Nash Bridges

Last updated

Nash Bridges
Nash bridges intro.jpg
Created by Carlton Cuse
Theme music composer
  • Elia Cmiral (original)
  • Eddie Jobson ("I Got a Friend in You")
  • Velton Ray Bunch
Ending themeVelton Ray Bunch
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes122 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Reed Steiner
  • Jed Seidel
  • Greg Beeman
  • Morgan Gendel
  • Frederick J. Lyle
  • Pattee Roedig
  • Burt Bluestein
  • David Calloway
Production locations
Production companies
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Picture format NTSC
Audio format Stereo
Original releaseMarch 29, 1996 (1996-03-29) 
May 4, 2001 (2001-05-04)

Nash Bridges is an American police procedural television series created by Carlton Cuse starring Don Johnson [1] and Cheech Marin as two Inspectors with the San Francisco Police Department's Special Investigations Unit. The series ran for six seasons on CBS from March 29, 1996, to May 4, 2001, for a total of 122 episodes.



Nash Bridges debuted on March 29, 1996 on the CBS television network. The show starred Don Johnson as the eponymous Nash Bridges, an inspector (and later captain) with the San Francisco Police Department's elite "Special Investigations Unit". As the show begins, he's in his 40s, twice-divorced, and dealing with a feisty teenage daughter, Cassidy (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). Nash convinces recently retired Inspector Joe Dominguez (Cheech Marin) to return to the force to partner with him. Nash and Joe cruise the streets of San Francisco in Nash's "curious yellow" 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible, a gift from Nash's brother Bobby just before Bobby left for the Vietnam War.

Bobby Bridges was reported as MIA, but turns up in the season 3 episode 'Revelations,' played by Jan-Michael Vincent. Nash's father Nick (James Gammon) suffers from mild dementia and has a habit of getting kicked out of nursing homes. He eventually moves in with Nash, and is often involved in comic subplots that are intertwined with some of the show's dark humor themes.

Aiding Nash in his police work is the technically savvy Harvey Leek (Jeff Perry), a middle-aged "Deadhead" (a diehard Grateful Dead fan), and young, hotheaded Evan Cortez (Jaime P. Gomez), who has an off-and-on, stormy relationship with Cassidy. In later seasons, other inspectors and supporting characters were added to and subtracted from the cast.

For the first sixteen episodes, the commander of the SIU was Lieutenant A.J. Shimamura (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), a character who was said to have returned to his native Hawaii after failing to be promoted to captain. Shimamura's departure opened the door for Bridges to be promoted to captain and given command of the SIU.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 8March 29, 1996 (1996-03-29)May 17, 1996 (1996-05-17)
2 23September 13, 1996 (1996-09-13)May 2, 1997 (1997-05-02)
3 23September 19, 1997 (1997-09-19)May 15, 1998 (1998-05-15)
4 24September 25, 1998 (1998-09-25)May 14, 1999 (1999-05-14)
5 22September 24, 1999 (1999-09-24)May 19, 2000 (2000-05-19)
6 22October 6, 2000 (2000-10-06)May 4, 2001 (2001-05-04)

Cast and characters

Cheech Marin (left) with Don Johnson. Nash Bridges' Cheech Marin and Don Johnson.jpg
Cheech Marin (left) with Don Johnson.




The show was produced and filmed on location in the San Francisco Bay Area. [2] The show shot on the streets of San Francisco including The Embarcadero and Piers 30 through 32. [2] Neighboring Treasure Island was used as the headquarters for the show. Hangar 2 on Treasure Island was the location of permanent sets including Nash's apartment [2] The show employed several hundred local workers including production crews and staff members, carpenters, electricians, set designers, grips, set dressers, props, scenic artists, location managers, costumers, drivers, cameramen, special effects, soundmen, makeup and hair stylists and production assistants. [2] Episode production was nearly $2 million per episode. [3] The show premiered on March 29, 1996 at 10:00pm on CBS. [4]

The show was produced by the Don Johnson Company and Carlton Cuse Productions in association with Rysher Entertainment for the first 4 seasons. [4] In 1999, Paramount Network Television took over Rysher's spot after acquiring that company.

The show used three different main theme songs during its initial run. Season 1 used primarily an instrumental piece written by Elia Cmiral. Seasons 2–5 used the theme "I Got a Friend In You" written by Eddie Jobson" and sung by Gigi Worth and is by far the most well known of the show's opening themes. Season 6 changed the theme again, using another primarily instrumental piece with a bit of a techno beat to it, this time written by Velton Ray Bunch. A fourth song, also written by Elia Cmiral which was Don Johnson's original choice, sometimes replaces the first season song in syndication.


The sixth season of Nash Bridges would be its last; however, the show was obtaining fair ratings from Nielsen. [3] Following its Friday night ratings battle (which it was losing to NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ), the show was canceled. [3] Paramount Network Television, which was producing the show, felt that its $2 million per episode production cost was just too much. [3] CBS was hoping to get a seventh season out of Nash Bridges, but that failed because Paramount wasn't willing to pay, [3] even though at the time, Viacom owned both CBS and Paramount.

"Don was already exploring other opportunities. Doing a TV series five days a week for as long as he did is an exhausting task. Don was ready to move on."

Elliot Mintz, Don Johnson's Publicist [3]

Another factor that led to the ending of the series was that Don Johnson wanted out. [3] Johnson was getting tired, and CBS and Paramount had enough episodes to put the series into syndication. [3]

Carlton Cuse went on to become the showrunner for Lost . Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof had started his television writing career on Nash Bridges. He sought out Cuse's advice on how to run Lost.


The show has aired in over 70 countries. It currently[ when? ] airs in the Middle East on MBC's newly launched Action block MBC Action, DR2 in Denmark, Crime & Investigation Network, WGN America, Universal HD in the United States, TV1 in Australia, 13th Street in The Netherlands and Universal Channel in Serbia and on CBS Action in the United Kingdom. The series currently airs on H&I every Monday from 11/10c to 8/7c as part of their "Day Shift" block.

Home media

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released the first three seasons of Nash Bridges on DVD in Region 1 in 2008/2009. [5] [6] As of September 2014, these releases have been discontinued and are now out of print.

On September 10, 2014, it was announced that Visual Entertainment (VEI) has sub-licensed the rights to the series from CBS in Region 1 and would release a complete series collection in early 2015. [7] It was subsequently released on November 18, 2014. [8] The 27-disc set contains all 122 episodes of the series. The complete series was reissued by VEI as a 22-disc set in November 2016 to coincide with the anticipated blu-ray release. [9]

VEI released the complete series on Blu-ray in November 2016 as a 16-disc set. [10]

On February 10, 2015, VEI released season 4 on DVD as a separate season set. They also re-released the first three seasons on DVD on March 3, 2015. [11]

In Region 4, Shock Entertainment has released the first three seasons on DVD in Australia. [12] [13] [14]

King Records is releasing all of the seasons on DVD in Region 2, specifically through the Japanese market. [15] [16] [17] [18]

DVD NameEp#Release dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
The 1st Season9October 14, 2008October 6, 2010March 9, 2010
The 2nd Season23March 3, 2009March 3, 2011May 12, 2010
The 3rd Season23November 10, 2009June 8, 2011July 7, 2010
The 4th Season24February 10, 2015September 7, 2011n/a
The 5th Season22May 12, 2015December 17, 2011n/a
The 6th Season22June 9, 2015 [19] [20] March 7, 2012n/a
The Complete Series122November 18, 2014n/an/a
The Complete Series (Reissue)122November 25, 2016n/an/a
The Complete Series (Blu-ray)122November 18, 2016n/an/a

Revival TV film

On July 18, 2019, it was announced that USA Network was working to revive Nash Bridges with series star Don Johnson reprising the titular role and serving as one of the showrunners for the project. It is planned to be a two-hour special which, if successful, could serve as a backdoor pilot for a revival of the series. The revival will follow Nash, still running the SFPD's SIU and working to adjust to a new boss and to the changes of San Francisco in the 2020s. [21] In May 2021 further casting for the television film was announced, with series stars Cheech Marin and Jeff Perry reported to return for the film along with Johnson. [22]

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