Oh, this is a treat. I haven’t made my through all of it yet, but there’s a YouTube playlist that features content from “The Renegades,” a 1982 action/drama series starring Patrick Swayze as Bandit (and also Kurtwood Smith, the dad from “That 70s Show”), the leader of a gang that, according to Wikipedia, is “given the choice of going to jail for their crimes” OR… “becoming a special police undercover unit.”
After the success of the movie The Warriors, Hollywood looked to take the youth gang concept and market it to TV. In 1981, Swayze did a TV show, Return of the Rebels, about an ageing [sic] motorcycle gang who get together to help a friend who owns a popular campground that is being threatened by a band of arrogant groupies. However the show didn’t catch on and was quickly cancelled.
Brother team Lawerence and Charles Gordon tried to market Swayze’s rebel look, combine the gang concept with a police angle and came up with The Renegades. It too didn’t do well and due to weak rating ABC pulled the show. [Wikipedia]
Wow, a gang forced to be cops? That’s hilariously moronic and yet undeniably awesome. Although it really goes to show you how much times have changed. Back in 1982, white people had gangs.