Young motorcycle cops keep California highways safe in new TV series (1977)
CHiPS, a light-hearted one-hour action-adventure series, follows the exploits of a pair of young California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers on the busy Los Angeles freeways, and their encounters with the infinite variety of people who drive there.
Starring in the series are Larry Wilcox as Officer Jonathan Baker, the serious one of the team despite his boyish good looks, and Erik Estrada as Officer Francis “Ponch” Poncherello, ruggedly handsome and the Peck’s bad boy of the duo. Robert Pine costars as their supervisor, Sgt. Joe Getraer.
Each episode of CHiPs is a blend of action sequences and four or five extended vignettes illustrating the CHP officer’s encounters as they respond to day-to-day situations on the freeways. Intertwined with their on-the-job exploits is a running sub-plot about the lives of the two bachelor patrolmen.
The stories in this series, in which guns are rarely drawn and violence is minimized, are a balance of the humorous, the human interest and the dramatic.
CHiPs, which will be filmed on the Los Angeles freeways and other locations, is the first television series in 24 years to be filmed with the cooperation of the California Highway Patrol. The creator-producer is Rick Rosner, who, for the last six years, has served as a reserve deputy sheriff for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His assignments vary from patrols with a regular deputy partner to flying with the Aero Bureau on helicopter surveillance, pursuit and rescue missions.