September 1984: "Miami Vice" Debuts on NBC

Brother's Keeper/Miami Vice/1984
Photo Credit
(NBC)

According to TV legend, Miami Vice was created during an NBC brainstorm meeting, during which the network's head of entertainment, Brandon Tartikoff, scribbled down the words "MTV cops" on a memo pad. On September 16, 1984, the results of that meeting culminated with the very first airing of the very first episode of Miami Vice.

RELATED: December 1985: When Phil Collins Guest-Starred on "Miami Vice"

That debut episode, a two-hour movie titled "Brother's Keeper," introduced the world to Miami vice cop, James "Sonny" Crockett (Don Johnson) and New York detective, Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas). Despite initially hating each other like any self-respective hothead cops, the pair would bond while chasing Columbian drug dealer, Calderone. By the end of the episode, Crockett and Tubbs almost catch Calderone, but see him fly away to safety at the last moment. That's when the dynamic duo realize that they were meant for each other, leading Tubbs to move to Miami and team up with Crockett.

The show came with flashy graphics, gorgeous scenery, bright colors and strong soundtrack. Among the music featured on that debut Miami Vice episode: Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me," and yes, Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight."

The debut Miami Vice episode was a critical and ratings success, kicking off one of the most popular TV shows of the decade. "Brother's Keeper" was even nominated for three Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series and Outstanding Film Sound Editing for a Series.

BONUS VIDEO: a rare behind-the-scenes the scenes clip from the making of the first Miami Vice episode:

 

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