Friday, April 26, 2019

CHiPs

CHiPs is an American crime drama television series that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1977 to May 1, 1983. It followed the lives of two motorcycle officers of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The series ran for 139 episodes over six seasons, plus one reunion TV movie in October 1998.

CHiPs is an action crime drama in a standard hour-long time slot, which at the time required 48 minutes of actual programming. Over-the-top freeway pileups, which occurred frequently, especially in the later seasons, were a signature of the show. For filming, traffic on Los Angeles freeways was non-existent and most chase scenes were done on back roads.

The show was created by Rick Rosner, and starred Erik Estrada as macho, rambunctious Officer Francis ("Frank") Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello and Larry Wilcox as his straitlaced partner, Officer Jonathan ("Jon") Andrew Baker. With Ponch the more trouble-prone of the pair, and Jon generally the more level-headed one trying to keep him out of trouble with the duo's gruff yet fatherly immediate supervisor Sergeant Joseph Getraer (Robert Pine), the two were Highway Patrolmen of the Central Los Angeles office of the California Highway Patrol (CHP, hence the name CHiPs).

As real-life CHP motor officers rarely ride in pairs, in early episodes this was explained away by placing the trouble-prone Ponch on probationary status, with Jon assigned as his field training officer. Eventually, by the end of the first season, this subplot faded away (Ponch completed his probation) as audiences were used to seeing the two working as a team.

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