Nash Bridges

Nash Bridges

Nash Bridges season 5 title card
Genre Police procedural
Created by Carlton Cuse
Starring Don Johnson
Cheech Marin
James Gammon
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
Jeff Perry
Jaime P. Gomez (1996–2000)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (1996)
Mary Mara (1996–1997)
Kelly Hu (1997–1998)
Yasmine Bleeth (1998–2000)
Wendy Moniz (2000–2001)
Cress Williams (2000–2001)
Theme music composer Elia Cmiral (original, used to early episodes of season two)
Eddie Jobson ("I Got a Friend in You")
Velton Ray Bunch (season six theme)
Ending theme Velton Ray Bunch (season six)
Composer(s) Elia Cmiral (all season one)
Eddie Jobson (season two through five)
Velton Ray Bunch (final season)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 122 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Don Johnson
Location(s) San Francisco, California
San Francisco Bay Area
Running time 60 minutes
(with commercials)
Production company(s) The Don Johnson Company
Carlton Cuse Productions
Rysher Entertainment (1996–1999) (seasons 1-4)
Paramount Network Television (1999–2001) (seasons 5-6)
Original network CBS
Picture format 480i (NTSC)
Audio format Stereo
Original release March 29, 1996 – May 4, 2001

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

The show has aired in over 70 countries. It currently 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.


Nash Bridges debuted on March 29, 1996 on the CBS Television network. The show starred Don Johnson as the eponymous Nash Bridges, an Inspector (later Captain in season 4) 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 (played by Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). Nash convinces recently retired Inspector Joe Dominguez (played by 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 later seasons. Nash's father Nick (played by 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.

Aiding Nash in his police work is the technically savvy Harvey Leek (played by Jeff Perry), a middle-aged "Deadhead" (a die-hard Grateful Dead fan), and young, hotheaded Evan Cortez (played by Jaime P. Gomez, 1996–2000), who has an off-and-on, stormy relationship with Cassidy. In later seasons, additional Inspectors and other supporting characters were added and subtracted from the main cast. For the first nine episodes, the commander of the SIU was Lieutenant A.J. Shimamura (played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa in season 1-2 only), a character that was written off after he failed to be promoted to Captain. (The character was said to have returned to his native Hawaii.) Shimamura's departure opened the door for Bridges to be promoted to Captain, and given command of the SIU.


The show was produced and filmed on location in the San Francisco Bay Area.[1] The show shot on the streets of San Francisco including The Embarcadero and Piers 30 through 32.[1] 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[1] 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.[1] Episode production was nearly $2 million per episode.[2] The show premiered on March 29, 1996 at 10:00pm on CBS.[3]

The show was produced by the Don Johnson Company and Carlton Cuse Productions in association with Rysher Entertainment for the first 4 seasons.[3] In 1999, Paramount Network Television took over Rysher's spot after acquiring that company.

The show used 3 different theme songs during its initial run. Season 1 used a primarily instrumental piece. Seasons 2–5 used a musical piece most well known by the lyrics "I got a friend in you to lead me out of the cold." Season 6 changed the song again, using another primarily instrumental piece, written by Velton Ray Bunch, with a bit of a techno beat to it. A fourth song, written by First season composer Elia Cmiral and 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.[2] Following its Friday night ratings battle (which it was losing to NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), the show was canceled.[2] Paramount Network Television, which was producing the show, felt that its $2 million per episode production cost was just too much.[2] CBS was hoping to get a seventh season out of Nash Bridges, but that failed because Paramount wasn't willing to pay,[2] even though at the time, Viacom had owned both CBS and Paramount. Another factor that led to the ending of the series was that Don Johnson wanted out.[2] Johnson was getting tired, and CBS and Paramount had enough episodes to put the series into syndication.[2]

"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[2]

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.


Cast overview

Character Portrayed by Occupation Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Nash Bridges Don Johnson San Francisco P.D. Inspector/Captain Main
Joe Dominguez Cheech Marin San Francisco P.D. Inspector/Lieutenant Main
Nick Bridges James Gammon Nash’s father, longshoreman (retired) Main
Cassidy Bridges Jodi Lyn O'Keefe Nash’s daughter, student, San Francisco P.D. Officer Main
Harvey Leek Jeff Perry San Francisco P.D. Inspector Main
Evan Cortez Jaime P. Gomez San Francisco P.D. Inspector Main N/A
Lisa Bridges Annette O'Toole Nash’s first ex-wife, caterer Main N/A Guest N/A
Kelly Bridges Serena Scott Thomas Nash’s second ex-wife Main Guest N/A
A.J. Shimamura Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa San Francisco P.D. Lieutenant Main N/A
Bryn Carson Mary Mara San Francisco P.D. Inspector Main N/A
Michelle Chan Kelly Hu San Francisco P.D. Inspector N/A Main N/A
Catlin Cross Yasmine Bleeth San Francisco P.D. Inspector N/A Main N/A
Rachel McCabe Wendy Moniz San Francisco P.D. Inspector N/A Main
Antwon Babcock Cress Williams San Francisco P.D. Inspector N/A Main

Cast and characters

Cheech Marin (left) with Don Johnson (right).

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest stars

DVD releases

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released the first three seasons of Nash Bridges on DVD in Region 1 in 2008/2009.[4][4][5] 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.[6] It was subsequently released on November 18, 2014.[7] 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 of 2016 to coincide with the anticipated blu-ray release.[8]

VEI is releasing the complete series on Blu-ray in late 2016 as a 16-disc set.[9]

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.[10]

In Region 4, Shock Entertainment has released the first three seasons on DVD in Australia.[11][12][13]

King Records is releasing all of the seasons on DVD in Region 2, specifically through the Japanese market.[14][15][16][17]

DVD Name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The 1st Season 8 October 14, 2008 October 6, 2010 March 9, 2010
The 2nd Season 23 March 3, 2009 March 3, 2011 May 12, 2010
The 3rd Season 23 November 10, 2009 June 8, 2011 July 7, 2010
The 4th Season 24 February 10, 2015 September 7, 2011 n/a
The 5th Season 22 May 12, 2015 December 17, 2011 n/a
The 6th Season 22 June 9, 2015[18][19] March 7, 2012 n/a
The Complete Series 122 November 18, 2014 n/a n/a
The Complete Series (Reissue) 122 November 25, 2016 n/a n/a
The Complete Series (Blu-ray) 122 November, 2016 n/a n/a

The show is rated PG for Parental Guidance in Australia and PG in New Zealand for sex scenes.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hamlin, Jesse (May 17, 2001). "'Nash Bridges' canceled". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Goodman, Tim (May 18, 2001). "Why 'Bridges' was canceled: S.F.-based show losing ratings war". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  3. 1 2 James, Caryn (March 29, 1996). "TV WEEKEND;Sonny Crockett, but in San Francisco". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  4. 1 2
  6. VEI is Working on All 6 Seasons for 'The Complete Collection' on DVD!
  7. New Release Date, Art for 'The Complete Collection' 27-DVD Set!
  10. VEI to Release 'The 4th Season' Separately Later This Month!
  14. Nash Bridges Season Four-Amazon Japan
  15. Nash Bridges Season Five-Amazon Japan
  16. Nash Bridges Season Six-Amazon Japan
  20. "Wild Card". Nash Bridges. Season 2. Episode 22. San Francisco, California. 1997-04-25. CBS.
  21. "The Counterfeiters". Nash Bridges. Season 2. Episode 15. San Francisco, California. 1997-01-24. CBS.
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