Best Eighties Television Shows

Magnum, P.I.

Original Run: 1980 88 Creator: Donald P. Bellisario, Glen A. Larson Stars: Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley, Larry Manetti Network: CBS When every-other adolescent male of the ’80s and I grew up, we wanted the li Fe of Tom Magnum, played by Tom Selleck and his mustache: living in an opulent Hawaii beachhouse as a guest of a never-current millionaire novelist and driving his Ferrari 308 GTS; wracking up a never-to-be-paid tab at the country club run by one war-vet buddy and bumming helicopter rides from still another; and periodically solving mysteries using a combination of smarts, toughness and largely chutzpah. I never did work out how to the way to walk that certain job path, but it was enjoyable to dream.


Original Run: 1985-89 Creator: Glenn Gordon Caron Stars: Curtis Armstrong, Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley Network: ABC Since the Blue Moon Detective Agency stopped investigating crimes, David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) have become a cautionary tale in the will-they-or-won’t-they tv trope. But like Willis and Shepherd, no Television couple did sexual tension throughout the hey-day of Moonlighting. When they finally decided to consummate their relationship, they literally burned the house down. While the collection had lots of behind-the-scenes strife (you start with with all the reality that Shepherd and burgeoning movie star Willis didn’t go along), it consistently entertained, pioneered the dramedy genre that is so popular nowadays, and frequently broke the fourth wall in progressive ways.


Original Run: 1982 90 Creator: Barry Kemp Stars: William Sanderson, Bob Newhart Jennifer Holmes Tom Post-On Network: CBS You might always rely on the writers on Bob Newhart’s second successful sit com to be playful. In the pre-meta-pop-culture period, they’d invite Russell Johnson (the professor on Gilligan’s Island) to appear as a Beaver Lodge member watching Gilligan’s Island. But it was the authentic characters who really created the show. Larry and his two brothers, Daryl and Daryl. Handyman George Utley. Spoiled maid Stephanie. Along with the ultimate straight man, Bob Newhart. Too negative it was all just a dream.

Wonder Years

#s#The Original Run: 1988-93 Creators: Neal Marlens, Carol Black Stars: Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Olivia d’Abo, Jason Hervey, Danica McKellar, Josh Saviano Network: ABC The Wonder Years is a family present, and yes, a number of its episodes inch dangerously close to afterschool-unique territory, but make no mistake: revisiting this late-’80s/early-’90s staple as a grown-up is just as—if not more—enjoyable than watching it the first time around. It’s unabashedly nostalgic, but it chronicles the ups and downs of Kevin Arnold’s, Winnie Cooper’s and Paul Pfeiffer’s adolescence against the backdrop of the Vietnam era and our nation’s changing social landscape with a maturity most exhibits geared towards kiddies lack. The small childhood moments that stay with us are treated together with the regard they deserve. We giggle when Kevin’s brother Wayne gets him in a headlock and calls him “scrote“for the umpteenth time (try sneaking that by the Nick a T Nite censors nowadays!) or when Kev squares off with his mortal enemy Becky Slater, and we cry when Kevin’s periodically distant father struggles to relate solely to his teen-age kids. And sorry, but if you don’t hold your breath when Kevin puts that letterman jacket over Winnie’s shoulders, you’re dead inside. Music geeks will value the incredible sound-track as well.


Original Run: 198293 Creator: James Burrows, Glen Charles, Les Charles Stars: Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Colasanto, John Ratzenberger Kelsey Grammar, George Wendt Original Network: NBC The concept of location where everyone knew your name was central to the success of Cheers, whilst Mentor (Nicholas Colasanto) was changed by Woody (Woody Harrelson), Diane (Shelley Long) was changed by Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) and Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammar) found his own stool at the bar. This was the thought of a “third place,“after residence and function, where a community could collect to socialize. Tackling occasionally significant problems in a always hilarious manner, the show produced a place without course, where Frasier could seize a-bar stool across from Norm and Cliff using an equal feeling of belonging. Anchoring it all was Sam Malone (Ted Danson), the womanizing former ball player, who grew a small more with each passing season.

The Cosby Show

Original Run: 1984 1992 Creators: Bill Cosby. Weinberger and Michael Leeson Stars: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rash? d, Lisa Bonet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Sabrina Le Beauf, Geoffrey Owens. Phillips, Raven Network: NBC George Jefferson might happen to be moving on up, but The Cosby Present gave the country a mo Re relatable glimpse of the expanding middleclass among African Americans , dealing with race, but much mo-Re usually, dealing with all the trials that all of US faced. Inspired by Cosby’s own family encounters which had been a staple of his stand-up regimen, the show dominated the 2nd half of the ’80s, topping the Neilsen scores from 1985-90 and averaging mo Re than 3-0 million viewers in the ’86-87 season. Cosby’s legacy might presently be in shambles, but the show was bigger than the man.

TV Shows On DVD Complete Series

Sesame Street

Original Run: 1969- Creator: Lloyd Morrisett, Joan Ganz Cooney Stars: Frank Oz (Bert, Grover), Jim Henson (Ernie, Kermit, Guy Smiley), Caroll Spinney (Huge Fowl, Oscar the Grouch), Jerry Nelson (Depend von Depend, numerous), Kevin Clash (Elmo), Bob McGrath, Loretta Long, Roscoe Orman, Will Lee, Sonia Manzano, Emilio Delgado, Northern Calloway Network: PBS The ritual for millions of children in the 1980s was to wake up, turn-on the TV and hear “Sunny Day/Sweepin’the clouds away…“before preparing for college. This was straight back before anybody but Big Fowl could see Snuffleupagus, mind you. The residents of Sesame Avenue never skimped on entertainment in the name of training or training in the name of entertainment. With characters like Oscar the Grouch, Burt, Ernie, Rely Von Count and—my favorites—the Yip Yips, we never minded that we were really studying something along the way.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Original Run: 1987-94 Creator: Gene Roddenberry Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis Network: Syndicated The original collection was pioneering. Deep Area Nine and Voyager had their moments. But TNG was head-and-shoulders the Star Trek franchise. Jean Luc Picard. Data. Worf. The holodeck. The Borg. Gene Roddenbury must perhaps not have had a cynical bone in his human anatomy, and as I watched his characters investigate strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before, I didn’t either.

St. Elsewhere

Original Run: 198288 Creator: Joshua Brand, John Falsey Stars: Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd, William Daniels Network: NBC The seminal hospital drama of the 1980s, St. Else Where was never resoundingly productive in the rankings, but it racked in Emmys over the years for its practical, frequently-dark t One and moments of humor. Its big, ensemble cast had a number of crossovers together with the Hill Road Blues that are related and continued many extended – serialized story-lines, form, leading to fantastic character advancement over the course of the collection. Needless to say, it’s today often remembered for a different cause: For having perhaps the single most WTF finale moment in TV background. At the conclusion of the final St. Else Where episode, the characters are uncovered as having all been the generation of the autistic Tommy Westphall, who owns a snowglobe wherein the imaginary St. Eligius hospital exists. Moreoever, because s O several other shows and figures overlapped with St. Elsewhere, some fans posit this means that everything from Hill Road Blues and Murder: Life on the Street to The X-Files all t-AKE place in the “Tommy Westphall Universe“by extension.


Original Run: 197283 Creator: Larry Gelbart Stars: David Ogden Stiers, Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr, William Christopher Network: CBS The best portion of M*A*S*H’s run was in the 1970s—by the time Reagan rolled into office, we’d already lost Henry Blake, Trapper McIntyre, Frank Burns and even Radar O’Reilly. But for all but Radar firmly in place with replacements, there was nevertheless enough momentum in the end to make the season-finale the most-watched TV episode up to that point in background with 125 million viewers. Alda, as both star and executive producer, steered the present into more severe waters with episodes like “Follies of the Living“and “Where There’s Will, There’s a War“without ever losing the sharp wit a T its heart.


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