The iconic 80s TV series “Miami Vice” is one of NBC’s most popular shows of all time and it isn’t hard to see why. What’s not to love about two undercover detectives solving crimes and arresting bad guys? The drama, which ran from 1984-1989, has been replayed on our televisions for the last 25 years, but it turns out that we still don’t know everything about this classic show. Check out the most shocking “Miami Vice” secrets in the gallery below.
Jan Hammer’s Iconic Theme Tune
This epic theme song was a massive hit in the 80s – so much so it stayed at the top spot on the Billboard charts for 12 weeks in a row.
Some people claim that Brandon Tartikoff scribbled down these words on a napkin, and the show was born. However, creator Anthony Yerkovich disagrees and says he had the concept of “Miami Vice” in the pipeline for years.
The Meaning Behind The EGOT Necklace
Philip Michael Thomas claimed his EGOT necklace stood for Energy, Growth, Opportunity, and Talent, but most people assumed it was a self-fulfilling prophecy he strived to achieve in regards to an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.
The Meaning Behind The EGOT Necklace
In 1983, a year before “Miami Vice” came out, Anthony Yerkovich was the writer and producer of “Hill Street Blues.” Dennis Burkley played racist biker Sonny Crockett on “Hill Street Blues.”
The Real Sonny Crockett
Jeff Bridges and Nick Nolte both passed on the role of Sonny Crockett in order to focus on their own films. Gary Cole also auditioned for the part. Thankfully, Don Johnson was the man who bagged the part in the end and we can’t think of a guy more suited to the job.
It Was Supposed To Be A Movie
Originally the show was planned to be a feature film called “Gold Coast”. Clearly, it was too good to cram into a 90 minute film so, the series was born instead.
A Hit Song Was Featured In The Pilot
“In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins was featured in the pilot episode in a long montage, this was the start of a whole new era for tv shows.
John Leguizamo actually played two roles on the show, of two completely different characters. We shall leave you to pick out which ones…
Boys And Their Toys
Sonny Crockett was known for his fashion and his Ferrari. But it turns out his ‘Ferrari Daytona’ was actually a custom-built Corvette.
The Real Deal
The real Ferrari company got wind of the fake car and filed a lawsuit against the show’s creators. However, an agreement was rendered that the car maker supply the series with two brand new Ferraris, and the imposter was destroyed on the show.
A Hefty Paycheck
Vice was one of the most expensive series of the ’80s – the average cost of an episode was around $1.3 million. This was purely because the creators wanted everything to be authentic so they shot scenes in Miami and had music licensing rights.
After songs were featured on the show, the records in question noticeably saw a boost in sales. The Rolling Stones, U2, Eric Clapton, The Who, and others were able to showcase their hits thanks to the $10,000 music rights budget per episode.
The First Big Budget Television Show
Before it’s time it was unheard of to have tv dramas with such huge budgets. Miami vice started a new era.
The cast was ordered to pass a fire arm’s test before they were allowed to handle any guns on the set.
Sonny Crockett’s classic get up was his iconic t-shirt paired with an Armani jacket. This look changed the men’s fashion industry forever.
A Five O’clock Shadow
Don Johnson explained: “the stubble was born out of the character because it was intimated that he had been up partying with drug dealers for two or three days at a time. That was sort of an unspoken thing, which is why he was always unshaven and looked like he slept in his clothes.”
Tom Cruise brought Ray-Ban back from collapse by selling 360,000 pairs of sunglasses thanks to “Risky Business.” However, “Miami Vice” helped push the total passed 1.5 million by 1986.
A Done Deal
Don Johnson wanted out of the show after the second season. He didn’t negotiate a new contract and was a no show when they started filming again, but in the end, an agreement was made that made him one of the highest-paid actors in the 1980s.
No Bad Blood
Despite popular belief, there was never an onset rivalry between Don Johnson and Thomas. Although the two did not socialize much outside of work, Thomas told People, “I liked that Don was getting the publicity. I wanted the mystique. The bigger he got, the bigger we got.”
Philip Michael Thomas became a spokesperson for the Psychic Readers’ Network after the show ended. He sued them for violating his contract and in 2002 he won $2.3 million. Meanwhile, the network promoted Miss Cleo, who just passed away in the summer of 2016.
Getting Into Character
Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas were actually taken out by the real Miami Vice Unit in order to prepare themselves for their characters. Here they are pictured with the police chief.
Sonny Crockett’s alligator, Elvis, was actually the state college football team’s mascot.
All Good Things, All Good Things
Trudy’s nickname around the office was ‘Big Booty Trudy.’
It Put Miami On The Map