The Miami Vice star made a deal for a 22-episode show with the then-boss of U.S. TV network CBS - and he admits he had no idea for a story.
That's where gonzo journalist and writer Thompson stepped in.
Johnson reveals, "I was probably one of the last actor/producers to get a guaranteed 22 episodes on the air, but I didn't have an idea; I just made the deal. I told them (TV executives) I was going to create it (series) as I went along.
"My neighbour and friend, God rest his soul, Hunter Thompson and I were sitting around talking about television. Hunter and I came up with one idea and out of that idea it evolved and underwent a metamorphosis. I took that idea and I brought it to Carlton Cuse (executive producer/creator Miami Vice) to help format Nash Bridges into the show that finally made it on the air."