B.J. (Billie Joe) McCay was a good-looking young trucker who traveled around the country in his big red-and-white rig his pet chimp Bear (named after Bear Bryant, the famed football coach for Alabama, explaining the chimp's choice of headwear) . Although he logged a lot of miles, B.J. was based in rural Georgia, where he was confronted by a succession of corrupt local sheriffs - Elroy P. Lobo (who was later given his own series, Lobo), followed in the fall of 1979 by Sgt. Wiley of Winslow County and his two fellow lawmen, Sheriffs Cain and Masters. The only honest cop B.J. seemed to encounter was the Fox, who spent much of her time trying to trap the crooked local cops. Tommy was a lady trucker friend of B.J.'s and Bullets ran the local hangout, the Country Comfort Truck Shop.
Its second season in January 1981 (delayed several months by an actors' strike), B.J. had settled down to run a trucking business in Los Angeles called Bear Enterprises. For B.J., however, corruption seemed to follow wherever he went. His new adversary was Rutherford T. Grant, a corrupt politician who headed the state Special Crimes Action Team. Grant was a silent partner in TransCal, the largest trucking firm in the state, and stopped at nothing to stamp out potential competition. Because of Grant's intervention, B.J. found it impossible to get regular male truck drivers to work for him and had to settle for a crew of seven young, beautiful lady truckers including a pair of identical twins, and Grant's daughter, Cindy.
Seattle Washington indie rock group "Minus the Bear" derives their name from a joke referencing B.J. and the Bear. "A friend of the band had gone on a date,” explains singer-guitarist Jake Snider, "and one of us asked him afterwards how the date went. Our friend said, 'You know that TV show from the '70s B.J. and The Bear? It was like that... minus The Bear.' That’s the straight truth."
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