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1980's TV Shows

Listing of 1980's Classic TV Shows

21 Jump Street is an American police procedural crime drama television series that aired on the Fox Network and in first run syndication from 1987, to 1991, with a total of 103 episodes. The series focused on a squad of youthful-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools, colleges, and other teenage venues.
The A-Team is an action adventure series about a fictional group of ex-United States Army Special Forces personnel who work as soldiers of fortune, while on the run from the Army after being branded as war criminals for a "crime they didn't commit". The show featured Mr. T and aired on NBC from 1983 to 1987.
ALF is an American science fiction sitcom that originally aired on NBC from 1986 to 1990, created by Paul Fusco. The title character was Gordon Shumway, a friendly extraterrestrial nicknamed ALF (an acronym for Alien Life Form), who crash lands in the garage of the suburban middle-class Tanner family.
Bosom Buddies was a sitcom that starred Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari and ran from 1980 to 1982 on ABC that followed the misadventures of two single men, working in creative advertising, struggling in their industry while disguising themselves as women in order to live in the one apartment they could afford.
Cagney & Lacey is a sitcom that aired on the CBS for seven seasons from 1981 to 1988. A police procedural, the show stars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless as New York City police detectives who led very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a single, career-minded woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother. The series was set in a fictionalized version of Manhattan's 14th Precinct.
Charlie's Angels is a crime drama series about three women who work for a private investigation agency, and is one of the first shows to showcase women in roles traditionally reserved for men. The show aired on ABC from 1976 to 1981.The
Cheers is a sitom that ran for 11 seasons on NBC from 1982 to 1993. The show is set in the Cheers bar (named for the toast "Cheers") in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, chat and have fun. The show's theme song, written and performed by Gary Portnoy, and co-written with Judy Hart Angelo, lent its famous refrain, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", as the show's tagline.
CHiPs is a drama series that aired on NBC from 1977 to 1983. CHiPs followed the lives of two motorcycle police officers of the California Highway Patrol, Baker and Ponch.
The Cosby Show is a sitcom starring Bill Cosby that aired for eight seasons on NBC from 1984 until 1992. The show focuses on the Huxtable family, an affluent African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York.
Dallas is a drama that revolves around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching industries. The series won four Emmy Awards, including a 1980 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series win for Barbara Bel Geddes. Throughout the series, Larry Hagman stars as greedy, scheming oil baron J. R. Ewing. The show also starred stage/screen actress Barbara Bel Geddes as family matriarch Miss Ellie, and movie Western actor Jim Davis in his last role as Ewing patriarch Jock Ewing before his death in 1981.
Dear John is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1988 to 1992. The series was originally based on the British sitcom of the same name. Dear John starred Judd Hirsch as easy going high school teacher John Lacey who is dumped by his wife, Wendy, via a Dear John letter. Wendy ends up with everything in the divorce settlement, including custody of the couple's son, forcing John to move into an apartment in Queens.
Diff'rent Strokes is an sitcom that aired on NBC from 1978 to 1985, and on ABC from September 1985 to March 1986. The series stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges as Arnold and Willis Jackson, two African American boys from Harlem who are taken in by a rich white Park Avenue businessman named Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato), for whom their deceased mother previously worked.
Doogie Howser, M.D. is an comedy-drama starring Neil Patrick Harris as a 16-year-old doctor who also faces the problems of being a normal teenager. Created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, ABC aired the show from 1989 to 1993 for four seasons totaling 97 episodes.
The Dukes of Hazzard is a comedy series that aired on the CBS from 1979 to 1985 about "The Duke Boys", cousins Bo and Luke Duke, who live in a rural part of the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia with their attractive cousin Daisy and their wise old Uncle Jesse, as they race around in their customized 1969 Dodge Charger stock car, christened (The) General Lee, evading crooked county commissioner Boss Hogg and his inept county sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, and always managing to get caught in the middle of the various escapades and incidents that often occur in the area.
A spin-off of the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1979 to 1988 and focused on Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) as she becomes housemother at the fictional Eastland School, an all-female boarding school in Peekskill, New York.
Family Matters is a sitcom about a middle-class African-American family living in Chicago, Illinois, which aired for nine seasons. The series was a spin-off of Perfect Strangers, but revolves around the Winslow family. Midway through the first season, the show introduced the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White), who quickly became its breakout character and eventually a main character. Family Matters aired from 1989 to 1997 on ABC and on CBS from September 1997 to July 1998.
Family Ties is an sitcom that aired on NBC for seven seasons from 1982 to 1989. The sitcom reflected the move in the United States from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s. This was particularly expressed through the relationship between young Republican Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) and his ex-hippie parents, Elyse and Steven Keaton (Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Gross).
Set in San Francisco, family-friendly sitcom Full House centers around the adventures of a widowed father, his three children, and his two best friends. Danny (Bob Saget of America's Funniest Home Videos) is a straight-laced sportscaster, Joey (David Coulier) is a fun-loving stand-up comedian, and brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) is an Elvis-obsessed rocker. Danny's children include 11-year-old D.J. (Candace Cameron), five-year-old Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and baby Michelle (big-eyed future superstars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). Created by Jeff Franklin (Laverne and Shirley), the show ran on ABC for eight seasons.
The Golden Girls is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1985 until 1992 that centers on four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida.
The Greatest American Hero is a comedy-drama series that aired for three seasons from 1981 to 1983 on ABC about flying crime fighter.
Growing Pains is sitcom about an upper middle class family, residing in Huntington, New York, with a working mother and a stay-at-home psychiatrist father raising three children together, that aired on ABC from 1985 to 1992.
Happy Days is a sitcom that aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series showcased an idealized vision of life in mid-1950s to mid-1960s America.
Hawaii Five-O is a police procedural drama series set in Hawaii that aired for twelve seasons from 1968 to 1980 The show featured a fictional state police unit run by Detective Steve McGarrett, portrayed by Jack Lord. The theme music composed by Morton Stevens became especially popular. Most episodes would end with McGarrett instructing his subordinate to "Book 'em, Danno" sometimes specifying a charge such as "murder one."
Head of the Class is a sitcom aired on ABC from 1986 to 1991 that follows a group of gifted students in the Individualized Honors Program (IHP) at the fictional Monroe High School (later Millard Fillmore High School) in Manhattan, and their history teacher Charlie Moore (Howard Hesseman). The program was ostensibly a vehicle for Hesseman, best known for his role as radio DJ Dr. Johnny Fever in the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. Hesseman left Head of the Class in 1990 and was replaced by Billy Connolly as teacher Billy MacGregor for the final season.
Hill Street Blues is a police drama that aired on NBC from 1981 to 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police precinct in an unnamed American city, the show received critical acclaim and its production innovations influenced many subsequent dramatic television series that were made.
The Jeffersons is a sitcom that aired on CBS from 1975 until 1985 that chronicled the Afican-American Jefferson family who had recently moved up the socioeconomic ladder. The Jeffersons is the longest-running sitcom with a predominantly African American cast in the history of American television.
Knots Landing is a primetime drama series that aired from 1979 to 1993 on CBS. Set in a fictitious coastal suburb of Los Angeles in California, the show centered on the lives of four married couples living in a cul-de-sac, Seaview Circle. Initially intended to be a Scenes From a Marriage-type drama series, storylines also included rape, murder, kidnapping, assassinations, drug smuggling, corporate intrigue and criminal investigations. By the time of its conclusion, Knots Landing had become one of the longest-running primetime dramas on U.S. television after Gunsmoke and Law & Order, and tied for third place with Bonanza.
Laverne & Shirley is a sitcom that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983 starring Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, roommates who worked in a fictitious Milwaukee brewery called "Shotz Brewery".
The Love Boat is sitcom set on a cruise ship that aired on ABC from 1977 until 1986. The show starred Gavin MacLeod as the ship's captain. It was part of ABC's popular Saturday night lineup that included Fantasy Island until the latter show ended in 1984.
MacGyver is an action-adventure series that ran for seven seasons on ABC and follows secret agent Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson. MacGyver prefers non-violent resolutions where possible, and refuses to handle a gun. He works as a troubleshooter for the fictional Phoenix Foundation in Los Angeles. He is a resourceful agent with an encyclopedic knowledge of science, able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.
Married... with Children was the first primetime sitcom to air on FOX and starred Ed O'Neil as everyman Al Bundy and his dysfunctional family from Chicago, Illinois.
M*A*S*H is a medical-military-comedy series, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH that follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War. M*A*S*H's theme song featured an instrumental version of the song "Suicide Is Painless", which also appears in the original film.
Miami Vice was a crime drama series that ran on NBC for five seasons from 1984 to 1989. The series starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs respectively, two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami.
Mork & Mindy is a science fiction sitcom that aired on ABC from 1978 until 1982 that starred Robin Williams as Mork, an alien who comes to Earth from the planet Ork in a small, one-man egg-shaped spaceship. Pam Dawber co-starred as Mindy McConnell, his human friend and roommate. In 1997, the episode "Mork's Mixed Emotions" was ranked #94 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time list.
Mr. Belvedere is a sitcom that aired on ABC 1985 until 1990 that is based on the Lynn Aloysius Belvedere character created by Gwen Davenport for her 1947 novel Belvedere, which was later adapted into the 1948 film Sitting Pretty. The sitcom stars Christopher Hewett in the title role, who takes a job with an American family headed by George Owens, played by Bob Uecker.
Murphy Brown is a sitcom that aired on CBS from 1988 until 1998 that starred Candice Bergen as the eponymous Murphy Brown, a famous investigative journalist and news anchor for FYI, a fictional CBS television newsmagazine.
The Muppet Show is a American television programme produced by puppeteer Jim Henson and featuring Muppets. After two pilot episodes were produced in 1974 and 1975, the show premiered on September 5, 1976, and five series were produced until March 15, 1981, lasting 120 episodes.
My Two Dads is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1987 to 1990 and starred Staci Keanan, Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan about a two men who could have been the father of the main character Nicole.
Night Court is an sitcom that aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992 about night shift of a Manhattan court, presided over by the young, unorthodox Judge Harold T. "Harry" Stone (Harry Anderson). It was created by comedy writer Reinhold Weege, who had previously worked on Barney Miller in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Perfect Strangers is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1986 to 1993 that chronicled the rocky coexistence of midwestern American Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and his distant cousin from eastern Mediterranean Europe, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot).
Quantum Leap is a drama series that aired on NBC from 1989 to 1993 that starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist from six years in the future who becomes lost in time following a time travel experiment, temporarily taking the places of other people to "put right what once went wrong".
Roseanne is a sitcom that aired on ABC 1988 until 1997 that revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working class family. The series reached #1 in the Nielsen ratings becoming the most watched television show in the United States from 1989 to 1990, and remained in the top four for six of its nine seasons, and in the top twenty for eight.
Saved by the Bell is a popular 1990s sitcom that aired between 1989 and 1993. The series is a retooled version of the 1988 series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which was itself later folded into the history of Saved by the Bell. The series followed the exploits of several students along with their principal at fictional Bayside High School.
Seinfeld is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1989 to 1998 set predominantly in an apartment block on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the show features a host of Jerry Seinfeld's stories with his best friend George Costanza, former girlfriend Elaine Benes, and neighbor across the hall Cosmo Kramer.
Silver Spoons is a sitcom about an extremely wealthy Stratton family that aired on NBC from 1982 to 1986 and in first-run syndication from 1986 to 1987.
Small Wonder is a sci-fi sitcom that aired in first-run syndication from 1985 to 1989. The show chronicles the family of a robotics engineer who, after he secretly creates a robot modeled after a real human girl, tries to pass it off as their daughter, Vikki.
St. Elsewhere is a medical drama series that ran on NBC 1982 to 1988 set at fictional St. Eligius, a decaying urban teaching hospital in Boston's South End neighborhood. The show starred Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels all as teaching doctors, who gave interns a promising future in making critical decisions.
Taxi is a sitcom that aired from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and from 1982 to 1983 on NBC that chronicled the everyday lives of a handful of New York City taxi drivers and their abusive dispatcher. Taxi won won 18 Emmy Awards, including three for "Outstanding Comedy Series".
Three's Company was a hit sitcom that aired on ABC from 1977 until 1984 that revolves around three single roommates: Janet Wood, Chrissy Snow and Jack Tripper who all platonically share Apartment 201 in a Santa Monica, California apartment building owned by Mr. and Mrs. Roper.
The Waltons is a period drama series that aired on CBS from 1972 to 1981 that is based on the book Spencer's Mountain and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II.
Webster is sitcom that aired on ABC from 1983 until 1987 that starred Emmanuel Lewis. Like NBC's earlier hit Diff'rent Strokes, it featured a young African American boy adopted by a white family.
Who's the Boss? is a sitcom that aired on ABC 1984 until 1992 and starred Tony Danza as a retired major league baseball player who relocates to Fairfield, Connecticut to work as a live-in housekeeper for a divorced advertising executive, played by Judith Light. Also featured were Alyssa Milano, Danny Pintauro, and Katherine Helmond.
WKRP in Cincinnati is sitcom that aired on CBS from 1978 to 1982 that featured the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ensemble cast consisted of Gary Sandy, Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Jan Smithers, Richard Sanders and Frank Bonner.
The Wonder Years was a hit comedy-drama series that aired on ABC from 1988 until 1993 that starred Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, a boy facing rites of passage on his way to adulthood .