The Sequel: TV Cop Trivia, Past & Present

August 14, 2019

The feedback received from our readers on the two-part TV Cop Trivia piece that ran in May-June was quite positive. So, the folks at Calibre Press asked if I’d do a follow-up. Here is The Sequel. Again, go from memory. NOTE: The answers are now posted below in blue.

1. In the TV show, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” Chuck Norris plays Texas Ranger Cordell Walker. What is his TV rank?

Cordell Walker is a Sergeant with the Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry named Chuck Norris an Honorary Texas Ranger in 2010.

2. William Shatner played Sgt. T.J. Hooker in the series “T.J. Hooker,” a fictional cop from a fictional city in California. What do his initials “T. J.” stand for?

“T.J.” stands for Thomas Jefferson

3. Actor Raymond Burr starred in two major TV shows; as attorney Perry Mason from 1957 – 1966, and as paralyzed police official Robert Ironside from 1967 – 1975 in the series “Ironside.” What city is portrayed in the “Ironside” series?

San Francisco.  Robert Ironside was a former SFPD Chief of Detectives until a sniper’s bullet cut him down while on vacation. He played a “special department consultant” to the SFPD.

4. Angie Dickinson starred as an undercover police officer in the series “Police Woman” (1974 – 1978). What was her character’s name and rank in the series?

Sergeant Suzanne “Pepper” Anderson.

5. In the TV cop series “Baretta” (1975 – 1978), Robert Blake played tough, street-wise NYPD Detective Tony Baretta. Tony’s constant stay-at-home companion was a white cockatoo. What was that bird’s name?

Fred.  Fred, who recently turned 100, was stolen from his cage at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in November 1990 where he lived after the show ceased production.  He was later found a few days later unharmed about a mile from the animal park standing in the middle of the street.  His real name is “Mr. White.” 

6. What was Tony’s often-used catch phrase in the TV series “Baretta”?

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

7. Actor Broderick Crawford played the gruff head of an unnamed western police agency. As fedora-wearing Chief Dan Mathews in the series “Highway Patrol” (1955 – 1959), what was his call sign often uttered as he leaned against the door of his black-and-white cruiser?

Unit 21-50.  He’s often seen standing outside his cruiser uttering  “21-50 to headquarters.”

8. “Barney Miller” ran from 1975 – 1982. What city was portrayed in that series?

NYC.  The fictional precinct was the 12th Precinct presumably located in Greenwich Village.

9. In the same TV show, “Barney Miller,” who was the slow walking, grumpy, malady-stricken detective played by actor Abe Vigoda?

Sgt. Philip K. Fish

10. In the TV series “The Commish” actor Michael Chiklis plays Police Commissioner Tony Scali, a former NYPD detective who now heads a fictional agency in upstate NY. What is the name of this fictional city?

The fictional town of Eastbridge located in Hudson Valley, New York. The show was actually filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

11. “The FBI” ran from 1965-1974 on several networks. It starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr. What was his character’s name and title in the series?

Zimbalist played Inspector Lewis Erskine.  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover served as a consultant to this series until his death in 1972.

12. Actor Jack Lord portrayed Steve McGarrett in the original “Hawaii Five-O” series (1968 – 1980). What was his often-used line uttered at the end of each episode?

Book ‘em, Danno.”  “Danno” was the nickname for McGarrett’s underling, Detective Danny Williams. By the way, there is no Hawaii-Five-O per se, nor any state police investigative or state highway patrol unit within the State of Hawaii. 

13. The TV series “Hunter” Fred Dryer plays Sergeant Rick Hunter, a homicide detective with the LAPD. What was Dryer’s career before he began acting?

Fred Dryer was a defensive end with both the New York Giants (1969-1971) and the Los Angeles Rams (1972-1981).

14. “The Mod Squad” ran from 1968 – 1973. In it, three social outcasts work as undercover cops. They are supervised by a Police Captain played by actor “Tige” Andrews. What is Andrews’ character’s name?

“Tige” Andrews plays Captain Adam Greer. “The Mod Squad” was created by a real-life LAPD cop, Bud “Buddy” Ruskin. It was Ruskin’s experiences as the supervisor of a group of young undercover cops in the 1950’s that was the genesis for the show. 

15. Robert Stack played Eliot Ness in “The Untouchables” from 1959 to 1963. The show depicted the crime-fighting unit Ness led during the Prohibition Era that helped bring down Chicago gangster Al Capone. What federal agency was Ness and “The Untouchables” affiliated with?

The Bureau of Prohibition. Ness initially served with the US Treasury Department in 1927 but was transferred to the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Prohibition in 1928. His unit was the forerunner to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) that was officially formed in 1972. The show caused a rift between the Treasury Department and the Justice Department after FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover complained about the fictionalized scripts depicting Ness’s unit taking down criminals actually arrested by the FBI.

16. In the TV series “The Blue Knight” which ran from 1975 – 1976, actor George Kennedy played a fictional L.A. cop. What was that cop’s name?

The fictional cop’s name in “The Blue Knight” was Officer William “Bumper” Morgan.  The series was created by real-life LAPD cop Joseph Wambaugh and based on his best selling novel of the same name.

17. “Rizzoli & Isles” (2010 – 2016), portrayed the escapades of Detective Jane Rizzoli, played by Angie Harmon, and her best friend, Dr. Maura Isles, ME played by Sasha Alexander. In what city does this series take place?

The series “Rizzoli & Isles” takes place in Boston.  Jane Rizzoli is a Detective with the Boston PD.  Maura Isles is the Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

18. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” began its run in 2000. How many iterations has the “CSI” series gone through?

The series “CSI” had three other variations:  CSI: Miami which ran from 2002- 2012 starring David Caruso; “CSI: NY” which ran from 2004-2013 and starring Gary Sinise; and a short-lived series “CSI: Cyber” that lasted one year 2015-2016 which starred Patricia Arquette.

19. In the short lived-series “David Cassidy: Man Undercover” Cassidy played an LAPD undercover cop, Dan Shay. What hit TV cop show served as the pilot for this series?

“Police Story” created by former LAPD Detective Joseph Wambaugh.  In a 1978 two-hour episode titled A Chance to Live, Cassidy starred as LA cop Dan Shay who infiltrated a high school drug ring.  

20. The series “McCloud” lasted 7 years. Actor Dennis Weaver plays western cop Sam McCloud who finds himself temporarily assigned to the NYPD. In what city and state did McCloud hail from?

Taos, New Mexico.  In the NBC series “McCloud” Dennis Weaver plays Deputy US Marshall Sam McCloud.  McCloud is assigned to transport a prisoner from Taos to NYC and gets caught up in a murder investigation.   

21. Dennis Farina played Detective Joe Fontana on “Law & Order” from 2004 to 2006. He was the only actor in that series with actual police experience. In what city did Farina work as a police officer?

Farina was a 10-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department when he was discovered by a movie director during the 1981 filming of a movie being cast in that city.  Impressed by Farina’s street-savvy, style and charisma, the director cast him in the film. Farina retired after 18 years with the CPD to pursue his acting career. 

22. What TV cop series (1971 – 1977) starred Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James as a crime-fighting duo keeping the streets of San Francisco safe?

“McMillan and Wife.”  Hudson starred as SFPD Commissioner Stewart “Mac” McMillan and Saint James played his amateur detective wife, Sally.

23. The TV series “Third Watch” ran from 1999 to 2005. The term “third watch” refers to the 3 pm-11 pm shift. What three organizations are portrayed in that series?

The NYPD, and the FDNY Firefighters and Paramedics working within the fictional 55th Precinct. The ensemble cast included Bobby Cannavale and Amy Carlson who both went on to star in “Blue Bloods.”

24. “The Following” was a short-lived TV cop series (2013 – 2015) that starred actor Kevin Bacon. What agency was Bacon affiliated with in that series?

The FBI.  Bacon played Ryan Hardy a former Special Agent/profiler who’s called out of retirement to help recapture a serial killer who escaped from prison.

25. In another short-lived TV cop series, “Murder in the First” (2014 – 2016) two partners try to solve a season-long crime that plagued this real life city. What is that city?

San Francisco.  Characters Terry English and Hildy Mulligan play SFPD Homicide Unit detectives.

Bonus question: (26) In “The Closer” Kyra Sedgwick plays Brenda Johnson, a Deputy Chief with the LAPD. What specialized training made Chief Johnson “a closer”?

Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson formerly worked for the CIA as an interrogator.

In this follow-up piece, I tried to cover the TV cop shows I missed in Part One.  I trust I hit most of your favorites.

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