1977 - United States

An acronym for California Highway Patrol this US cop-series starred Erik Estrada as devil-may-care Officer Francis 'Ponch' Poncherello and Larry Wilcox as the more down to earth Officer Jonathan Baker. 

Together the twosome patrolled (on motorbikes) the highways and byways around the vast Los Angeles freeway system where the action was divided between enforcing the law and eyeing the City of Angels' foxy ladies. Typical of its time the series downplayed the violent aspect of a policeman's lot to concentrate on the 'human interest' and humorous elements of their work although the action was beefed up with auto-crashes galore. 

Estrada fell out with the studio over pay and was replaced by former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner as Officer Steve McLeish, but this proved a temporary absence and Estrada returned. However, Wilcox then left permanently (rumour has it the two stars never saw eye to eye) and in 1983 the series was cancelled. 

Michael Dorn, who would go on to find success in Star Trek: The Next Generation starred as Officer Turner from 1979 to 1982.

Published on December 3rd, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Get It Together

TV producer, Muriel Young, came up with the idea for a new TV pop music programme to follow on from her successful shows, Lift Off with Ayshea, the Bay City Rollers Shang-a-lang and The Arrows TV show.

Also released in 1977

Magnum PI

Thomas Magnum - a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, becomes a private investigator.

Also tagged Us Cops

Hill Street Blues

US police series based around the dangerous professional and private lives of the officers who worked out of the aging, dilapidated, Hill Street Stationhouse.

Also tagged Us Cops


When Marty Byrde's business partner is caught skimming money off a drug cartel's profits, it's Marty and his family who have to pay off the debt. Everyone else has been murdered...

Also tagged Us Crime Drama

The Professionals

Anarchy, acts of terror, crimes against the public. To combat it I've got special men - experts from the army, the police, from every service. These are The Professionals."

Also released in 1977

Lou Grant

A City Editor at a major Los Angeles newspaper goes after serious issues such as Vietnamese refugees, child abuse and gun control.

Also released in 1977


A gentleman thief burgles the rich.

Also released in 1977

Murder She Wrote

Mystery writer Jessica Fletcher investigates murders in the quiet community of Cabot Cove. A bit like Miss Marple, but with an American accent.

Also tagged Us Crime Drama

The Incredible Hulk TV series

After a scientist is exposed to gamma rays his body changes into a super-human rampaging 'monster'.

Also released in 1977