25 February 2005 | raysond
Friday Night Action Series from the mid-1980's!
"MIAMI VICE"-A Crime Drama Series Produced by Universal Television. Produced by Michael Mann. Number of Episodes Produced: 114 for NBC-TV. First Telecast of the Series: September 16,1984. Last Telecast of the Series: July 26, 1989.
NOTE: Michael Mann was also the show's creator as well as executive producer and sometimes head writer for several episodes,which he also directed. The series was filmed on location in Miami,Florida.
This show was one of NBC's Biggest Hits of the mid-1980's and it continued to remained so until the end of the decade. This show was a Friday Night Institution for five years of its run(1984-1989)and it went up against some tough competition including several shows that consisted of "Dallas","Falcon Crest",and others not to mention the newsmagazine "20/20",which was the prime-time lineup for Friday nights. The pulse and rhythm of a glamorous resort city of Miami,Florida was the juxtaposed against the seamy haunts of the drug underworld in this gritty action series,which made heavy use of rock music backgrounds and music video effects,not to mention some of the most violent content ever conceived for television happened on this show since it was shown later on Friday nights at the 10:00 hour. Sonny Crockett(Don Johnson)was a rough-edged Miami vice detective who lived on a sailboat called "St. Vitus' Dance",that was guarded by his dyspeptic pet alligator,Elvis,named after the singer Elvis Presley. Ricardo Tubbs(Philip Micheal-Thomas)was a black ex-New York street cop who had to come South to find the drug dealer who murdered his brother. They were an unlikely but effective team,working undercover on the flashy Gold Coast and down the seedy alleyways that made the city of Miami such a city of contrasts. Often they sped around town in Sonny's black Ferrari-Spider sports car(which was later upgraded to a state-of-the-art Ferrari Testarossa,custom-made just for the show). Lt. Castillo(Edward James-Olmos)was their moody superior,and Gina(Saundra Santiago)and her partner detective Trudy(Olivia Brown)were a hip female undercover team,while the other team consisted of Stan(Michael Talbott)and Larry(John Diehl)became the conventional backup.
The stylish,MTV-influenced series(music by rock composer Jan Hammer)was a smash hit that the show itself was one of the top-ten shows in the Nielsens for the first three seasons of its five year run,and was Emmy nominated twice,and transformed struggling actor Don Johnson into a major sex symbol,and made Philip Micheal-Thomas,who was an unknown actor at the time with several movies to his credit,became the heartthrob of fans.especially the women during the mid-1980's. It was also around the time the show was on the air,the soundtrack to the television series,Miami Vice,composed by Jan Hammer became a huge hit,and it was from the album that the show's theme song went on to win both the AMA(American Music Awards),and the Grammy for best instrumental score.
Getting to the character of Sonny Crockett,played by Don Johnson was an rough looking but cool as a cucumber with his expensive pastel sports jacket worn over a T-shirt,with stubbly beard,no socks,and an angry scowl started a fashion trend for those who were into the macho/grubbly look. Female characters on the show fawned over him-and usually got blown up or shot for their trouble. His partner,Ricardo Tubbs was the opposite,a clean cut individual who was always armed with weapons for any situation that came up and usually sometimes to bail Crockett outta a tight problem with some vicious murderer or ruthless drug lord. As for Crockett himself,he was a divorce widow who estranged wife and son were rarely seen,and later a quickie bride player by singer Sheena Easton appeared in several infrequently segments,occasionally as Caitlin Davies(for that one season during the 1987-1988 season)in the show's third season.
This hip-series attracted many famous celebrities,who were normally seen in TV acting roles to do cameos roles. This show had singers from the 1950's(Little Richard,Chuck Berry),the 1960's(James Brown,Eric Clapton),the 1970's(Patti LaBelle),the 1980's-a lot of music from that decade(Phil Collins,Tina Turner,Journey,Ted Nugent,Neil Young,Peter Gabriel,Gloria Esteban to rap groups like The Fat Boys and others)that really influenced this show. Other special guest stars included Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy,who made quite an impression in the role of a sneaky Real Estate broker;also seen fleetingly were such special guest stars as boxing promoter Don King,boxing champ Roberto Duran,comedian Tommy Chong,the chairmen of Chrysler corporation,Lee Iacocca,and the President of NBC-TV,Brandon Tarkioff,as a bartender!