Don Johnson is returning to the screen as his most popular character in a movie that will release Thanksgiving weekend this year. Before you think we are getting another run at the pastel-wearing, Ferrari-driving Sonny Crocket from Miami Vice, think again. No, Don Johnson is getting back into character as Captain Nash Bridges, the other cop he played in the late 90s. It should be a glorious return to the silly world of the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit. And he is bringing some old friends back into the fold as well.
The Nash Bridges movie will put Don Johnson back into the titular role and Cheech Marin is set to come back as Joe Dominguez as well. The two-hour movie will air on the USA Network with the idea being that a strong showing would put the series back in place for a new run on the network. Jeff Perry is also set to return as Harvey Leek who provided technical analysis and just general nerdiness to the show the first time around.
Nash Bridges ran for six seasons on CBS with 122 episodes in total. Episodes would feature Don Johnson and Cheech Marin cruising around the former’s Plymouth convertible, solving crimes and getting into general police procedural hijinks. It wasn’t necessarily a groundbreaking show by any means, but Johnson was able to carry over some of the devil-may-care vibes he had in the 80s on Miami Vice into this series. It was a fan favorite for years, slotting into a Friday night viewing schedule that saw it do decent numbers over the years.
This Nash Bridges revival has been kicking around for the last couple of years with word of the possible movie coming out in 2019. Nearly 20 years after the series went off the air, it looked like Don Johnson had the energy to return to the part. When it originally went off the air, the talking line was that the ratings weren’t up to par, but there were also rumblings that Johnson had simply grown tired of the role. Both things were likely true, making for a logical breaking point at the time. Now, all these years later there is a renewed energy around the project.
And that energy could carry over to the series coming back on a regular schedule. If Don Johnson and company are able to do solid numbers for this movie, a series order would be coming soon after. Consider the Nash Bridges movie something of a ratings’ trial balloon for everyone involved. If it lands with audiences who were fans of the show while also picking up some new eyeballs as well, we could be seeing quite a bit more of these characters.
For his part, Don Johnson has had some higher profile supporting roles in recent years. He was in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out as Richard Drysdale. And then he played Judd Crawford in HBO’s Watchmen. And after Nash Bridges, he’ll be alongside Michael Shannon in Shriver and then in Jeremy Saulnier’s Rebel Ridge.