1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 4 (USA)
23 x 60 minute episodes
Like Serpico, this series followed the adventures of an undercover detective based on the maverick exploits of a real cop – in this case, Dave Toma of the Newark, New Jersey PD.
Toma (Tony Musante) was a maverick who preferred to work alone, enjoyed taking big risks and bucking the system, and didn’t like to use his gun.
These habits did not endear him to his vice squad boss (Simon Oakland), who was constantly hoping that Toma would follow his orders occasionally, or to his wife, Patty (Susan Strasberg) who wanted her husband to spend more time with her and their young children, Jimmy (Sean Manning) and Donna (Michelle Livingston).
The real Dave Toma – whose mastery of disguises helped him catch the toughest criminals in the world during his time as an undercover cop – served as a consultant and guested in bit-parts in every episode.
Although a ratings success, the show was canned after one season because leading man Musante found the production schedule a grinding chore. ABC imported a new star, Robert Blake, tweaked the format and issued Baretta in its place.
Detective Dave Toma