Influential Crime Drama Miami Vice First Airs on Television

Miami Vice, which influenced men’s fashion, as well as how police-related stories were told on television, premiered in U.S. on Sunday, September 16th, 1984.

The crime drama television series was created by former Hill Street Blues writer and producer Anthony Yerkovich. However, the show’s signature look and style was thanks to original producer Michael Mann, known for his stylish theatrical crime thrillers. Miami Vice stars Don Johnson as James “Sonny” Crockett and Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs, two Miami Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover, primarily in the dangerous drug trade. The ran ran for five seasons on NBC Television, from 1984 to 1989, first on Sunday evenings, and then later on Friday’s.

Miami Vice was a groundbreaking series in many ways. The show set the tone for the evolution of police procedural drama on television. Dick Wolf, the creator and executive producer of the Law & Order television franchise, as well as the FBI TV dramas, was a writer and later the executive producer of Miami Vice.

Additionally, the signature clothing worn on Miami Vice had a significant influence on men’s fashion of the era, including the brightly colored pastel suits, high-end jewelry and thin neckties. The show’s lead characters popularized, if not invented, the “T-shirt under Armani jacket”–style, and brought notice to Italian men’s fashion in the United States.

Finally, the show’s production boosted tourism and migration to the Miami area in the late 1980’s and into the ’90s, an area that was hit hard in the early 1980’s by real-life violence related to the South American trade trade.

Filmmaker Michael Mann directed a film adaptation of the series that was released in July of 2006.