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Flashy & Trend-Setting "Miami Vice" Debuted 30 Years Ago

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Do you remember where you were 30 years ago tonight.  Possibly tuning into NBC for the premiere of a flashy new cop drama called "Miami Vice."

The pilot episode of this shoot-'em-series, "Brother's Keeper," aired on Sept. 16, 1984.

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The show is often credited for putting Miami on the entertainment and trend-setting map.

It also made Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas stars.

Don Johnson played James "Sonny" Crockett, an undercover detective of the Metro-Dade Police Department. A former University of Florida Gators football star and Special Forces and Vietnam War veteran, Crockett's undercover alias was Sonny Burnett, a drug runner and middleman.

Philip Michael Thomas played Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, a former New York police detective with a personal vendetta with drug lord Esteban Calderone, who had ordered the death of his brother Rafael, a New York City police detective. After temporarily teaming up with Crockett in the show's pilot episode, he became Crockett's permanent partner.

These two members of the Metro-Dade Police vice squad quickly became known for driving fast cars, wearing flashy pastel suits, all while taking down criminals, pimps, cokeheads and mob bosses.

And who can forget that Crockett also lived on a sailboat guarded by his pet alligator named Elvis.

Miami Vice drew heavily upon 1980s new wave culture and music and quickly became a hit, lasting five seasons before ending on May 21, 1989.



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