 90210. Also, the Bionic Woman was way to slick and moderized which audiences didn’t like. My suggestion is stay true to the show’s original formula and it’s gritty appeal. Malden and Douglas had the perfect chemistry, so the actors will be key as well. Don’t try to put a twist on the characters by trying to get diverse with the casting, i.e. change race, sex, add an extra character, etc. Stone and Keller worked then and they work now. Stick with the original formula and it will work…Trust Me!

  9. Terry Ferrari says

    I agree, this has got to be done. SOSF was groundbreaking, and is perhaps one of the few series that could undergo an update. The proviso being as everyone seems to agree here, dont make it too Flash, too Playstation era….stay true to the original style, but make it for today. Its got a great headstart….the best city in the world ! I’m from the UK, but hey

  10. Greg says

    Well San Francisco could use a good show that’s shot in town. This would be great for TV and great of SF. There’s nothing better than seeing the back shot of fisherman’s wharf or the Transamerica building. i use to love the roll up at
    the Fairmont Hotel…..
    thank, Greg a true fan of San Francisco

  11. Don Peppino says

    I have always thought a good quality remake of SOSF would be great. As long as they don’t “Hollywood-ize” it by make it way too phony, or by having shots of LA stand in for SF. (Which of course LA could NEVER do).
    Also, it needs to be gritty like NYPD Blue, and not focus on the kookiness and gay-centric feel of The City. Then it will simply become a parody and not last more than a few shos at best.
    Come on guys, you’ve got a proven winner here, don’t mess it up!
    Here’s a hint: Film on foggy nights at water’s edge. Use the old run down projects as scenes of crimes, chase people up and down holls and through Chinatown. Show the Wharf in the early morning hours. Spend tme way out in the western avenues. Use your imagination, and stay as far from LA as possible!

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