Miami Vice made stars out of Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, and Edward James Olmos, who won an Emmy as the intense, taciturn Lt. Castillo (watching him bust some martial arts moves in "Golden Triangle" is like Yoda cutting lose in Attack of the Clones), but the first season also offers time-capsule glimpses of actors on the cusp of stardom, including a pre-L.A. Law Jimmy Smits in the pilot, a pre-Crime Story Dennis Farina in "One-Eyed Jack," and a pre-Moonlighting Bruce Willis in "No Exit." Miami Vice put a neon sheen on cop-show convention. Its fashion sense (pastel suits, no belt, no socks), and the brilliantly employed freeze frames are still arresting.
To hear the opening beats of Jan Hammer's percussive, propulsive Miami Vice theme is to be instantly transported back to 1984. But this groundbreaking series, with its cinematic sensibility, cool clothes, and killer soundtrack is no mere blast from the past. It still rocks.
Cast and Characters
- Don Johnson as Detective James "Sonny" Crockett
- Phillip Michael Thomas as Detective Ricardo Tubbs
- Edward James Olmos as Lt. Martin Castillo
- Saundra Santiago as Detective Gina Navarro Calabrese
- Olivia Brown as Detective Trudy Joplin
- Michael Talbott as Detective Stan Switek
- John Diehl as Detective Larry Zito (1984-1987)
Broadcast HistoryFirst Telecast: September 16, 1984
Last Telecast: July 26, 1989
Original Network: NBC
Number of Seasons: 5
Number of Episodes: 111
Original Primetime TV Schedule:
- September 1984, NBC, Friday 9:00-11:00pm
- September 1984- May 1986, NBC, Friday 10:00-11:00pm
- June 1986- March 1988, NBC, Friday 9:00-10:00pm
- April 1988- January 1989, NBC, Friday 10:00-11:00pm
- February 1989- May 1989, NBC, Friday 9:00-10:00pm
- June 1989- July 1989, NBC, Wednesday 10:00-11:00pm
Theme Song & Opening Credits
Theme by Jan Hammer
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Miami Vice TriviaMany of the television critics who praised the show in its first season made reference to the series' music, a combination of songs by artists like Glenn Frey, Phil Collins and Kate Bush and original music by Jan Hammer, the former keyboardist for the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Frey and Collins made cameo appearances in some episodes of the series.
Crockett's Ferrari Daytona was actually a modified Corvette. Ferrari executives were so upset that this ersatz Ferrari was gaining such popularity that they offered to provide the series with their new flagship car, the Testarossa.
Sonny's undercover alias was "Sonny Burnett." Ricardo's became "Rico Cooper" except for the pilot episode, when his alias was "Teddy Prentiss," and some early first season episodes when he used "Richard Taylor."
All technical advisors for the show served with the real-life Miami Vice unit, and required that the cast members first pass the Florida Department of Law Enforcement firearms test before they could handle weapons on the set.