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Top TV Shows of the 1980s

By Edited May 3, 2016 0 0

In th

e 1980s cable television transformed the way we watched television, The technology, which had been in use since the late 1940s became a regular part of our TV viewing experience.

Suddenly there were more choices than ever and new networks were added to challenge the decades old dominance of ABC, CBS and NBC.

Ted Turner launched CNN in 1980, Home Box Office was unveiled, and a fourth network Fox, came on the air.

Televisions now had remote controls. Fans of new technology were snapping up video games and video cassette recorders.

You may also enjoy Top TV Shows of the 1960's.

You may also enjoy Top TV Shows of the 1970's.

You may also enjoy Top TV Shows of the 1990's.


Top TV Shows of the 1980s - Dallas

Dallas aired 357

episodes between 1978 and 1991.

The show won four Emmy Awards.

Knots Landing was a spinoff of Dallas.

">Dallas was famous for creating season ending cliffhangers. The most famous was the "Who Shot J.R.?" Episode. After a summer of heated speculation many fans were disappointed when the new season revealed J.R.'s shooting was just a dream.


J.R. Ewing                         Larry Hagman

Bobby Ewing                     Patrick Duffy

Pamela Barnes Ewing      Victoria Principal

Jock Ewing                       Charlene Tilton

Cliff Barnes                        Ken Kercheval

Miss Ellie Ewing               Barbara Bel Geddes

Sue Ellen Ewing               Linda Gray


Dallas follows the lives of the Ewing family who are rich in the two things Texans love the most, oil and land. J.R. is a greedy, manipulative and fascinating oil baron who is married to a long suffering former Texas beauty queen. His younger brother Bobby is a man of integrity, and that creates much of the conflict. Each episode is rich with deals, deception and intrigue.

Top TV Shows of the 1980s - Married With Children

aired from 1987 -1997 with 259 episodes.

It was Fox's first prime time network show.

The show featured ground breaking, irreverent comedy and developed a loyal fan base.


Al Bundy                 Ed O'Neill

Peggy Bundy           Katey Sagal

Kelly Bundy            Christina Applegate

Bud Bundy             David Faustino

Marcy D'Arcy         Amanda Bearse

Steve Rhoades        David Garrison

Jefferson D'Arcy     Ted McGinley


Al Bundy was an all-star football player in high school. His hopes and dreams were dashed when he married Peggy and had two children.  Now he works in a dead end job as a shoe salesman. He still schemes but nothing he touches will turn to gold. Al Bundy is one of television's most lovable losers.


Top TV Shows of the 1980s - The Simpsons.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons debuted in 1989 and is still on the air.

It is the

The Simpsons(87974)
longest running sitcom in American television history.

The Simpson is now the longest running animated program in American history.

The  2007 Simpsons movie grossed over $525 million.

It created iconic expressions like "Doh!".


Homer Simpson is a loveable buffoon who has the frightening job of supervising a nuclear power plant in the fictional town of Springfield.  His wife Marge is a stay at home mom who cares for their three children. Maggie is the baby who communicates primarily by sucking on her soother. Eight year old Lisa is an environmentalist and activist and ten year old Bart resembles Dennis the Menace. The family and their supporting character tackle issues like education, racism and family values.

Top TV Shows of the 1980s - Cheers


Cheers pro

duced 275 episodes between 1982 and 1993.

The show was almost canceled after it ranked last in it's first season but it's finale on May 20, 1993 is one of television's most watched episodes.

Cheers garnered multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.

Frasier is a spinoff of Cheers.


Sam Malone                         Ted Danson

Diane Chambers                   Shelley Long

Rebecca Howe                      Kirstie Alley

Carla Torteli                         Rhea Pearlman

Ernie "Coach" Pantusso      Nicholas Colassanto

Woody Boyd                         Woody Harrelson

Cliff Claven                           John Ratzenberger

Frasier Crane                        Kelsey Grammar


Cheers follows the life of Sam Malone, a former professional baseball player and recovering alcoholic. The series explores the sexual tension, first between Sam and the uptight, intellectual Diane Chambers and then corporate rung climbing Rebecca Howe. Much of the strength of Cheers comes from it's brilliant supporting cast. Carla is a touch wise cracking barmaid. Cliff is a postal worker who's head is stuffed with useless trivia and Norm is an unemployed accountant who is deft at never paying for a drink,

Top TV Shows of the 1980s - Magnum P.I.

Magnum P.I.


Magnum P.I.
P.I. ran from 1980-1988 and produced 162 episodes.

The show won two Emmy Awards.

Tom Selleck was on the cover of Playgirl in 1982 and was mostly uncovered on the inside pages.


Thomas Magnum                     Tom Selleck

Higgins                                      John Hillerman

T.C.                                            Roger E. Mosley

Orville "Rick" Wright              Larry Manetti


Thomas Magnum lives rent free in the guesthouse of Robin's Nest on Oahu, Hawaii. The estate is owned by Robin Masters who is never seen on camera.

Magnum is often at odds with the uptight caretaker, Higgins.

Each week Magnum solves crime, often using his charm and rugged good looks to drag his friends into helping with his latest case.

He spends a lot of time with his shirt off which leads to a romantic interest in almost every episode.

There they are..the top TV shows of the 1980s. I hope they brought back some wonderful memories.



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