Chopper One

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Chopper One
Chopper one title card.png
Genre Police procedural, action
Starring Jim McMullan
Dirk Benedict
Ted Hartley
Lou Frizzell
Theme music composer Dominic Frontiere
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Executive producers Aaron Spelling
Leonard Goldberg
Running time25 minutes
Production company Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Original network ABC
Original releaseJanuary 17 (1974-01-17) 
April 11, 1974 (1974-04-11)

Chopper One is a short-lived ABC action-crime television series in early 1974, depicting the activities of a fictional California police helicopter team. The program was produced by television powerhouse Spelling-Goldberg Productions. The series aired in a half-hour time slot on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern. [1]


The show aired adjacent to Firehouse , an action-drama series about a Los Angeles fire station. Chopper One was cancelled after six months with Firehouse promptly ending the following month.

Story and Characters

From left; Dirk Benedict, Ted Hartley and Jim McMullan. Chopper One cast 1974.JPG
From left; Dirk Benedict, Ted Hartley and Jim McMullan.

Chopper One was directed by E.W. Swackhamer, featuring two flight police officers (a pilot and an observer) and their adventures in a police helicopter. The helicopter was a Bell 206 JetRanger. It starred Jim McMullan as Officer Don Burdick and Dirk Benedict as Officer Gil Foley. Benedict would later earn fame as Lt. Starbuck in the original 1978 TV show Battlestar Galactica and as Lt. Templeton 'Faceman' Peck in the TV show The A-Team .

Ted Hartley played their boss Capt. McKeegan and Lou Frizzell played Mitch, the crusty mechanic.


No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Chopper One"January 17, 1974 (1974-01-17)
Burdick and Foley pursue a pair of gunmen who have taken a woman hostage.
2"Strain of Innocence"January 24, 1974 (1974-01-24)
A girl who is being held in a holdup goes into labor and gives birth as the helicopter rushes her to the hospital.
3"The Bust-Out"January 31, 1974 (1974-01-31)
The chopper is commandeered at gunpoint when Foley and Burdick answer an emergency call.
4"The Boy Who Cried Wolf"February 7, 1974 (1974-02-07)
A young invalid ham radio operator disrupts the department with false emergency calls.
5"The Informer"February 14, 1974 (1974-02-14)
The crew is called upon to help protect a former underworld figure who is about to testify against the crime kingpin he worked for.
6"The Drop"February 21, 1974 (1974-02-21)
Burdick parachutes onto a mountainside in an attempt to rescue a young girl who has been kidnapped.
7"Ambush"February 28, 1974 (1974-02-28)
Foley and Burdick are menaced by rooftop snipers when a gunman sets out to avenge his brother's death.
8"The Copperhead"March 7, 1974 (1974-03-07)
Foley and Burdick investigate a veteran police sergeant suspected of selling confiscated guns.
9"Killing Time"March 14, 1974 (1974-03-14)
The wife of the chopper mechanic is held hostage by assassins who are planning the murder of a gubernatorial candidate, and want to keep the police copter on the ground.
10"Deadly Carrier"March 21, 1974 (1974-03-21)
An illegal alien suspected of carrying typhoid fever is the object of a desperate search by Foley and Burdick.
11"The Scramble"March 28, 1974 (1974-03-28)
Clues to a series of market robberies are found at a scramble when Foley goes undercover as a bike racer.
12"Downtime"April 4, 1974 (1974-04-04)
Burdick and Foley search frantically for a hidden bomb with thousands of lives at stake.
13"The Hijacking"April 11, 1974 (1974-04-11)
Hijackers of a gasoline truck are sought by Burdick and Foley.

Home Media and Streaming Services

Since its cancellation in 1974, Chopper One was reported to have rarely (if ever) been seen again in rerun syndication.

On July 12, 2016, Sony Pictures released Chopper One: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively in the US and is part of the Sony Pictures Choice Collection in partnership with and their CreateSpace MOD program. [2]

As of 2023, all 13 episodes of Chopper One are available on free video streaming service Crackle.

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  1. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle. The complete directory to prime time network and cable TV shows, 1946-present. ISBN   0-345-45542-8.
  2. 'The Complete Series' DVDs are NOW AVAILABLE! Archived 2016-07-15 at the Wayback Machine