The 80s were a great decade for sitcoms and action shows. NBC’s Thursday night sitcom lineup ruled the ratings as “Must See TV”. The private eyes and cops were cool in their Hawaiian shirts and pastel suits. And don’t forget the primetime soap operas. Dynasty, Knots Landing, and Falcon Crest were stiff competition, but the undisputed primetime soap king was Dallas, which kept everyone wondering “Who Shot JR?”
Browse our listing of 80s tv shows, from Airwolf to The Wonder Years.
Based on the play of the same name, this show follows the lives of women in a predominantly black apartment building in Washington, D.C.
"240-Robert" is a specialized Emergency Services Detail of the LA County Sheriff's Department. The show chronicles their missions to save people from dangerous situations.
Framed for a crime they didn't commit, four Vietnam veterans escaped from a military prison. While on the run from the military, they accomplish missions for hire using their considerable skills.
The Airwolf is a powerful prototype helicopter featuring supersonic and stealth capabilities. It was created by The Firm, a division of the CIA, but was stolen by the designer for his own nefarious purposes. Pilot Hawke is given the task of recovering it and when he does, he hides it, offering it in exchange for finding and recovering his brother who went missing in Vietnam. The Deputy director of The Firm, codenamed "Archangel", offers Hawke and his partner Santini protection from other government agencies in return for flying missions of national importance for the Firm with the helicopter.
This sitcom revolves around alien ALF (Alien Life Form) Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac, who crash lands in the garage of the Tanner family.
An anthology series by Steven Spielberg focusing on the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres.
Two worlds collide when a middle-class Italian-American waitress marries a wealthy pediatrician.
Finding themselves without a place to live, Kip and Henry get an offer from a co-worker to live in her apartment building. The only problem is that it's women only. So, they dress in women's clothing and assume the identities of Buffy and Hildegarde, Kip and Henry's sisters.
|Cagney & Lacey|
One's blonde. One's brunette. One's strong. One's sensitive. They're both women. They're both cops. They're partners.
“Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the Police Academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties. But I took them away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie.”
This sitcom follows the lives of the bar staff and regulars at the Boston bar Cheers, where everybody knows your name.
CHiPs follows the adventures of members of the California Highway Patrol on the job.
Los Angeles homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo may be rumpled and a bit eccentric, but he uses that to his advantage to throw murderers off guard and bring them to justice.
|The Cosby Show|
This show follows the every day life of the successful African-American family, the Huxtables, headed by obstetrician Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable and attorney Clair Huxtable.
This night time soap followed the drama and backstabbing of oil tycoon J.R. Ewing, his family, and their enemies.
Based on the UK show of the same title, this sitcom follows the life of a man who loses everything to his ex-wife in divorce.
This series follows the lives of the four women and one man working at Sugarbaker & Associates, an interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
This comedy series follows the lives of two orphaned African-American boys from Harlem and the rich widower and his daughter who took them in.
A long-lived alien from the planet Gallifrey, who calls himself a time lord and goes only by the name “The Doctor”, has adventures through time and space with companions from Earth. He battles various villains and monsters, including a nemesis, The Master, from his own race to keep Earth and the universe safe.
|The Dukes of Hazzard|
|Eight Is Enough|
|The Fall Guy|
Colt Seaver is a stuntman by trade, but takes jobs bounty hunting when the movie business is slow.
A spin-off of Perfect Strangers, Family Matters follows the lives of the Winslows, a suburban Chicago family headed by Carl, a Chicago police sergeant. The show really took off when the nerdy next door neighbor Steve Urkel was introduced.
The show follows the lives of the Keatons, a suburban Columbus, Ohio family. Steven and Elyse, the parents, are baby boomers and former hippies. Their son Alex is a young Republican. Their daughter Mallory is a fashionista and boy crazy. Daughter Jennifer is a tomboy. A fourth child, Andrew, came along in season five.
|The Golden Girls|
|The Greatest American Hero|
A spinoff of "Love American Style", Happy Days follows the life of Richie Cunningham and his family and friends in the midwest during the 1950's and 1960's.
|Hardcastle & McCormick|
|Harper Valley P.T.A.|
|Hart To Hart|
|Highway To Heaven|
|Hill Street Blues|
|In Search Of...|
Mysteries, the paranormal, and unusual phenomena are explored in this quasi-documentary show hosted by Leonard Nimoy.
|J. J. Starbuck|
J.J. Starbuck is a Texas billionaire who spends his time as a private detective, solving crimes across the country. He never charges the victims a fee for solving the crime.
|Jason of Star Command|
When George Jefferson's dry cleaning business takes off and becomes a chain of stores, he moves his family to the east side of Manhattan, to a "deluxe apartment in the sky".
|Joanie Loves Chachi|
|Kate & Allie|
Millionaire Wilton Knight finds Michael Long, a policeman who was shot and left for dead, and saves him. He gives him a new face and an amazing car, KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), that is virtually indestructible and autonomous. Together, Michael and KITT wage war against criminals who operate above the law.
|Laverne & Shirley|
|Little House on the Prairie|
|The Love Boat|
|Macgruder & Loud|
|The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo|
|Misfits of Science|
|Mork & Mindy|
|The Muppet Show|
|Mystery Science Theater 3000|
Joel, Mike, and the robots (Crow, Tom Servo, and Gypsy) riff on bad movies and shorts.
|The New Mike Hammer (1984)|
Fun loving Judge Harry Stone presides over some unusual and bizarre cases. His fellow denizens of night court endure the chaos with humor and humanity.
|One Day at a Time|
A short-lived parody of police procedurals by the makers of "Airplane!" and the "Naked Gun" movies.
Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the quantum leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.