1977 – “CHiPs” premieres

“CHiPs” was a light-hearted action adventure series that followed the adventures of two members of the California Highway Patrol, motorcycle-riding partners Ponch (Erik Estrada) and Jon (Larry Wilcox). The show was very formulaic, with almost every episode ending with a high speed vehicular chase that ended in a spectacular collision. Although the show destroyed cars at a rate that even John Landis would envy, and featured armed police officers in every episode, it was rare for a weapon to be un-holstered, let alone fired.

ChiPs ran for 139 episodes across six seasons from 1977 to 1983, with a reunion movie being released in 1999. In its day, it was one of the top-rating shows on television, and Erik Estrada, in particular, has become strongly associated with the show (to the exclusion of almost everything else in his career).

Referenced in:
TV Party — Black Flag