B. J. and the Bear

Last updated
B.J. and the Bear
B. J. and the Bear cover.jpg
Genre Comedy
Created by Glen A. Larson
Christopher Crowe
Written by Glen A. Larson
Michael Sloan
Frank Lupo
Tom Sawyer
Christopher Crowe
Sidney Ellis
Rick Kelbaugh
Directed byGil Bettman
Bruce Bilson
Daniel Haller
Bruce Kessler
Christian I. Nyby II
Michael Preece
Charles R. Rondeau
Starring Greg Evigan
Claude Akins
Theme music composerGlen A. Larson
Opening themeB.J. and the Bear
ComposersWilliam Broughton
Stu Phillips
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes48 (list of episodes)
Executive producersGlen A. Larson
Michael Sloan
ProducersLester Wm. Berke
Joe Boston
Richard Lindheim
Robert F. O'Neill
CinematographyFrank Beascoechea
Charles Mills
Frank Thackery
Running time45–48 minutes
Production companies Universal Television
Glen A. Larson Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture formatColor
Audio format Monaural
Original releaseFebruary 10, 1979 (1979-02-10) 
May 9, 1981 (1981-05-09)
Related shows The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo

B.J. and the Bear is an American comedy television series which aired on NBC from February 10, 1979, to May 9, 1981. Created by Glen A. Larson and Christopher Crowe, the series stars Greg Evigan. The series was produced when the CB radio and trucking craze had peaked in the United States, following the 1974–1976 television series Movin' On, the number one song "Convoy" (1975) by C. W. McCall, as well as the films White Line Fever (1975), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Convoy (1978), and Every Which Way but Loose (1978).


The theme song, also titled "B.J. and the Bear", was written by Glen Larson and performed by Greg Evigan. [1]

Premise and storylines

Greg Evigan stars as Billie Joe "B.J." McKay, a professional freelance itinerant trucker who travels the country's highways in a red and white Kenworth K-100 Aerodyne (a COE semi truck) with his pet chimpanzee Bear (named after Bear Bryant, the famed football coach for the University of Alabama [2] ). In the pilot movie, it is stated that he had spent two years in Vietnam as a medical helicopter pilot, had been a captain and earned the Distinguished Service Cross. He was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam at the Hanoi Hilton for four months in 1973 after his helicopter went down over the DMZ. Episodes typically deal with B.J. uncovering or getting mixed up with crime in the area he's traveling through, and a local resident — usually, a young, beautiful woman — appealing to him for help.

A frequent guest star in the first season is Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo (Claude Akins, [3] who previously starred in the trucking series Movin' On ), whose character eventually spun off onto his own show The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo along with guest character "Waverly" Ben Cooper.

Two episodes in season two, Eyes Of Texas (1979) and The Girls On The Hollywood High (1980), were designed as prospective pilots for a series about a pair of private detectives called Heather Fern (Rebecca Reynolds) and Caroline Capoty (Lorrie McCaffrey in the first one, Heather Thomas in the second). The latter episode has cameo appearances from John S. Ragin and Robert Ito as their characters from Quincy, M.E. (also a Glen A. Larson series). [4]

In 1981, when the show returned for its third season with the two-part episode B.J. and the Seven Lady Truckers (not to be confused with the season two opener Snow White and the Seven Lady Truckers, also a two-parter), B.J. has settled down to run Bear Enterprises, a trucking company based in Los Angeles. His nemesis is Rutherford T. Grant (Murray Hamilton), the corrupt head of the state's Special Crimes Action Team, who is a secret partner in a competing trucking company. Because of Grant's harassment, B.J. is unable to hire experienced truckers, and is forced to hire seven beautiful young female truckers, consisting of Grant's daughter Cindy (Sherilyn Wolter), twins Teri and Geri (Candi and Randi Brough), no-nonsense Angie (Sheila Wills), Samantha (Amanda Horan Kennedy), Callie (Linda McCullough), and a busty blonde nicknamed "Stacks" (Judy Landers), along with a female dispatcher, Stacy (Susan Woolen). Though Universal has not yet released BJ And the Bear on DVD many gas have cleverly put it on DVD.


Pilot (1978)

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
"The Foundlings" Bruce Bilson Christopher Crowe & Glen A. LarsonOctober 4, 1978 (1978-10-04)

Season 1 (1979)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Odyssey of the Shady Truth" Christian I. Nyby II T: Michael Sloan
S/T: Kenneth Realman
February 10, 1979 (1979-02-10)
22"Shine On"Christian I. Nyby IIChris Lucky & Frank Lupo February 24, 1979 (1979-02-24)
33"A Coffin with a View" Ray Austin Michael SloanMarch 10, 1979 (1979-03-10)
44"Deadly Cargo"Cliff BoleMichael SloanMarch 17, 1979 (1979-03-17)
55"Never Give a Trucker an Even Break"Christian I. Nyby IIS: Richard Lindheim
S/T: Frank Lupo
March 24, 1979 (1979-03-24)
66"Lobo's Revenge"Bruce BilsonS: Glen A. Larson & Richard Lindheim
S/T: Michael Sloan
April 7, 1979 (1979-04-07)
77"The Murphy Contingent"Rod HolcombFrank Lupo & C. R. O. ChristopherApril 14, 1979 (1979-04-14)
88"Wheels of Fortune"Bruce BilsonGlen A. LarsonApril 21, 1979 (1979-04-21)
99"Crackers" Michael Caffey S: Glen A. Larson
S/T: Michael Sloan
April 28, 1979 (1979-04-28)
1010"Lobo"Bruce BilsonS: Michael Sloan
S/T: Glen A. Larson
May 5, 1979 (1979-05-05)

Season 2 (1979–80)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
111"Snow White and the Seven Lady Truckers: Part 1"Christian I. Nyby IIS: Glen A. Larson
S/T: Michael Sloan
September 29, 1979 (1979-09-29)
122"Snow White and the Seven Lady Truckers: Part 2"Christian I. Nyby IIS: Glen A. Larson
S/T: Michael Sloan
October 6, 1979 (1979-10-06)
133"Cain's Cruiser"Charles R. RondeauRobert L. McCulloughOctober 13, 1979 (1979-10-13)
144"Pogo Lil" Bernard McEveety Richard KelbaughOctober 20, 1979 (1979-10-20)
155"Cain's Son-in-Law"Charles R. RondeauFrank LupoOctober 27, 1979 (1979-10-27)
166"Run for the Money: Part 1"Bruce BilsonS: Glen A. Larson & John Peyser
T: Michael Sloan
S/T: Sidney Ellis, Frank Lupo & Robert L. McCullough
November 3, 1979 (1979-11-03)
Crossover story with The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo .
177"The Eyes of Texas"Bruce BilsonGlen A. LarsonNovember 10, 1979 (1979-11-10)
188"Mary Ellen"Frank BeascoecheaT: Sidney Ellis & Michael Sloan
S/T: Jimmy Sangster
November 17, 1979 (1979-11-17)
199"Gasohol"Charles R. RondeauS: Richard Bluel & Pat Fielder
T: Robert L. McCullough
November 24, 1979 (1979-11-24)
2010"B.J.'s Sweethearts"Jeff GoldMichael SloanDecember 1, 1979 (1979-12-01)
2111"Fly a Wild Horse"Christian I. Nyby IIRichard KelbaughDecember 8, 1979 (1979-12-08)
2212"Silent Night, Unholy Night"Vince EdwardsMichael SloanDecember 15, 1979 (1979-12-15)
2313"Fire in the Hole"Bruce KesslerS: Richard Kelbaugh
T: Sidney Ellis
January 12, 1980 (1980-01-12)
2414"Siege"Michael PreeceS: Glen A. Larson
S/T: Michael Sloan
January 19, 1980 (1980-01-19)
2515"Through the Past, Darkly"Charles R. RondeauS: Steven C. Kurzfeld, Glen A. Larson & Chris Lucky
T: Robert L. McCullough
S/T: Frank Lupo
January 26, 1980 (1980-01-26)
2616"Bear Bondage"Bruce KesslerS: Richard Lindheim
T: Frank Lupo & Robert L. McCullough
February 2, 1980 (1980-02-02)
2717"B.J. and the Witch"Charles R. RondeauSidney EllisFebruary 9, 1980 (1980-02-09)
2818"The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful"Christian I. Nyby IIRobert L. McCulloughFebruary 16, 1980 (1980-02-16)
2919"The Girls on the Hollywood High"Bruce BilsonS: Ron Friedman
S/T: Glen A. Larson
February 23, 1980 (1980-02-23)
3020"The 18-Wheel Rip-Off"Gil BettmanS: Sidney Ellis
S/T: Michael Sloan
March 22, 1980 (1980-03-22)
3121"The Friendly Double Cross"Keith AtkinsonS: Frank Lupo
T: Robert L. McCullough
March 29, 1980 (1980-03-29)

Season 3 (1981)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
"B.J. and the Seven Lady Truckers: Parts 1 & 2" Christian I. Nyby II Michael SloanJanuary 13, 1981 (1981-01-13)
343"The Fast and the Furious: Part 1"Christian I. Nyby IIRobert L. McCulloughJanuary 20, 1981 (1981-01-20)
354"The Fast and the Furious: Part 2"Christian I. Nyby IIMichael HalperinJanuary 27, 1981 (1981-01-27)
365"Intercepted Pass"Georg FenadyRogers TurrentineFebruary 3, 1981 (1981-02-03)
376"Down & Dirty"Michael PreeceRogers TurrentineFebruary 10, 1981 (1981-02-10)
387"Beauties and the Beasts"Christian I. Nyby IIStory by: Ken Pettus
Teleplay by: Robert L. McCullough & Tom Sawyer & Michael Halperin & Richard Christian Matheson & Thomas E. Szollosi
February 17, 1981 (1981-02-17)
398"Blond in a Gilded Cell"Christian I. Nyby IIRobert L. McCulloughMarch 3, 1981 (1981-03-03)
409"For Adults Only" Daniel Haller Tom SawyerMarch 10, 1981 (1981-03-10)
4110"A Bear in the Hand"Christian I. Nyby IIMichael HalperinMarch 17, 1981 (1981-03-17)
4211"Seven Lady Captives"Christian I. Nyby IITom SawyerMarch 24, 1981 (1981-03-24)
4312"S.T.U.N.T."Daniel HallerStory by: Michael Sloan & Richard Lindheim
Teleplay by: Michael Sloan
March 31, 1981 (1981-03-31)
4413"Who Is B.J.?"Peter CraneMichael SloanApril 25, 1981 (1981-04-25)
4514"Detective Finger, I Presume"Gil BettmanRobert L. McCulloughMay 2, 1981 (1981-05-02)
4615"The Two Million Dollar Hustle"David PhinneyStory by: Tom Sawyer
Teleplay by: Tom Sawyer & Robert L. McCullough & Michael Halperin
May 9, 1981 (1981-05-09)

Related Research Articles

<i>Knight Rider</i> (1982 TV series) 1982–1986 American television series

Knight Rider is an American action crime drama television series created and produced by Glen A. Larson. The series was originally broadcast on NBC from 1982 to 1986. The show stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a high-tech, modern crime fighter assisted by KITT, an advanced, artificially intelligent, self-aware, and nearly indestructible car. This was the last series Larson devised at Universal Television before he moved to 20th Century Fox Television.

Slim Pickens American rodeo performer, film and television actor

Louis Burton Lindley Jr., better known by his stage name Slim Pickens, was an American actor and rodeo performer. Starting off in the rodeo, Pickens transitioned to acting and appeared in several dozen movies and TV shows. For much of his career Pickens played mainly cowboy roles; he is perhaps best remembered today for his comic roles in Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles and 1941, and his villainous turn in One-Eyed Jacks.

Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction media franchise created by Glen A. Larson. The franchise originated in 1978 with the original television series, followed by a short-run sequel series, a line of book adaptations, original novels, comic books, a board game, and video games. A re-imagined version of Battlestar Galactica aired as a two-part, three-hour miniseries developed by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick in 2003. That miniseries led to a weekly television series, which aired until 2009. A prequel series, Caprica, aired in 2010.

Magnum, P.I. is an American crime drama television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator (P.I.) living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 during its first-run broadcast on the American television network CBS. Magnum, P.I. consistently ranked in the top twenty U.S. television programs in the Nielsen ratings during the first five years of its original run in the United States, finishing as high as number three, that for the 1982–83 season.

Glen A. Larson American TV producer and writer

Glen Albert Larson was an American musician, television producer, writer and director. His best known work in television was as the creator of the television series Alias Smith and Jones, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Quincy, M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, B. J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy, Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider. In addition to his television work, Larson also was a member of the folk revival/satire group The Four Preps.

<i>Adventures of Superman</i> (TV series) US 1950s television series

Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created in 1938. The show was the first television series to feature Superman and began filming in 1951 in California on RKO-Pathé stages and the RKO Forty Acres back lot. Cereal manufacturer Kellogg's sponsored the show. The first and last airdates of the show, which was produced for first-run syndication rather than for a network, are disputed, but they are generally accepted as September 19, 1952, and April 28, 1958. The show's first two seasons were filmed in black and white; seasons three through six were filmed in color.

<i>Manimal</i> American television series - 1983

Manimal is an American action–adventure television series created by Glen A. Larson and Donald R. Boyle, it ran on NBC from September 30 to December 17, 1983. The show centers on the character Dr. Jonathan Chase, a shape-shifting man who can turn himself into any animal he chooses. He uses this ability to help the police solve crimes.


Automan is an American superhero television series produced by Glen A. Larson. It aired for 12 episodes on ABC between 1983 and 1984. It consciously emulates the stylistic trappings of the Walt Disney Pictures live-action film Tron, in the context of a superhero TV series. The series was later shown in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Greg Evigan American actor (born 1953)

Gregory Ralph Evigan is an American film, stage, and television actor. He began his career in theater, appearing in the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar, followed by a stage production of the musical Grease, in which he portrayed the lead, Danny Zuko. Evigan made his feature film debut in Scorchy (1976), then was cast as the lead in the comedy series B. J. and the Bear, in which he starred between 1979 and 1981.

<i>The Fall Guy</i> American television series

The Fall Guy is an American action/adventure television program produced for ABC and originally broadcast from November 4, 1981, to May 2, 1986. It starred Lee Majors, Douglas Barr, and Heather Thomas as Hollywood stunt performers who moonlight as bounty hunters.

<i>Convoy</i> (1978 film) 1978 film by Sam Peckinpah

Convoy is a 1978 American road action-comedy film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young, Madge Sinclair and Franklyn Ajaye. The film is based on the 1975 country and western novelty song "Convoy" by C. W. McCall. The film was made when the CB radio/trucking craze was at its peak in the United States, and followed the similarly themed films White Line Fever (1975) and Smokey and the Bandit (1977). It was the most commercially successful film of Peckinpah's career.

Claude Akins American actor

Claude Aubrey Akins was an American character actor with a long career on stage, screen, and television. He was best known as Sheriff Lobo on the 1979–1981 television series B. J. and the Bear, and later The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, a spin-off series.

Masquerade is an American espionage television series that aired on ABC from December 15, 1983 until April 27, 1984.

The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo is an American action/adventure sitcom television series that ran on NBC from September 18, 1979, to May 5, 1981. For its second season the show was renamed Lobo. The program aired Tuesday nights, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. The lead character, Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo, played by Claude Akins, was a spin-off character from B. J. and the Bear, which also aired on NBC from 1979-1981.

<i>Movin On</i> (TV series)

Movin' On is an American drama television series. It ran for two seasons from 1974 to 1976 on the NBC network.

The Highwayman is an American action-adventure themed television series starring Sam J. Jones, set in "the near future." It was created by Glen A. Larson and Douglas Heyes. The pilot aired in September 1987, and was followed by a short-lived series of nine episodes, with significant changes to the cast and format, that ran from March until May 1988. It was summed up by many reviewers as a cross between Mad Max and Knight Rider.

Trucking industry in American culture

The portrayal of the trucking industry in United States popular culture spans the depictions of trucks and truck drivers, as images of the masculine side of trucking are a common theme. The portrayal of drivers ranges from the heroes of the 1950s, living a life of freedom on the open road, to the depiction of troubled serial killers of the 1990s. Songs and movies about truck drivers were first popular in the 1940s, and mythologized their wandering lifestyle in the 1960s. Truck drivers were glorified as modern day cowboys, outlaws, and rebels during the peak of trucker culture in the 1970s.

<i>American Trucker</i> American television series

American Trucker was a television show on the Speed cable channel. Hosted by Robb Mariani, the pilot episode featured Robb helping another mechanic restore one of the classic 1980 Kenworth K-100 Aerodyne trucks used in the TV show B. J. and the Bear, along with a short piece about the world's largest truck stop, the Iowa 80. American Trucker ran a total of 28 episodes across 2 seasons.

Outback Truckers is an Australian factual television series which looks at the Australian road-transport industry. It focuses on selected drivers and interesting personalities and shows the problems tackled by some sectors. The show is filmed mostly across Australia, but also takes detour in New Zealand and Weno, Micronesia. It originally screened on the Seven Network in 2012 and currently airs on 7mate. It has aired around the world on networks such as Quest TV (UK) and Discovery Europe. Season 8 is airing in Australia in May 2020.

<i>Nakia</i> (TV series)

Nakia is an American drama series starring Robert Forster about a Native American police officer in New Mexico. It aired from September 21 to December 28, 1974.


  1. Robinson, Mark (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. McFarland. p. 26. ISBN   9780786465170.
  2. Witbeck, Charles (June 24, 1979). "'BJ and the Bear': a silent interview with Sam the chimp". Chicago Tribune: J3.
  3. "Claude Akins; actor in classic movies". St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 4. 1994-01-28.
  4. Lee Goldberg, Unsold Television Pilots: 1955 through 1989, 1990, pp. 352-353, McFarland, ISBN   0-89950-373-X