In 1957 German NDR radio station started a series called The Hunt for the Culprit, which presented adaptations of true crimes that took place somewhere in West Germany. The radio show proved to be quite successful, so the idea for TV program based on same concept was born. Stahlnetz was inspired by The Hunt for the Perpetrator, but also by American TV series Dragnet.
Each episode presented completely different story, however, unlike the Dragnet series, in Stahlnetz the whole setting was changing for each episode and the investigating team with it. The length of the episodes varied between 45 and 90 minutes and the types of the crimes presented also varied, from murders to fraud and kidnappings.
Stahlnetz was a very popular series in West Germany during the original run (between 1958 and 1968) and led to creation of Tatort, a longest running German crime series that is being produced since 1970. Original Stahlnetz ran for 22 episodes and between 1999 and 2003 six episode were created in hope to revive the series, but it was unsuccessful.
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