The USA Network is reviving Nash Bridges for a two-hour TV movie which could potentially lead to a new run of episodes. Don Johnson is best known for his role in the legendary 1980s TV series, Miami Vice, and his effortless performance as James "Sonny" Crockett, a cool, cynical, bitter, and noir-tinged undercover cop helped the show achieve a level of fame which changed the television landscape forever.
In the 1990s, Johnson starred as the title character in Nash Bridges, a CBS procedural which offered a somewhat more lighthearted take on the buddy-cop genre. For six seasons from 1996 to 2001, Nash and his partner Joe Dominguez (Cheech Marin) patrolled the streets of San Francisco in a yellow 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, solving crimes in style. The show had a broad and varied tone, which could resemble a typical CBS procedural or delve deep into the personal drama of its characters, depending on the needs of any particular episode.
In a surprise announcement, the USA Network revealed their plans to bring back Nash Bridges as a two-hour TV special, according to THR. If successful, the tele-film may lead to a whole new season. Original star and producer Don Johnson is attached to reprise his role, though original showrunner Carlton Cuse is unable to take part, since he's currently locked into an exclusive contract with the ABC Network.
Fans of Nash Bridges appreciated the subtle, but deep contrast between Nash and Johnson's Miami Vice character, Sonny Crockett. Whereas Crockett was a Vietnam veteran who lost his innocence and institutional beliefs fighting an unjust war overseas, Nash never joined the military (his brother did, and was presumed killed in action, only to return as a heroin kingpin decades later). Nash had a somewhat more jolly disposition than Crockett; likely a result of his relatively more stable family unit,
While news of a Nash Bridges revival may come as a surprise to some, it's not totally unexpected. Seemingly concluded TV shows are being revived all the time, from The X-Files and Twin Peaks to Veronica Mars and Gossip Girl. Plus, Johnson has been having a career renaissance of late, with scene-stealing roles in movies like Django Unchained, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and Cold in July, giving him well-deserved respect in recent years. He'll next be seen in Rian Johnson's highly-anticipated Knives Out, as well as HBO's adaptation of Watchmen. In a fun twist of fate - or perhaps a natural evolution - the Watchmen HBO series is the brainchild of Damon Lindelof, who, incidentally, got his start writing episodes of Nash Bridges.
It remains to be seen how the Nash Bridges revival will pan out, but it's easy to forget just how huge of a hit the original series was back in its heyday, especially in the days before Netflix, DVR, and On Demand streaming. If a fraction of its original viewership tunes into USA, the network might just have a stellar hit on their hands.