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''Kojak'' was a PoliceProcedural drama that aired on Creator/{{CBS}} from 1973-78.

Set in "Manhattan South" (New York City's Thirteenth Precinct), the series is named for Lt. Theodore "Theo" Kojak (Telly Savalas in his most famous role besides [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService that one time he played Blofeld]]). He might not observe all the niceties when it comes to his $240-a-week-after-taxes job, but he gets the job done, ''ya dig?'' A Greek-American who pronounces the "w" in "sword," this cop knows who Confucius is, and has read Creator/EdgarAllanPoe. He grew up in a "sewer" he now wants to clean up, but he's also sympathetic to the junkies, whores, stoolies, and other damaged people he encounters. After all, he grew up alongside them, in the same neighborhood. Also added to the mix are members of his squad: wet-behind-the-ears Det. Crocker (Kevin Dobson), slovenly Det. Stavros (George Savalas), and fretful Cpn. [=McNeil=] (Dan Frazer).

Kojak originated in a TV movie called ''The Marcus-Nelson Murders'', based loosely on the "Career Girls Murders" used in the ground-breaking Miranda Supreme Court decision. Kojak was a stand-in for the various detectives involved in the case. In the early episodes of the series, Kojak smoked heavily; in order to reflect the anti-smoking sentiment gaining momentum on American TV, the writers decided that Kojak had quit smoking. He began sucking on lollipops as a substitute, which became a trademark of the character--along with his Bailey Gentry fedora and sunglasses.

The series was rebooted in 2005 starring [[RaceLift Ving Rhames]] in the title role, but was axed again after a single ten episode season. Creator/VinDiesel has more recently been trying to develop a feature film adaptation of the series as a starring vehicle.

Not to be confused with [[Series/KolchakTheNightStalker Kolchak]]. Or [[Creator/EastmanKodak Kodak]], for that matter.

!!This series provides examples of:
* AddictionDisplacement: Kojak's lollipops. They became an icon for both the original and the revival.
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: As with most fictional cops before TheNineties, the police on this show are ''way'' too trigger happy, frequently firing off warning shots and trying to shoot out people's tires in high-speed chases.
* BaldOfAwesome: An early example.
* BigApplesauce: Nearly every episode is set in NYC.
* CatchPhrase: "Who loves ya, baby?"
* ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination: An attempted hit on a Mafia boss at a Columbus Day rally in "One for the Morgue." As it turns out, it was all a frameup to get the cops to break up his biggest rival's gang.
* CrimeAfterCrime: In "Web of Death," a police detective murders his wife's lover. Then he murders the junkie he had planned to use as his alibi when he thinks he might talk. When Kojak catches him, he's literally seconds away from a third murder, this time of the pimp who sold him the gun.
* DetectiveDrama
* DetectiveMole: In "Web of Death," Kojak investigates a murder that was committed by his temporary partner.
* [[BittersweetEnding Bittersweet]][=]/[=]DownerEnding: The episode "Monkey on a String" is about a down-on-his-luck cop who gets increasingly caught up with a rich criminal who pays him handsomely for supplying information, thus saving him from various debts and allowing him to splash out on his beautiful wife. Things come to a head as the cop is eventually asked to commit OneLastJob for the criminal - a takedown of a witness that could land the criminal in jail. After a series of complications the cop ends up in the same car as the witness and his partner as the killers arrive to take the hit. The cop saves the witness and his partner [[spoiler:but he gets killed in the process, and dies mid-sentence asking Kojak to tell his wife something]]. ''Damn.''
* DirtyCop: Det. Ferro in the season one episode "Web of Death". Ferro finds out his wife is stepping out on him, kills the boyfriend, and attempts to cover it up without much success.
-->'''Kojak''': Frank, it hurts. I pinned the gold on him myself.\\
'''[=McNeil=]''': No need to gouge yourself, Theo. He kept it polished.\\
'''Kojak''': Mm hmm, until last night.
* DolledUpInstallment: The first two TV movies in the '80s, ''Kojak: The Belarus Secret'' and ''Kojak: The Price Of Justice'', were respectively based on the novels ''The Belarus File'' by John Loftus and ''The Investigation'' by Dorothy Uhnak.
* EverybodyOwnsAFord
* TheGhost: Cleveland, the mobster suspected of ordering the assassination attempt in "One for the Morgue," spends the entire episode in hiding. Kojak only encounters his goons.
* HardboiledDetective: Kojak's speech was clearly inspired by a lot of hard-boiled fiction, such as when he forces a guy to jump from a pier, then tells a subordinate, "Look, there's some ''debris'' floatin' in the river. Would you fish it out before it pollutes the entire eastern seaboard?"
* HostageSituation: The pilot episode, "Siege of Terror."
* IdiotBall: In "One for the Morgue," the cops don't realize that a Mafia boss set up his own assassination attempt until they see him chatting with the hitman, even though they already know he was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the attack (which they concede was unsual for him) and that the bullets were packed with only small amounts of gunpowder to make them less deadly.
* NotHimself
* OralFixation: the switch to the ubiquitous lollipops.
* PilotMovie: ''The Marcus-Nelson Murders'' (in which the detective's name is spelled "Kojack").
* PoliceProcedural
* QuipToBlack: Kojak has an early version in most episodes.
* {{Revival}}: The series was brought back for two [[TVMovie TV movies]] in the mid 80s and then brought back for a sixth season consisting of 5 movie length episodes that featured Kojak in the rank of Inspector as part of ''The ABC Mystery Movie'' in 1989 along side a revival of ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' as part of that series.
* ReverseWhodunnit: "Web of Death."
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: "One for the Morgue" was loosely inspired by the attempted assassination of Mafia boss (and self-proclaimed "Italian-American rights activist") Joe Colombo, which occurred two years previously.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Leans to the cynical side. The 1970s was a time of rising crime in New York City, and the show reflected the frustration.
* SpinOff: Theo Kojak began life as the lead character in ''The Marcus-Nelson Murders'', a TV movie loosely based on a real-life double murder. In this (and the pilot episode of his titular series), his name is alternatively spelled "Kojack".
* SweetTooth[=]/[=] TrademarkFavoriteFood: Kojak and his lollipops, as always.
** Even before he started on the lollipops, he could often be seen snacking on candy or ice cream bars.
* TitleDrop: "Death Is Not A Passing Grade." Yes, someone ([[RetroactiveRecognition James Woods]], no less) actually says it.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: For a guy who constantly complains about his $240-a-week-after-taxes job, Kojak sure can afford some nice threads.