Miami Vice

Miami Vice is an American television series produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The show became noted for its heavy integration and use of music and visual effects to tell a story. The series starred Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989. The USA Network would later broadcast an unaired episode during its syndication run of the series on January 25, 1990.

Unlike standard police procedurals, the show drew heavily upon 1980s New Wave culture and music. It is recognized as one of the most influential television series of all time. People Magazine stated that Miami Vice "was the first show to look really new and different since color TV was invented." The series currently airs on the Sleuth network in the United States, MBC Action in the Arab World, Men & Motors in the United Kingdom and TV7 in Bulgaria. As of February 2008, NBC has begun to post Miami Vice episodes online every Wednesday, with the option to download for a fee.

Michael Mann went on to direct a film adaptation of the television series, which was released on July 28, 2006.


The head of NBC's Entertainment Division, Brandon Tartikoff, wrote a brainstorming memo that simply read "MTV cops", and later presented the memo to series creator Anthony Yerkovich, formerly a writer and producer for Hill Street Blues. Yerkovitch indicated that he devised the concept after learning about asset forfeiture statutes that allow law enforcement agencies to confiscate the property of drug dealers for official use. The initial idea was for a movie about a pair of vice cops in Miami. Yerkovich then turned out a script for a two-hour pilot, titled "Gold Coast", but later renamed, Miami Vice. Yerkovich was immediately drawn to South Florida as a setting for his new-style police show. Miami Vice was one of the first American network television programs to be broadcast in stereophonic sound.


In keeping with the show's namesake, most episodes focus on combating drug trafficking and prostitution. Episodes more often than not end in a large gun battle, claiming the lives of several criminals before they can be apprehended. An undercurrent of cynicism and futility underlies the entire series; The detectives repeatedly reference the "whack-a-mole" nature of drug interdiction, with its parade of drug cartels to replace those that are brought to justice. Co-Executive producer Anthony Yerkovich explained:

The choice of music and cinematography borrowed heavily from the emerging New Wave culture of the 1980s. As such, segments of each episode of Miami Vice resemble a protracted music video. As Lee H. Katzin, one of the show's directors, remarked, "The show is written for an MTV audience, which is more interested in images, emotions and energy than plot and character and words." These elements made the series into an instant hit, and in its first season saw an unprecedented 15 Emmy Award nominations. While the first few episodes contain elements of a standard police procedural, the producers soon abandoned them in favor of a more distinctive style. Of the many different production aspects of the show, "no earth tones" were allowed to be used. A director of Miami Vice, Bobby Roth, recalled:


Nick Nolte was considered for the role of Sonny Crockett, but since it was not lucrative for film stars to venture into television at the time, other candidates were looked at. Larry Wilcox, of CHiPs, was also a candidate for the role of Crockett, but the producers felt that going from one police role to another was not going to be a good fit. After dozens of candidates and twice delayed pilot shooting, Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas were chosen as the vice cops. For Johnson, at the time 35, NBC had particular doubts about his several earlier unsuccessful pilots he starred in. After two seasons, Johnson threatened to walk from the series. The network was ready to replace him with Mark Harmon who had recently departed St. Elsewhere but Johnson relented and continued with the series until its end.


Many episodes of Miami Vice were filmed in the South Beach section of Miami Beach, an area which, at the time, was blighted by poverty and crime. Some street corners of South Beach were so run down that the production crew actually decided to repaint the exterior walls of some buildings before filming. The crew went to great lengths to find the correct settings and props. Bobby Roth recalled:

Miami Vice is to some degree credited with causing a wave of support for the preservation of Miami's famous Art Deco architecture in the mid-to-late 1980s; quite a few of those buildings (among them many beachfront hotels) have been renovated since filming, making that part of South Beach one of South Florida's most popular places for tourists and celebrities.


Miami Vice is noted for its innovative use of music, particularly countless pop and rock hits of the 1980s and the distinctive, synthesized instrumental music of Jan Hammer. While other television shows utilized made-for-TV music, Miami Vice would spend $10,000 or more per episode to buy the rights to original recordings. Getting your song played on Miami Vice was a boost to record labels and artists. In fact newspaper, such as USA Today, would let readers know the songs that would be featured that week. Among the many well-known bands and artists who contributed their music to the show were a-ha, Devo, Jackson Browne, Meat Loaf, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, ZZ Top, Dire Straits, Depeche Mode, The Hooters, Iron Maiden, Godley and Creme, Cory Hart, Glenn Frey, U2, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Foreigner, The Police, Red 7, Laura Branigan, Ted Nugent, Suicidal Tendencies, The Damned, and Billy Idol. Several artists even guest-starred in episodes, including Phil Collins, Miles Davis, The Power Station, Glenn Frey, Willie Nelson, Ted Nugent, Frank Zappa, and Sheena Easton. An iconic scene from Miami Vice involves Crockett and Tubbs driving through Miami at night to Phil Collins' hit song "In the Air Tonight". A later hit by Collins, "Take Me Home", was used in the premiere of the show's second season, and the Genesis (band) track Land of Confusion was used in the series' finale episode "Freefall". Jan Hammer credits executive producer Michael Mann for allowing him great creative freedom in underscoring Miami Vice. The collaboration resulted in memorable instrumental pieces, including the show's title theme, which climbed to the top of the U.S. Billboard charts in November 1985, the first television show theme to do so since Peter Gunn; No television theme nor instrumental track have ascended to the top of the Billboard singles chart since. The Miami Vice original soundtrack, featuring Jan Hammer's #1 hit theme song and Glenn Frey's "You Belong to the City" (a #2 hit), stayed on the top of the U. S. album chart for 11 weeks in 1985, making it the most successful TV soundtrack at the time. The Miami Vice Theme was so popular that is also garnered two Grammy awards in 1986. "Crockett's Theme", another recurring tune from the show, became a #1 hit in several European countries in 1987.

During the show's run, three official soundtrack albums with original music from the episodes were released. Hammer has released several albums with music from the series; among them are Escape from Television (1987), Snapshots (1989) and, after countless requests from loyal fans, Miami Vice: The Complete Collection (2002).


The clothes worn on Miami Vice had a significant influence on men's fashion. They popularized, if not invented, the "T-shirt under Armani jacket"-style, and popularized Italian men's fashion in the United States. Don Johnson's typical lineup of Italian sport coat, T-shirt, white linen pants, and slip-on sockless loafers became a hit. Even Crockett's perpetually unshaven appearance sparked a minor fashion trend, inspiring men to wear a small amount of beard stubble, also known as a five o'clock shadow (or "designer stubble") at all times. On an average episode, Crockett and Tubbs wore five to eight different outfits, appearing in shades of pink, blue, green, peach, fuchsia and the show's other "approved" colors. Designers such as Vittorio Ricci, Gianni Versace, and Hugo Boss were consulted in keeping the male leads looking trendy. Costume designer Bambi Breakstone, who traveled to Milan, Paris, and London in search of new clothes, testified that, "The concept of the show is to be on top of all the latest fashion trends in Europe". Jodi Tillen, the costume designer for the first season, along with Michael Mann set the stylistic agenda. The abundance of pastel colors on the show was reflected in Miami's Art-deco architecture.

During its five-year run, consumer demand for unconstructed blazers, shiny fabric jackets, and lighter pastels increased. After Six formal wear even created a line of Miami Vice dinner jackets, Kenneth Cole introduced Crockett and Tubbs shoes, and Macy's opened a Miami Vice section in its young men's department. Crockett also boosted Ray Ban's popularity by wearing a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer (Model L2052, Mock Tortoise), which increased sales of Ray Ban's to 720,000 units in 1984. In the spring of 1986, an electric razor became available called the Stubble Device, that allowed users to have a beard like Don Johnson's character. Initially, it was named the Miami Device by Wahl Clipper Corp., but in the end the company wanted to avoid a trademark infringement lawsuit from the show's producers and opted to change the name of the device. Many of the styles popularized by the TV show, such as the t-shirt under pastel suits, no socks, rolled up sleeves, and Ray-Ban sunglasses, have today become the standard image of 1980s culture. The influence of Miami Vice's fashions continued into the early 1990s, and to some extent still persists today.


Miami Vice also popularized certain brands of firearms and accessories. Galco International named its gun holster the "Miami Classic" following its use by Don Johnson on the show. After Johnson became dissatisfied with his gun holster, the Jackass Leather Company (later renamed Galco International) sent their president, Rick Gallagher, to personally fit Don Johnson with an "Original Jackass Rig", which would later be renamed the Galco "Miami Classic".

The Bren Ten, manufactured by Dornaus & Dixon, was a stainless-steel handgun used by Don Johnson during Miami Vice's first season. It remained Crockett's sidearm throughout season two, until Dornaus & Dixon went out of business in 1986. Smith & Wesson was offered a contract to outfit Johnson's character with a S&W Model 645 during season three.


Two automobiles became very noteworthy during Miami Vice; the Ferrari Daytona and Testarossa. During the first two seasons and two episodes of the third season, Detective Sonny Crockett drove a black 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4. Actually, the car was not a Ferrari, but a kit replica based on a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette C3 chassis. The car was fitted with Ferrari-shaped body panels by specialty car manufacturer McBurnie. Once the car gained notoriety, Enzo Ferrari filed a lawsuit demanding that McBurnie and others cease producing and selling Ferrari replicas, because they were taking his name and styling. As a result, the vehicle lasted until season 3, at which point it was blown to pieces in the season three premiere episode, "When Irish Eyes Are Crying". The fake Ferraris were removed from the show, with Enzo Ferrari donating two brand new 1986 Testarossas as replacements.

Carl Roberts, who had previously worked on the Daytona kitcars, offered to build the stunt car. Roberts decided to use 1972 De Tomaso Pantera, which had the same wheelbase as the Testarossa and thus was perfect for the body pieces. The vehicle was modified to withstand daily usage on-set, and continued to be driven until the series ended. While Miami Vice did receive two new Ferraris, it also used a third Testarossa, which was the stunt car.

Crockett's partner, Ricardo Tubbs, drives a 1963 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Convertible. Stan Switek drove a turquoise 1963 Ford Thunderbird. Gina Calabrese drove an 1971 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible. When Stan and Larry were undercover, they drove a Dodge Ram Van. Other notable vehicles that appeared in Miami Vice included, brands such as Lamborghini, AMG Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Maserati, Lotus, DeLorean, Porsche, and Corvettes. American muscle cars, such as the GTO, Trans Am, Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, or a Plymouth Barracuda also made appearances.


Throughout the entire series, Sonny Crockett lived on an Endeavour 42 sailboat named the St. Vitus' Dance (in the pilot episode, he is seen on an Endeavor 40). Crockett also pilots a 39 foot Chris Craft Stinger 390 in the first season, and a Wellcraft 38 Scarab KV for the remainder of the show. The Scarab 38 KV was a 28-hued, twin 440-hp boat that sold for $130,000 in 1986.

As a result of the attention the Scarab 38 KV garnered on Miami Vice, Wellcraft received "an onslaught of orders", increasing sales by 21% in one year alone. In appreciation, Wellcraft gave Don Johnson an exact duplicate of the boat as a gift. Afterward, Johnson was frequently seen arriving to work in it.

In total, six real-life Scarab 38KV TV-boats were built, including the one given to Don Johnson. The latter boat has been confiscated twice by the IRS in Finland and currently is restored by a caring owner. Three others are located in New Jersey, (2nd season boat) "the Camera boat" in Norway, and the last one, which can only be seen for one still clip during the 5th season, is currently in Germany. Altogether, 100 copies of the boat (dubbed the "Scarab 38KV Miami Vice Edition") were built by Wellcraft. The Miami Vice graphics could also have been ordered on any other Scarab from 20-38 feet. Don Johnson also designed the 43 ft Scarab Don Johnson Signature Series, and he raced a similar one.


Episode scripts were loosely based on actual crimes that occurred in Miami over the years. (Example: "Out Where the Buses Don't Run", 1985.) During its course, the series also took a look at controversial political issues like the Northern Ireland conflict, the drug war in South America (e.g. "Prodigal Son"), several episodes drawn on the Miami River Cops scandal (a real police corruption ring that involved narcotic thefts, drug dealing and murders), as well as several episodes Cuban exile guerrillas and drug trafficking, U.S. support of anti-communist generals and dictators in Southeast Asia and South America, regardless of their human rights records.

Personal issues also arose: Crockett divorced from his wife Caroline (Belinda Montgomery) early in the series, and later his second wife Caitlin Davies (Sheena Easton) was killed by one of his enemies. In the three episodes "Mirror Image", "Hostile Takeover," and "Redemption in Blood", a concussion caused by an explosion caused Crockett to believe he was his undercover alter ego Sonny Burnett, a drug dealer. Tubbs had a running, partly personal vendetta with the Calderone family, a member of which had ordered the death of his brother Rafael, a New York City police detective.

In the first seasons the tone was often very light, especially when comical characters such as Noogie (Charlie Barnett) and Izzy (Martin Ferrero) appeared. Later on, the content was almost always quite dark and cynical, with Crockett and Tubbs also having to fight corruption. Typically the darker episodes had no denouement, each episode ending abruptly immediately after a climax that almost always involved violence and death, often giving the episodes, especially in later seasons, a despairing and sometimes nihilistic feel despite the trademark glamour and conspicuous wealth. Given its idiosyncratic "dark" feel and touch, Miami Vice is frequently cited as an example of made-for-TV Neo-noir. Michael Mann, who served as executive producer for the majority of the show's five-year run, is often credited with being one of the most influential Neo-noir directors.


The show's popularity began to sag at the beginning of third season (1986–1987). The show was placed on the same time slot as CBS' Dallas, which resulted in hurting both shows.

Michael Mann's decision to give the show a darker, grittier look, feel and touch — a definite change from the often lighthearted tone of the first two seasons — that involved darker, non-pastel wardrobes for the protagonists. Loyal fans were miffed at the series' new look and began to turn away, which led to the reintroduction of pastels for the fourth season (1987–1988).

The original writers for the series left by the fourth season. There was a love affair between Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Caitlin Davies (Sheena Easton), and a plot with Crockett getting amnesia (in which he mistakes himself for his drug dealer alter- ego, and becomes a hitman). Jan Hammer departed from the series at the end of the fourth season. Tim Truman became his successor, but to many fans, it meant a farewell to yet another idiosyncratic element of the show's style. And thus production costs per episode increased, popularity and revenue plummeted.

Michael Mann handed the role of executive producer to Dick Wolf prior to the beginning of the third season (1986-1987). Wolf had the show focus on real-life issues like the problems in Northern Ireland. Michael Mann left to focus working on his new television series, Crime Story. The fifth season (1988–1989) took the show on a more serious tone, with storylines becoming dark and gritty — enough so that even some of the most loyal fans were left scratching their heads. As the fifth season began, Olivia Brown recalled, "The show was trying to reinvent itself. Dick Wolf recalls in an interview for E! True Hollywood Story, after the fifth season, it was all just "...kind of over", and that the show had simply "run its course".


Main characters

  • Don Johnson as Detective James "Sonny" Crockett: A Sergeant of the Metro-Dade Police Department and an undercover detective. A former University of Florida Gators football star, he sustained a injury which put an end to his sports career. He was subsequently drafted by the U.S Army and served 2 tours in Vietnam, or as he calls it, "Southeast Asia Conference". In 1974, he became a Metro-Dade uniformed patrol officer, and later an undercover detective of the Vice Unit. Crockett's alias is Sonny Burnett, a drug runner and middleman. His vehicles include a Ferrari Daytona Spyder (later a Ferrari Testarossa), a "Scarab" offshore power-boat, and a sailboat on which he lives with Elvis, his pet alligator.
  • Philip Michael Thomas as Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs: A former New York police detective who travels to Miami as part of a personal vendetta against Calderone, the man who murdered his brother. After temporarily teaming up with Crockett, Tubbs follows his friend's advice and "transfers to a career in Southern law enforcement". He joins the Miami department and becomes Crockett's permanent partner. He often poses as Rico Cooper, a wealthy buyer from out of town.
  • Edward James Olmos as Lieutenant Martin Castillo: He replaces the slain Rodriguez as head of the OCB. A very taciturn man, Castillo lives a reclusive life outside of work. He was formerly a DEA agent in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. During his time as an agent, he opposed the CIA in endorsing the trafficking of heroin to finance their overseas operations.
  • Saundra Santiago as Detective Gina Navarro Calabrese: A fearless female detective, who after Crockett's divorce, held a brief romance with him. Even after their relationship did not progress, they still have a strong friendship.
  • Olivia Brown as Detective Trudy "Big Booty" Joplin: Gina's patrol partner. Though tough, Trudy sometimes struggles to face consequences of her job, such as when she shot and killed a man. Later in the series she has an encounter with an UFO and an alien portrayed by James Brown.
  • Michael Talbott as Detective Stanley "Stan" Switek: A fellow police detective and good friend to Larry. Although a good policeman, later on in the series, he falls prey to a gambling addiction. He is also a big fan of Elvis.
  • John Diehl (1984-1987) as Detective Lawrence "Larry" Zito: A detective and Switek's surveillance partner. He was killed in the line of duty when a drug dealer gave him a fatal drug overdose. Diehl enjoyed being on Vice but wanted to leave the show opting for a more creative opportunity in theater.
  • Gregory Sierra (1984) as Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez: A police Lieutenant who serves as commander of the Vice Unit. He is killed in the fourth episode by an assassin hired to kill Crockett.

Recurring characters

  • Martin Ferrero as Isidore "Izzy" Moreno: A petty criminal and fast talker, Izzy is always known for getting into quick money schemes and giving Crockett and Tubbs the latest information from the street.
  • Charlie Barnett as Nugart Neville "Noogie" Lamont: A friend of Izzy's and informant for Crockett and Tubbs.
  • Sheena Easton (1987-1988) as Caitlin Davies-Crockett: A pop singer who is assigned a police bodyguard, Crockett, for her testimony in a racketeering case. While protecting Caitlin, Sonny falls in love with her and they get married. Following their marriage, Caitlin is killed by one of Crockett's former nemeses.
  • Pam Grier as Valerie Gordon: A New York Police Department Officer and on-and-off love interest of Tubbs.
  • Belinda Montgomery as Caroline Crockett/Ballard: Crockett's former wife who moves to Georgia to remarry and raise her and Sonny's child, Billy.

Guest appearances

Many notable actors, actresses, musicians, comedians, athletes, celebrities, appeared through out the shows five season run. They played many different roles from drug dealer to undercover cops to madams. The full list can be seen at the link above, as this is just a partial list. Notable musicians include Sheena Easton, Willie Nelson, Gene Simmons, and Ted Nugent Additionally Glenn Frey, Frank Zappa, Phil Collins, Miles Davis, Frankie Valli, Little Richard, James Brown, Leonard Cohen, the band Power Station, and Eartha Kitt.

Other notable personalities included auto executive Lee Iacocca and Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy. Athletes included legendary Boston Celtics center Bill Russell, Bernard King, Racecar driver Danny Sullivan, and boxers Roberto Durán, and Randall "Tex" Cobb.

Notable actors of that time included Dean Stockwell, Pam Grier, Clarence Williams III, and Brian Dennehy.

Most of the show involved guest appearances from up-and-coming actors and actresses. They include: Dennis Farina, Stanley Tucci, Jimmy Smits, Bruce McGill, David Strathairn, Ving Rhames, Liam Neeson, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bruce Willis, Ed O'Neill, and Julia Roberts. Additionally Michael Madsen, Ian McShane, Bill Paxton, Luis Guzmán, Kyra Sedgwick, Esai Morales, Terry O'Quinn, Wesley Snipes, John Turturro, and Melanie Griffith to name a few.

Future notable comedians included: John Leguizamo, David Rasche, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Tommy Chong, Richard Belzer, and Penn Jillette.


Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Category Recipient(s)
1985 Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Anthony Yerkovich
Winner Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Edward James Olmos
Nominated Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Don Johnson
Winner Outstanding Film Sound Editing for a Series Bruce Bell, Sound Editor; Jerry Sanford Cohen, Music Editor; Victor B. Lackey, Sound Editor; Ian MacGregor-Scott, Sound Editor; Carl Mahakian, Sound Editor; Chuck Moran, Supervising Sound Editor; John Oettinger, Sound Editor; Bernie Pincus, Sound Editor; Warren Smith, Sound Editor; Bruce Stambler, Sound Editor; Mike Wilhoit, Sound Editor; Paul Wittenberg, ADR Editor; Kyle Wright, Sound Editor
Nominated Outstanding Film Sound Editing for a Series Jerry Sanford Cohen, Music Editor; Scott Hecker, Sound Editor; John A. Larsen, Supervising Sound Editor; Harry B. Miller, III, Sound Editor; Robert Rutledge, Sound Editor; Norto Sepulveda, ADR Editor; Gary Vaughan, Sound Editor; Jay Wilkinson, Sound Editor
Nominated Outstanding Film Editing for a Series Robert A. Daniels, Editor
Nominated Outstanding Film Editing for a Series Michael B. Hoggan
Nominated Outstanding Drama Series Richard Brams, Co-Producer; George E. Crosby, Co-Producer; Michael Mann, Executive Producer; John Nicolella, Supervising Producer; John Nicolella, Producer; Liam O'Brien, Supervising Producer; Mel Swope, Producer; Anthony Yerkovich, Executive Producer
Nominated Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Lee H. Katzin, Director
Nominated Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Paul Michael Glaser, Director
Nominated Outstanding Costume Design for a Series Jodie Tillen, Costume Designer
Winner Outstanding Cinematography for a Series Bob Collins, Cinematographer
Nominated Outstanding Cinematography for a Series A.J. "Duke" Callaghan, Cinematographer
Winner Outstanding Art Direction for a Series Jeffrey Howard, Art Director; Robert Lacey
Nominated Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (dramatic underscore) Jan Hammer, Composer
Winner Grammy Awards Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group Or Soloist) - "Miami Vice Theme" Jan Hammer, artist
Winner Best Instrumental Composition - "Miami Vice Theme" Jan Hammer, composer
Winner Favorite: New TV Dramatic Program Miami Vice
1986 Winner Favorite: TV Dramatic Program Miami Vice
Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Edward James Olmos
Nominated Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series Rick Alexander; Anthony Costantini, Sound Mixer; Daniel Leahy, Sound Mixer; Mike Tromer, Sound Mixer
Nominated Outstanding Editing for a Series (single camera production) Robert A. Daniels, Editor
Nominated Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (dramatic underscore) Jan Hammer, Composer
Winner Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Edward James Olmos
Nominated Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama Philip Michael Thomas
Winner Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama Don Johnson
Nominated Best Television Series - Drama Miami Vice
1987 Nominated Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama Don Johnson
Nominated Best Television Series - Drama Miami Vice
1988 Nominated Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series Joe Citarella, Sound Mixer; Joe Foglia, Sound Mixer; Grover Helsley, Sound Mixer; Ray West, Sound Mixer
1989 Nominated Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Edward James Olmos


  • 1984–1985 season: # 28
  • 1985–1986 season: # 8
  • 1986–1987 season: # 22
  • 1987–1988 season: # 29
  • 1988–1989 season: # 33


Critics have objected to the shows usage of violence by dressing it with pretty photography. Others note that the coherent stories are full of drawn characters that have been junked in favor of the visual aspects and music. Civic leaders in Miami have also objected to the show's airing of the city's crime problems all across America. Most civic leaders however have been quieted due to the shows estimated contribution of $1 million per episode to the city's economy and boosting tourism to Miami.

At the 1985 Emmy Awards Miami Vice was nominated for 15 Emmy Awards, including "Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series", "Outstanding Film Editing", "Outstanding Achievement for Music Composition for a series (dramatic underscore)", and "Outstanding Directing". At the end of the night, Miami Vice only won four Emmys. The following day, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner could only conclude that the conservative Emmy voters (at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) simply refused to recognize an innovative new series that celebrated hedonism, violence, sex, and drugs.

Impact on popular culture

Miami Vice was one ground breaking police programs of the 1980s, and one of the best-known shows of the 1980s. It had a huge impact on the decade's popular fashions as well as setting the tone for further evolution of police drama. Series such as Homicide: Life on the Street, NYPD Blue, and Law & Order, though being vastly different in style and theme from Miami Vice, followed its lead in breaking the genre's mold; Dick Wolf, creator & producer of Law & Order, was a writer & later executive producer of Miami Vice. Although sometimes heavily disputed by their producers, the movies Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys 2 (2003) borrowed heavily on the concept of two undercover cops in the glitzy, upscale yet seedy world of South Florida law enforcement.

The show has been so influential that the style of Miami Vice has often been borrowed or alluded to by much of today's pop culture in order to indicate or emphasize the 1980s decade. Its influence as a popular culture icon is still seen today, more than 20 years after appearing. Examples of this includes the episode "The One With All The Thanksgivings" from the American sitcom Friends. Flashback scenes from the 1980s in this episode shows the characters Ross and Chandler in pastel colored suits with rolled up sleeves like that of Sonny Crockett. Another more obvious example would be the computer and video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which was published by Rockstar Games and is set in a stylized 1980s Miami. Two undercover police officers appear in a police sports car within the game when three felony stars are obtained by the player. It is believed that the two officers (one white and one black) represent the two leading characters of Miami Vice. One of the main characters, Lance Vance, was actually voiced by Philip Michael Thomas. In the prequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, there are two officers in the multiplayer mode named Cracker and Butts a parody of Crockett and Tubbs; these characters share the same role as the undercover cops in Vice City

Many of the styles popularized by the TV show, such as the t-shirt under pastel suits, no socks, rolled up sleeves, and Rayban sunglasses have today become the standard image of 1980s culture. Ironically, people today will often recognize the decade's image, yet are unfamiliar with the TV show, despite it being the phenomenon that gave birth to the style in the first place.

However, it must be noted that pastels and the fashion accessories mentioned above were not emblematic of the entire decade, but that they stood for an era during the mid-eighties which lasted approximately two to four years. With the show's popularity notably waning around 1988 and different color schemes being adopted by the producers for the third season (1986–1987), "Vice"-themed, pastel-toned clothing went out of style, and fashion in general saw a departure from pastels and linen suits with the advent of bright, harsh neon colors, which became the next fad towards the onset of the 1990s. Likewise, the early 1980s were much more about earthtones in fashion and style.

The show also had a lasting impact on Miami itself. It sparked a revitalization of the South Beach district of Miami Beach, as well as other portions of the Miami area, and increased tourism and investment. The fact that Crockett and Tubbs were Dade County officers and not City of Miami police represented the growing notion of metro government in Miami. In 1997, a county referendum changed the name from Dade County to Miami-Dade County. This allowed people to relate the county government to recognized notions and images of Miami, many of which were first popularized by Miami Vice. The Dade County Sheriff's Office (which had changed its name to Metro-Dade Police department prior to the show) now became the Miami-Dade Police Department.

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all Miami Vice seasons on DVD for regions 1, 2, and 4. Seasons 1 & 2 were released in 2005, and seasons 3 through 5 were released in 2007. The DVD release of the series had been significantly slow due to one of the signature features of the show: the heavy integration of 1980s pop & rock music. The music was difficult to source the rights to and acquire permission to use. In the November 2004 announcement for the DVD release of the series, Universal promised that all original music in the series would be intact. On August 21, 2007 Universal announced the November 13, 2007 release of the complete series, with all five seasons on 27 single-sided DVDs. The seasons will be in their own Digipak-style cases, and the set is housed in a faux alligator-skin package. Seasons 1 & 2 will contain six single-sided discs, rather than the three double-sided discs in the initial release.

Title Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 Special Featues
Season One February 8, 2005 April 25, 2005 July 13, 2005 "The Vibe of Vice", "Building the Perfect Vice",
"Building the Perfect Vice", "The Music of Vice",
"Miami After Vice"
Season Two November 22, 2005 July 24, 2006 July 20, 2006 -
Season Three March 20, 2007 May 14, 2007 July 5, 2007 -
Season Four March 20, 2007 August 13, 2007 December 4, 2007 -
Season Five June 26, 2007 December 26, 2007 TBA -
Seasons One & Two N/A November 27, 2006 N/A N/A
The Complete Series November 13, 2007 October 8, 2007 TBA "The Vibe of Vice", "Building the Perfect Vice",
"Building the Perfect Vice", "The Music of Vice",
"Miami After Vice"


See also

External links

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