Show Type: Police Drama

Broadcast History:

Syndication only

30 Minutes

Produced from 1955-1959 (156 episodes)

Released in September 1955


Chief Dan Matthews..... Broderick Crawford


Art Gilmore


Beefy, gravel-voiced Broderick Crawford was the no-nonsense Chief of the Highway Patrol in this action series, which was one of the most popular syndicated programs in television history (156 episodes were made, run and rerun endlessly for years).

The stories were straight crime dramas, with the Chief and his uniformed officers nailing hijackers, smugglers, and robbers. In a typical episode, a young newlywed couple were witnesses to a café holdup in which the proprietor was murdered. The Highway Patrol was at first stymied by their chief suspect's airtight alibi, but Matthews managed to get him in the end in suspenseful chase, when the crook went after the couple who were the only witnesses to the crime. In another episode, a bank messenger absconded with $50,000 and took it home to his wife, only to have her slug him and make off with the loot herself. Chief Matthews put on out an all-points bulletin and eventually nabbed them both.

Most of Highway Patrol's action took place outdoors, on the sprawling highway system of an unidentified Western state (those official-looking emblems on the police cars read simply: "Highway Patrol"). There was lots of hardware - patrol cars, motorcycles, and occasional helicopters - and Chief Matthews was always leaning on the side of a car, microphone in hand, bellowing orders (“Ten-four, ten-four!”).

There were no regular characters in this long-running series, although actor William Boyett, later a regular on Adam-12, was seen frequently in various supporting roles.