Adam-12 had a crossover with Emergency! and the very idea was a huge plot hole

To Emergency!'s Gage and DeSoto, Adam-12's characters went from fantasy to reality. Let us explain.

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In "Hang-Up," an early episode of Emergency!, the hugely influential rescue-and-medical drama that literally helped popularize EMT services in America, the firefighters at Station 51 are watching TV. The crew just so happens to be watching Adam-12. Johnny Gage (Randolph Mantooth) ends up missing the end of the Adam-12 episode, as he has to go rescue a guy stuck in an air-conditioning duct. Such was the life of a firefighter in the pre-VCR days.

Throughout the episode, Gage tries to find out what happened at the climax of that Adam-12

But here's the thing. Gage didn't need to watch Adam-12. He was in the world of Adam-12 himself. Confused? It seems the writers were, as well.

Let's go back to the pilot movie of Emergency!, "The Wedsworth-Townsend Act," which aired at the start of 1972. In that exciting debut, L.A. County Firefighters Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe) and John Gage meet LAPD officers Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord). You know them as the main characters of Adam-12.

So, it was immediately established that Gage, DeSoto, Malloy and Reed all existed in the same universe. They were fellow public servants. 

Which is why it was weird when, months later, Gage and DeSoto were suddenly watching Mallow and Reed on television. Was it supposed to be reality television to the Emergency! firefighters?

The firefighters of Station 51 watch 'Adam-12'.

Now here is where it gets even wackier.

Not long after "Hang-Up," Gage and DeSoto appeared as characters on Adam-12!

"Lost and Found" aired early in the fifth season of the police procedural, in October of 1972. Malloy and Reed interact more with Dr. Kelly Brackett (Robert Fuller) from Emergency! but Gage and DeSoto are in the episode. 

Yep. That means that Gage went for being a loyal viewer of Adam-12… to being a character on Adam-12. It's just another weird, meta, bloopery layer to a classic TV crossover!

Oh, and here's where it gets even kookier. That Adam-12 episode that Gage was watching in "Hang-Up"? Well, if Johnny had gotten to see the full show, he would have seen actor Marco Lopez as a cop. The same Marco Lopez who played fireman Marco Lopez on Emergency! The fake Marco Lopez was watching the real Marco Lopez play another fake character.

Who knew crossovers could be so confusing?

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LindaNitzschke 14 days ago
Who was officer "Mallow" that was mentioned in your story...and was his first name "Marsh?"
TRONERICH LindaNitzschke 17 hours ago
That was Pete Malloy who was played by Martin Milner.
WhiteRook 17 days ago
Was Jim Davis aka Jock on Dallas and his fireman partner the first Emergency on TV? The series was Rescue 8 and used a similar squad 54 truck. They had a respirator but were not paramedics.
Usedboats 18 days ago
Back when Emergency was in it's work up. I had made a sales call on a company that was building the firetruck for the series. They were located in Ocala Fl. This was a pioneering firetruck made mostly of aluminum which was new for the industry. A very hard nut to break into. They figured that Emergency would be a way into the industry. They wanted us to provide volunteer parts that they helped would fit the bill. We didn't accept. So they managed to put an almost all aluminum truck on that show. As far as I know, they got know credit for the truck other than at end of each show they scroll,real fast, the credits and they were listed. It was trough conventional marketing they finally broke in to the market. The truck could carry more water due the fact that is was substantially lighter.
1shotonek 21 days ago
Great stories ! A couple more things...Emergency was " originally " intended to be a series almost ENTIRELY devoted to Rampart Hospital/ER...and of course several shows did keep to inside the hospital pretty much. But it was actually Gage/Mantooth personally who convinced Producers to go with the Fire/EMT platform...this is a matter of record. As originally show creators went to lengths to obtain Fuller..who personally held out till last moments as he really did want another very successful Western after coming off of Laramie...Also as a mention, due to staff/writing inter mingles...many should recognize Officer Reed name and character from years previous Dragnet episodes...I do enjoy these MeTv news letters...good viewing to all 👍😁
1shotonek 1shotonek 21 days ago
Sorry, always forget....12/12 !
TRONERICH 1shotonek 17 hours ago
Martin Milner was also on Dragnet.
nerakr 21 days ago
Does this story mean that MeTV's bringing back Emergency? Please, please, please!
swelty99 nerakr 17 days ago
It comes on MeTV M - F at 11am & noon. Then again on Sat at 4 & 5pm. (St Louis area) I watch it almost every day! The fire station alarm is even my ringtone!!
Cowgirl 21 days ago
I wish they would have done more crossovers with the 2 shows. I loved seeing Reed & Malloy on Emergency but don't remember if Gage & DeSoto were ever on Adam 12.
TRONERICH Cowgirl 17 hours ago
I totally agree!
FLETCH 21 days ago
Great article! Love stories like this.
Jon 21 days ago
This was a strange crossover in the way that GREEN ACRES performed a play version of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES before interacting with the other show's characters in character.
Dan 22 days ago
Back when something was on TV worth watching, now most of it is garbage.
Hogansucks1 Dan 21 days ago
Absolutely, when you only got 6 to 8 T.V. stations back in the day- you appreciated it more (IF) your antennae and weather held up! 😂
Gumbysstuntdouble 22 days ago
It happened before. In an episode of Batman, Bruce Wayne is getting ready to watch The Green Hornet and in The Green Hornet, someone is watching Batman. Then later, of course, Batman met the Hornet.
dps4738 22 days ago
Want to whacky? Just imagine if Gage was watching a old episode of Dragnet w/ Friday and Gannon. Then another episode of Emergency, they meet Friday and Gannon. Since, Dragnet is in the same universe as Emergency and Adam 12.
TRONERICH dps4738 17 hours ago
I love it! But, I think that we should also include Malloy and Reed.
LittleMissNoName 22 days ago
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality (fantasy?).


"Nothing really matters, anyone can see! Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me!"
bnichols23 Barry22 20 days ago
Oh, God. Here we go again.....
TurboVicki77 22 days ago
I'd say most people who are a fan of both shows noticed but it's still super fun to bring up and talk about
Pacificsun 22 days ago
Great story MeTV! You guys/gals are great at really digging into a subject now! Who would've ever noticed this. Thanks!!
Really super observant people, is would have {probably} noticed this.
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