Home Television Drama Rookies, The

Rookies, The

1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
92 x episodes

In contrast to producers’ Spelling and Goldberg’s violent S.W.A.T series, more humane methods of law enforcement were emphasised in The Rookies.

Three rookie cops in a large Southern California city provided the focus of this series.

Willie Gillis (Michael Ontkean) was fresh out of college; Terry Webster (Georg Stanford Brown) came from the ghetto via a government social programme, and Mike Danko (Sam Melville) – the eldest of the three – came fresh from the Air Force and was married to a nurse (Kate Jackson).


The trio were dedicated to new, more humane methods of law enforcement, which often put them at odds with their hard-nosed mentor, Lieutenant Ryker (Gerald S. O’Loughlin).

The combination of their youthful enthusiasm and Ryker’s experienced guidance helped mould them into effective officers.

Though constantly at odds with their hard-boiled superior, the three wet-behind-the-ears recruits proved that there’s more to being a good cop than toting a gun.


In 1974 a cast change occurred with Willie replaced by Chris Owens, a new recruit.

Officer Terry Webster 
Georg Stanford Brown
Officer Mike Danko 

Sam Melville
Officer Willie Gillis 

Michael Ontkean
Officer Chris Owens 

Bruce Fairbairn
Jill Danko 

Kate Jackson
Lt. Ed Ryker 

Gerald S. O’Loughlin
Radio Dispatcher 

Darlyn Ann Lindley