February 2012

Popular 70's TV Show Celebrates 35 Years

In 1977, a new TV series premiered on NBC.  It showcased the adventures of two young, handsome California Highway Patrol 

motorcycle officers. Created by Rick Rosner, it was intended to be a different kind of cop show.  Jon Baker and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello never pulled their guns and violence, aside from spectacular car crashes, was rare. Even when a car crash was featured, injuries weren’t often serious and when deaths occurred, they were kept off screen. Instead the show featured sunny California beaches, pretty girls, nice cars, a healthy dose of humor, and of course, the Kawasaki police bikes they rode. After slow start, the show became a hit and gained a loyal following of young viewers.

“CHiPs” wasn’t without its share of controversy though. In 1979 star Erik Estrada was seriously injured in an on-set crash, and he and co-star Larry Wilcox were not the best of friends. Then, in 1981 at the start of the show’s 5th season, in the midst of a feud with the studio over syndication royalties, Estrada walked off the set. He was replaced by Olympic gold medalist and future Kardashian stepfather Bruce Jenner. While he fit in well with the cast and his character, Officer Steve MacLeish, was fairly popular with fans, ratings took a mild dip and the studio gave into Estrada’s demands. He returned midway through the season and Jenner’s character simply disappeared.

A Talk With Robert Pine

This September, the popular 70's crime drama will celebrate its 35th anniversary. 35 years ago, on September 15th, 1977, the

 show premiered. To commemorate, let's take a look back to an interview I did with Robert Pine (yes, as a matter of fact he is Chris Pine's dad!) for the show's 30th Anniversary in 2007:

 

On September 15, 1977, NBC premiered a new show called “CHiPs”. It’s premise was simple enough: two handsome young California Highway Patrol officers patrol the freeways of 1970’s Los Angeles, catching the bad guys and getting the girls. Throw in some spectacular car crashes and you have a hit! CHiPs ran for 6 seasons and made Erik Estrada THE heartthrob of the 70’s. I recently had the chance to talk to one of the show’s stars, Robert Pine (Sgt Joe Getraer). 

September will mark 30 years since CHiPs premiered. How do you feel about that? Does it seem that long? Have you seen any of the episodes since the show ended?