A month after series star Don Johnson revealed to Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Show that he was getting ready for the series revival, USA Network announced who would be joining him and returning castmates Cheech Marin (Joe Dominguez) and Jeff Perry (Harvey Leek) in the network's two-hour Nash Bridges revival movie. Deadline Hollywood reported exclusively that Diarra Kilpatrick (American Koko), Bonnie Somerville (Heels), Joe Dinicol (Arrow), Alexia Garcia (Pose), Angela Ko (Rebel), and Paul James (The Last Ship) have joined the project. Co-created by Bill Chais (The Practice, Shark, Franklin & Bash, Bull) and Johnson, with Johnson, Chais, and Marc Rosen (Sense8) executive producing, the special finds Perry's Leek an eccentric, paranoid, conspiracy-theory spouting former cop who has become an off-the-grid recluse.
Kilpatrick's Lena Harris is the police captain and Nash's boss, while Dinicol's Steven Colton is a by-the-book millennial cop. Garcia's Chloe Zane is a fearless and tech-savvy member of the SIU Unit, while Ko's Ellie Tang is a rebellious, adrenaline junkie SIU Investigator. Finally, we have James' Keith "Philly" Morton, a tough-as-nails SIU inspector and Ellie's partner- while Somerville plays Christina Hunter, a psychiatrist who contracts with SIU to evaluate cops.
In an interview with Esquire in 2014, Johnson explained why he needed to dial back Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's (yes, him) first treatment for the first draft of the original series. "It was too Hunter! We conceived the idea about three in the morning at his place; he was my neighbor in Aspen. I had a commitment at CBS for a 22 episode series, anything I wanted to do. I could have done the phone book if I wanted. And Hunter was broke, needed money. I didn't really need to do the series, but I thought it would be a good way to look after my buddy," Johnson explained. "So I conceived it with him. It was originally called Off-Duty. It was about two off-duty cops. In the show, a lot of the storylines had to do with us doing off-duty business to help Cheech pay for expenses. We had a security service, a private detective agency, stuff like that, which fed stories into the other stuff. Anyway, that's how it was conceived."