The show became noted for its heavy integration of music and visual effects to tell a story. The series starred Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989. Unlike standard police procedurals, the show drew heavily upon 1980s New Wave culture and music. It is recognized as one of the most influential television series of all time.
People magazine stated that Miami Vice "was the first show to look really new and different since color TV was invented.
As of February 2008, NBC has begun to post Miami Vice episodes online every Wednesday, with the option to download for a fee.