[[quoteright:348:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/streets_of_san_francisco_dvd_437.jpg]]

A crime drama that ran on Creator/{{ABC}} from 1972-1977, produced by Quinn Martin Productions (with [[Creator/WarnerBros Warner Bros. Television]] in season one). It starred Karl Malden as Det. Lt. Mike Stone, a veteran cop, and Creator/MichaelDouglas (in his StarMakingRole) as Inspector Steve Keller, Stone's younger partner. The series was shot on-location in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco. Douglas left the show at the start of its fifth and final season, and was replaced by Richard Hatch as Inspector Dan Robbins; this change was not popular with viewers (since ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' hadn't been created yet), so the series was cancelled.

Unique among crime shows since, the show's actors and writers took great pains to ensure an authentic portrayal of the San Francisco Police Department.

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!!Tropes:

* AlwaysMurder: Well, since Stone and Keller (and Robbins) work in the homicide division...
* AndThisIsFor: "Deadly Silence" and "Monkey Is Back."
* BerserkButton: In "Dead Lift," making fun of fitness freak Josef or otherwise belitting him is a very good way to get yourself killed. As demonstrated in Act I.
* BookEnds: "The Thrill Killers, Part 1" starts with Steve arriving at a trial from a hearing where it's been determined he didn't go out of bounds in shooting a suspect. [[spoiler: It ends with Steve, having been shot himself by a suspect, en route to a hospital.]]
* TheButlerDidIt: [[spoiler: "Death and the Favored Few."]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: Usually averted, but the first scene in "Flags Of Terror" takes place in Tokyo, so...
* CrimeAndPunishmentSeries
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Jean (Stone's daughter)'s friend Nancy]] in "Men Will Die" [[spoiler: - she's raped by two men at the start of the episode, and the traumatized woman subsequently shoots and kills one of them - but because there isn't any conclusive evidence of her rape she's eventually held for trial for murder... driving her to jump off a stairwell in the courthouse. Thankfully, she does recover. (And yes, the other guy does get caught.)]]
** [[spoiler: Boggs]] in "Hang Tough." [[spoiler: Unlike Jean, he succeeds.]]
* EverybodyLives: [[spoiler: "Who Killed Helen French?" and "Time Out."]]
* FramedFaceOpening: The TitleSequence has Detectives Stone and Keller over a blocky splotch design. Said design was also used for the guest cast montage.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: [[spoiler:"Let's Pretend We're Strangers." Billy, who's suspected of murdering a young woman, has been gotten off by his legal aid lawyer - but then he tells her that he didn't kill anybody, and mentions the woman and another person (who he also killed because he spotted him leaving the scene of the crime) ''by name''... even though he shouldn't have known about the latter.]]
* IdiotBall: As demonstrated in "One Last Trick" - [[spoiler: on finding somebody's after her, Carol tells Joy to leave immediately and not bother to pack. She's next seen carrying a small case... had she taken Carol's advice she might not have been offed at the end of Act II).]]
* IncrediblyObviousBug: Seen in one episode. The tracking device is large and obvious (although not blinking or beeping), but it is planted on the back bumper of the car after the hero has gotten in, thus justifying them not noticing it.
* InSeriesNickname: Stone regularly calls Keller "buddy boy."
* InstrumentalThemeTune: Probably the funkiest outside of ''Series/BarneyMiller''.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Steve in the ReunionShow]].
* NiceHat: Stone's ever-present fedora.
* OpeningNarration: In keeping with series from QM Productions, each one was episode-specific (although "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore" also has one at the beginning of the first act to set up the episode). Here's a for instance from season five (which runs so long the theme music actually goes back to the beginning and starts again):
-->"''The Streets of San Francisco'', a Quinn Martin Production. Starring Karl Malden. [[AndStarring Special Guest Star]] Creator/MichaelDouglas. Also Starring Richard Hatch. With Guest Stars In Alphabetical Order: Patty Duke Astin, Darleen Carr, Tina Chen, Jan Clayton, Susan Dey, Norman Fell, Gary Frank, Paula Kelly, Jim [=McMullan=], Doris Roberts, James Shigeta, Barry Sullivan, Dick Van Patten, Joseph Wiseman. Tonight's Episode: 'The Thrill Killers - Part 1.'"[[note]]And Part 2, as it happened.[[/note]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In "Dead Or Alive," the wealthy father of a young woman who's beaten, raped and murdered offers a reward of a million dollars for the killer's capture. [[spoiler: The greed the reward generates results in three people being in hospital, including the killer (who's shot by a shopkeeper with dollar signs in his eyes while trying to escape from Stone), and the episode ends without their fates known. It also results in a cop on the verge of retirement getting a friend of his involved in a scheme to catch the guy and split the reward, which winds up with the cop being kicked off the force and his friend being shot and killed. And the father may or may not be facing charges of complicity and involvement with murder himself, since it was basically his fault.]]
* NotMeThisTime: In "Let's Pretend We're Strangers," Billy (who has a record of petty crimes) insists that he wasn't responsible for killing a woman in her apartment. [[spoiler: [[BlatantLies He was]].]]
* PapaWolf: Comes out when Stone's daughter starts dating a motorcycle cop in "Hot Dog."
* PilotMovie: Based on the novel ''Poor, Poor Ophelia'' by Carolyn Weston.
* PointyHairedBoss: Newly-minted Captain Keely in "The Glass Dart Board," whose chart-centric approach to his job interferes with Stone and Keller's search for a sniper randomly shooting at a high-rise - and Keely having a NiceJobBreakingItHero moment when [[spoiler:he personally ruins an operation to locate the sniper ''which would have worked if he'd come flying in'' (lierally, in a helicopter). In fairness, Keely does eventually really he's an ebodiment of ThePeterPrinciple and returns to where he be useful.]]
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: "Superstar," about a New York cop who comes to San Francisco to find his partner's killer and sticks around - in other words, ''{{McCloud}}'' in reverse - led into the short-lived {{Spinoff}} ''Bert D'Angelo Superstar'' (which actually began its network run two weeks ''before'' the episode aired).
* PutOnABus: At the start of season 5 Keller leaves the force to begin a teaching career.
* PsychoLesbian: [[spoiler: "Once A Con."]]
* ReunionShow: 1992's ''Back to the Streets of San Francisco'', with Karl Malden and Darleen Carr (who played the recurring character of his daughter Jeannie on the original series). Michael Douglas doesn't appear, although [[Film/BasicInstinct he did play a San Francisco cop in another production that year]]. [[spoiler: The hunt for his murderer is a major plot element.]]
* SettingAsACharacter: Quinn Martin called the titular city "the third star of the series".
* ShownTheirWork: The authenticity of the portrayal of the SFPD.
* SocietyMarchesOn: There is an early episode where a critically wounded cop is rushed to the hospital and nothing is done for him en route beyond Karl Malden's character holding his hand sympathetically. As a result, with the widespread adaptation of paramedics that the contemporary series, ''Series/{{Emergency}}'', helped encourage, it looks criminally negligent to modern viewers to see an emergency patient being transported like that without being treated along the way.
** A major plot point in "A Good Cop... But" is a detective being blackmailed [[spoiler: because he's gay. That said, while the stigma today is nowhere near the extent that it was in the 1970s...]]
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Inspector Dan Robbins, Richard Hatch's character.
* TimeMarchesOn: "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore" concerns a Vietnam draft dodger back in San Francisco after running to Canada - in between filming of the episode and its first airing, then-President Ford stated that amnesty would be given to such dodgers. As a result, the episode has a rare second voiceover from Hank Simms specifying that the episode takes place ''before'' amnesty was declared.
** In-universe, [[DropInCharacter Roy Devitt]] - a lieutenant in the first season - makes captain by the final season.
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