Friday nights on NBC in 1984 was an action-packed triple play. The night started off with V - the weekly series based on the monster hit four-hour 1983 miniseries and its successful six-hour 1984 sequel V: THE FINAL BATTLE.V, the series, wasn't nearly as successful. I loved the first miniseries and the sequel, but the mix of sci-fi and soap opera just never seemed to gel. The coolest part of the original story was that when the Nazi-like aliens (Visitors) first arrived they seeked friendship, and then were slowly revealed to be evil lizards! Once that reveal happened, it just became humans vs. lizards week after week and audience quickly abandoned the show. That notwithstanding, ABC is reviving the series this season - yes V returns to the airwaves weekly on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. The 1984 series only lasted 19 episodes.
At 9PM, HUNTER, TV's answer to DIRTY HARRY, premiered and ran for 7 seasons, mercifully ending in 1991. Fred Dryer reprised the role in three TV-movies (1991, 2002 and 2003). An eighth season of HUNTER was then launched in 2003, but cancelled after only 3 episodes had aired.
At 10PM, it was time for "MTV Cops" also known as MIAMI VICE, the show that took network TV by storm. This was highly stylized weekly TV series that looked and sounded more like a feature film than anything on TV at the time. The show starred Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas as Crockett and Tubbs, two Florida detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons, from 1984–1989 and elevated reliable TV actor Don Johnson and his 5'o clock shadow to sex symbol status. "Sugar Walls" singer Sheena Easton joined the cast for the 1987-1988 season. Producer Michael Mann revisited detectives Crockett and Tubbs in 2006 with a feature film version of MIAMI VICE starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. I have never seen it, though my friend, director David Kittredge maintains that it is an excellent piece of film making. Tomorrow: Saturdays.