Visitors to Kenworth's booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show Friday got a chance to meet Lisa Thornhill, one of the stars of TNN's new show "18 Wheels of Justice."
The show, which also stars Lucky Vanous, Billy Dee Williams and G. Gordon Liddy, features Kenworth's T2000 Technology Truck from last year's Mid-America display.
Thornhill signed autographs for fans, some waiting over an hour to have her sign souvenir T-shirts and hats.
Thornhill plays Cie Baxter, a strong-willed technical wizard and overseer of the Kenworth T2000 technology truck. The T2000 co-stars in the series as the witness-protection program cover for trucker Chance Bowman (played by Lucky Vanous), while Baxter serves as Bowman's main contact.
Cie is a strong, intelligent woman, much like the actress who portrays her. "I'm not the type to wait for someone to come in and save me," said Thornhill.
Also on hand was Rhett Butler, owner of Rhett Butler Trucking in Andalusia, AL. Butler is one of several real-life trucking industry people who have had walk-on roles on the show. Butler's T2000 "Gone with the Wind" show truck also had a role, appearing as a backdrop for one of the "18 Wheels" segments. During filming, Butler and his wife met Vanous, Liddy, and co-star Carl Weathers.
During a press conference at the show, Kenworth officials spoke about how pleased they have been with the popularity of the show, which offers a mostly positive, if not always realistic, image of trucking. The Kenworth T2000 is definitely one of the stars of the show, getting more screen time than company officials ever expected.
The weekly TNN series debuted in January and airs on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET/PT), Friday (7 p.m. ET/PT) and Saturday (5 p.m. ET/PT) evenings. For more information, log on to www.18woj.com.
Photos: "18 Wheels of Justice" star Lisa Thornhill autographs one fan's shirt (top) and hugs trucking company owner Rhett Butler (bottom), who appeared on the show. Photos by Bette Garber.