With The A-Team as their lead-in, Riptide first it to the airwaves as a mid-season replacement with a two-hour premiere on Tuesday, January 3, 1984.
Created by Stephen J. Cannell (The Rockford Files and The Greatest American Hero), who had back-to-back hits with A-Team and Hardcastle & McCormick the previous year, Riptide followed the adventures of best friends Cody Allen (Perry King) and Nick Ryder (Joe Penny), two Vietnam vets turned California beach boys who decides to become private investigators. They soon enlisted the technical and scientific aid of fellow veteran friend Murray “Boz” Bozinsky (Thom Bray), the geeky, socially inept but brilliant genius.
Together, the trio set up shop at King Harbor as the Riptide Detective Agency: taking on cases that mostly involves organized crime, governmental and political corruption. Their arsenals includes Nick’s aging, pink helicopter called the “Screaming Mimi”, Cody’s speedboat entitled the “Ebbtide”, and Murray’s robot known as the Roboz. Lt. Quinlan (Jack Ging), their hard-nosed, police contact, loves giving them a hard time, but develops a grudging respect for them. His successor, the beautiful Joanna Parisi (June Chadwick), was more cooperative towards the guys in the latter episodes.
After three seasons, Riptide was wiped out in the ratings by ABC’s Moonlighting with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis: leading to its cancellation in 1986. In response to this, Riptide did an episode entitled “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em”, where Nick and Cody became consultants for a TV show that starred two bickering actors who are similar to Moonlighting‘s Maddie Hayes and David Addison.
Over the years, reruns of Riptide has been seen on USA Network and getTV. Recently, there has been weekend marathons of the show on Decades.