"Chesterfield Sound-Off Time" was a live, half-hour variety series on
NBC-TV with Fred Allen and Bob Hope alternating at hosts, and was
not very successful. However, on December 16, 1951,the show aired
the pilot for "Dragnet” called “The Human Bomb”, adapted from the
July 1949 radio episode. The special introduced many close-ups that
would become Jack Webb’s trademark. The pilot was such a success
that a regular TV series debuted in January 1952 on NBC, replacing
the variety show.
Premiere episode “The Human Bomb”
Joe Friday (Jack Webb); Ben Romero (Barton Yarborough),
and Chief of Detectives Thad Brown (Raymond Burr) try to
stop a man from blowing up city hall.