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.
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Top TV Shows of the 1980s - Dallas
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
">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 debuted in 1989 and is still on the air.
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
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.
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.