May 1989: The Last Episode of "Miami Vice" Airs

MIAMI VICE -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Don Johnson as Detective James 'Sonny' Crockett, Philip Michael Thomas as Detective Ricardo 'Rico' Tubbs (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
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(NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

It was truly the end of an era of television: on May 21, 1989, the series finale of Miami Vice was aired on NBC. After reinventing the television landscape with its first season in 1984, and a strong second season, things began to slip with season number three.

RELATED: December 1985: The "Miami Vice" Soundtrack Takes Over America

It was the 1986-97 season when NBC moved the show from 10PM Fridays to 9PM on the same weeknight. That move pitted the show up against the red-hot Dallas on CBS. That was also the year went dark, moving away from the bright pastels that had become the show's signature look to more subdued wardrobe and backdrop. The shows ratings began to tank, as fans and critics alike bemoaned the show's new attitude.

By the time Miami Vice got to its fifth season, it was apparent to everyone involved that it would be the last. The show officially ended on May 21, 1989, with the two-hour finale, entitled "Freefall." There would be three more original episodes that the network rolled out over that summer, with a fourth being aired on the USA Network in 1990.

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