CHiPsis an action crime drama in a standard hour-long time slot, which at the time required 48 minutes of actual programming. Over-the-top freewaypileups, 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 byRick Rosner, and starredErik Estradaas macho, rambunctious Officer Francis ("Frank") Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello andLarry Wilcoxas 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 theCalifornia Highway Patrol(CHP, hence the nameCHiPs).
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.