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Police Woman (TV series)

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Title: Police Woman (TV series)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Angie Dickinson, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, Mark Harmon, Paul Regina, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Collection: 1970S American Television Series, 1974 American Television Series Debuts, 1978 American Television Series Endings, American Crime Television Series, American Drama Television Series, English-Language Television Programming, Fictional Portrayals of the Los Angeles Police Department, Nbc Network Shows, Television Series by Sony Pictures Television, Television Shows Set in Los Angeles, California, Television Spin-Offs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Police Woman (TV series)

Police Woman
DVD cover
Created by Robert E. Collins
Starring Angie Dickinson
Earl Holliman
Ed Bernard
Charles Dierkop
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 91 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) David Gerber
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 48–50 minutes
Production company(s) David Gerber Productions
Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original channel NBC
Original release September 13, 1974 (1974-09-13) – March 29, 1978 (1978-03-29)

Police Woman is an American television police drama starring Angie Dickinson that ran on NBC for four seasons, from September 13, 1974, to March 29, 1978.


  • Synopsis 1
  • Character's name 2
  • Episodes 3
  • Guest stars 4
  • "Flowers of Evil" controversy 5
  • Reception 6
  • Ratings and timeslots 7
  • DVD releases 8
  • Syndication 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Based on an original screenplay by Lincoln C. Hilburn, the show revolves around Sgt. "Pepper" Anderson (Angie Dickinson), an undercover police officer working for the Criminal Conspiracy Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Sergeant William "Bill" Crowley (Earl Holliman) was her immediate superior, and Pete Royster (Charles Dierkop) and Joe Styles (Ed Bernard) were the other half of the undercover team that investigated everything from murders to rape and drug crimes. In many episodes, Pepper went undercover (as a prostitute, nurse, teacher, flight attendant, prison inmate, dancer, waitress, etc.) in order to get close enough to the suspects to gain valuable information that would lead to their arrest.

Character's name

Although Dickinson's character was called Pepper, sources differ as to the legal given name of the character. Most sources give the character's legal name as Suzanne. Others give it as Leanne or Lee Ann. (The latter name is mentioned by Crowley in the second season episode "The Chasers" and by Pepper herself in the first season episodes "Fish" and "The Stalking of Joey Marr".) The Police Story episode entitled "The Gamble", which serves as a pilot for Police Woman, gives Dickinson's character's name as "Lisa Beaumont". On the Season 1 DVD release of Police Woman, Dickinson states that she and producers decided not to go with the name Lisa Beaumont when the series first went into production and came up with the name Pepper.


This TV series had 91 episodes and each episode was 60 minutes.

Guest stars

Among the guest stars in the series' 91 episodes were: Edie Adams, Diane Baker, Rossano Brazzi, Rory Calhoun, Dane Clark, Bob Crane, Patricia Crowley, James Darren, Ruby Dee, Sandra Dee, Danny DeVito, Patty Duke, Geoff Edwards, Sam Elliott, Rhonda Fleming, Larry Hagman, Mark Harmon, Amy Irving, Bayn Johnson, Fernando Lamas, Barry Livingston, Ida Lupino, Carol Lynley, Ian McShane, Don Meredith, Donna Mills, Juliet Mills, Annette O'Toole, Michael Parks, Joanna Pettet, Kathleen Quinlan, Kim Richards, Cathy Rigby, Smokey Robinson, Ruth Roman, William Shatner, Fay Spain, Laraine Stephens, Philip Michael Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Vernon, Patrick Wayne, Adam West, Barry Williams and Debra Winger.

"Flowers of Evil" controversy

"Flowers of Evil" was the eighth episode of season one, airing November 8, 1974. In it, Pepper investigates a trio of lesbians who run a retirement home while robbing and murdering the elderly residents. Gay and lesbian groups protested the episode, calling its portrayal of lesbianism stereotypical and negative. A group of lesbian activists zapped NBC's corporate offices a week after the episode aired, occupying the offices overnight. Following negotiations with activists NBC agreed in 1975 not to rebroadcast the episode.[1] "Flowers of Evil" is available on the season 1 DVD box set.


Police Woman became the first successful hour-long drama series in American primetime television history to feature a woman in the starring role. This helped to make Dickinson a household name. Dickinson would win a Golden Globe award, and receive three Emmy nominations for the role.

Police Woman caused an avalanche of applications for employment from women to police departments around the United States. Sociologists who have in recent years examined the inspiration for long-term female law enforcement officials to adopt this vocation as their own have been surprised by how often "Police Woman" has been referenced.

In February 1976, President Gerald Ford re-scheduled a Tuesday press conference so as not to delay an episode of Police Woman, reportedly his favorite show.[2]

Ratings and timeslots

Season Timeslot Rank Rating
1) 1974–1975 Friday at 10:00 P.M. #15 22.8
2) 1975–1976 #30 20.2
3) 1976–1977 Tuesday at 9:00 P.M. Not in the Top 30
4) 1977–1978 Wednesday at 9:00 P.M.

DVD releases

On March 7, 2005, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Season 1 of Police Woman on DVD in Region 1.[3]

On October 14, 2011, Shout! Factory announced that they had acquired the rights to the series, and plan to release additional seasons on DVD.[4] They subsequently released Season 2 on February 7, 2012.[5]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 22 March 7, 2006
The Complete Second Season 24 February 7, 2012


Several episodes from the first season are available to view for free in Minisode format on Crackle.


  1. ^ Capsuto, p. 113
  2. ^ Angie Keeps on Going, People Magazine, Nov. 27, 1978, p. 120
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^


  • Capsuto, Steven (2000). Alternate Channels: The Uncensored Story of Gay and Lesbian Images on Radio and Television. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-41243-5.

External links

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