a US television police series in the early 1950s and again in the 1960s on NBC. It received three Emmy awards (1952-4). Jack Webb wrote and produced it and played the main character, Sergeant Joe Friday. Dragnet had earlier been a radio series, and was based on cases of the Los Angeles Police Department. It was the first US programme of its type to be shown on British television (in 1955). There have been two later Dragnet series (1967-70 and 2003-4) and a film was made in 1987.