Radio: Real Thriller

Most radio whodunits rely on tough-talking private eyes, glossy gun molls and satanic scientists. By avoiding such standard characters, Dragnet (Thurs. 10:30 p.m. E.D.T., NBC) lags in the Nielsen ratings, but it has won a devoted following among policemen from New Haven to San Diego, who welcome Dragnet's non-nonsense approach. Says 30-year-old Jack Webb, creator of the show: "We don't do it by underplaying—because underplaying is still acting. We try to make it as real as a guy pouring a cup of coffee."

Each episode of Dragnet is "the documented drama of an actual...

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