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Original Run: 1984-89
Creator: Anthony Yerkovich
Stars: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago, Michael Talbott, John Diehl, Olivia Brown
Network: NBC
There is an urban legend that Miami Vice was birthed after NBC exec Brandon Tartikoff wrote the phrase “MTV cops” on a napkin and presented it to Hill Street Blues writer Anthony Yerkovich. Yerkovich has since dismissed this story, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more concise approximation of the show’s appeal. Starring Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas as a pair of Miami-based detectives, the show made police work look cooler and sexier than ever before. And while the show’s fashion trends and absurd storylines have not aged well, its cultural influence is impossible to deny. Not to mention, the pilot episode, directed by executive producer Michael Mann, remains one of the most compelling, and visually stunning hours in the history of the medium.

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