American television was overrun with crime dramas as much as sitcoms in the 70's. For cable viewers, there would be a temporary alternative.
Thames' The Sweeney bowed in January 1975, and lasted until 1978, spawning two feature films in the process. Now, try figuring this out. The show chronicled the exploits of the "Flying Squad", the British equivalent, if you will, of a Major Crimes Unit for a local police force here in the US. The Cockney slang for Flying Squad took its name from Sweeney Todd, the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street", whom most of you know from a Broadway production and subsequent feature film.
I wish I actually had been able to watch the show when it aired on WOR on September 8, 1976, but I didn't, so there's no rating. We'll leave you with a sample open & close.
Seems there was a movement afoot to revive the series in England as recently as a couple of years ago. I wouldn't mind a DVD release made available here in the US. Wouldn't you?