1986/87 – The Cosby Show was #1 on NBC Thursday, second year running.
Note: Any BOLD shows were cancelled in 1986 season; Hill Street Blues was cancelled
in the seventh season.
Dallas celebrated ten years on CBS.
20/20 celebrated ten years on ABC.
Biggest New Hit: Amen was #13 on NBC Saturday. It was the first religion comedy to be a top 20 hit. It was a natural
fit for Clifton Davis; he was a real life minister. AMEN!
Charles In Charge returned to syndication in January 1987 with two original cast members, Scott Baio and Willie Aames.
It was previously a failed CBS sitcom in 1984; Who’s The Boss was more successful than Charles In Charge.
Mama’s Family returned to syndication after a year absence with three original cast members, Vicki Lawrence, Ken
Berry and Dorothy Lyman. It was previously on NBC.
9 to 5 returned to syndication after a three-year absence with two original cast members, Rachael Dennison and Valerie
Curtin. It was previously on ABC.
Head Of The Class Tidbits:
Hmm, for the smart kids, some of them stayed in high school for five years straight on Head Of The Class. Hello, five years?
My God! Some of them were pretty stupid. I am that stupid; I managed to finish school in four years. That told me one thing.
They weren’t as smart. It doesn’t take a genius like Maria, Jawaharlal and Janice to be in high school that long.
Of course, other “smart” students took their place. I wondered how long the new students stay. That’s right.
They stayed in school till the show was cancelled two years later. Even the new teacher lasted for a year.
This was Robin Givens’ first series; it made her famous. During her time on the show, she was married to Mike Tyson
for one year. It was an abusive relationship between Mike and her; she accused him of spousal abuse.
The comedy was the first ever USA sitcom to be film in Moscow, Russia.
The costars, Brian Robbins and Dan Schneider, produced the hit Nickelodeon comedy/variety show, All That. Mike Tollin and
Brian created that show. All That was on for ten years.
Richard Pryor’s daughter, Rain Pryor, joined the comedy in the third season; it was her first series. Her dad died
of cardiac arrest in 2005.
Movies to TV:
Gung Hu was based on the 1986 Michael Keaton movie. Gedde Watanabe reprised his Kaz Kazuhiro role for the series.
Starman was a sequel based on the 1984 movie, starring Jeff Bridges. The alien impregnated a woman; then fourteen years
later, he returned to find his love and raised their son.
Still The Beaver (The Disney Channel) to The New Leave It To Beaver (WTBS).
Together We Stand to Nothing Is Easy in midseason.
Original Title: Siskel & Ebert & The Movies. The series is best known as Siskel & Ebert.
Lucy Ball returned in her only big flop, Life With Lucy, after a twelve-year absence. It was the worst show of the season;
everyone tuned out after the first episode. Even Gale Gordon was her costar once again; they were on The Lucy Show/Here’s
Lucy. It wasn’t the same Lucy we all know and love; the show wasn’t funny, not by the standards of Lucy Ball.
Howard Hesseman retuned in Head Of The Class after a two-year absence. He was previously on One Day At A Time. He was famous
for WKRP In Cincinnati as Dr. Johnny Fever.
Patrick Duffy returned to Dallas as a very much live Bobby Ewing in the shower. His first words were “Good morning”
to his wife, Pam Ewing, who dreamt the previous 1985/86 season. Oddly enough, Bobby remained dead on Knots Landing and Gary
Sherman Hemsley & Clifton Davis returned on the hit series, AMEN. Sherman was previously on The Jeffersons for eleven
years. Clifton was on the 1970’s show, That’s My Mama!
Susan Dey returned on LA Law, her biggest TV hit to date; her first hit was The Partridge Family in the early 1970’s.
The characters were extremely popular with the viewers, especially Arnie Becker (Corbin Bernsen).
Julie Kavner returned in The Tracey Ullman Show after a nine-year absence. She was previously on Rhoda. Dan Castellaneta
(Homer) and Julie (Marge) starred in The Simpsons shorts, then on the ever-popular spin off, The Simpsons, starting in 1989.
Pam Dawber returned in My Sister Sam after a four-year absence. She was previously on Mork & Mindy. A crazed fan murdered
her former costar, Rebecca Schaeffer, in 1989. Thanks to her senseless death, the anti stalking law became effective in 1991
and, by 1993, all fifty states and Canada, has the same law. At least, something good came out of her murder.
Marsha Warfield joined Night Court for their last six seasons. Her first and last series was The Richard Pryor Show in
Jonathan Ward returned in ABC's failed series, Heart Of The City. His "sisterly" costar was Christina Applegate. Later
in the same season, Jonathan and Christina appeared in separate new FOX shows, The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter and Married
With Children. As dumb as trampy Kelly Bundy gets, she rules over smart Beans Baxter. Whoever thought that Kelly triumphed
over a spy? It's one for the record books. You go, Kelly!
Now, Chuck Connors creeps me out. He was a werewolf. Damn him! Give me a gun. I want to kill him with a silver bullet.
That would be the last of the werewolf! Eric Cord killed him instead. In reality, Chuck died in 1992 from lung cancer.
The Cross–Wits returned to syndication after six year absence as The New Cross–Wits.
The Colbys from Dynasty – It was too close of a copy to Dynasty; it didn’t caught on with the viewers and was
cancelled in two years. The funny thing was that Fallon was abducted by the aliens in the second season’s cliffhanger
and, somehow, showed up back on Dynasty the next season with no explanation given. The Colbys was originally called Dynasty
II: The Colbys.
The Tortillas from Cheers – Carla’s no good ex husband, Nick, moved to Las Vegas with his new bride, Loretta,
who try to launch a showbiz career. This was the less successful Cheers spin off; it lasted a few months. Jean Kasem has been
married to the popular radio personality, Casey Kasem, since 1980. This was Jean’s first series.
TV History: Married W/ Children is the longest FOX comedy, eleven seasons, not counting The Simpsons. After all, The
Simpson is a cartoon.
FOX first broadcast in prime time on April 5, 1987, Sunday, starting with Married W/ Children and The Tracey Ullman Show.
It was on three times that night, the same episode, that is.
The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers was the first ever FOX show, premiered on October 9, 1986. It was never a serious competition
for The Tonight Show on NBC.
Corbin Bernsen is related to Jeanne Cooper (CBS’s The Young & The Restless). He later appeared on his mother’s
daytime soap in a few episodes in 2003/04. They shared few scenes together on the soap too.
A Current Affair was the first ever tabloid newsmagazine. Maury Povich was the first host for a few years. It truly ushered
the tabloid news, followed by Hard Copy and Inside Edition.
Animal Crack–Ups moved to ABC Saturday morning for three seasons.
I have seen Better Days, but, come on, I want my Better Days to last more than five weeks!
The real life married couple, Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry, played a married couple on LA Law, created by Steven
Bochco and Terry Louis Fisher.
Dennis Farina was a real life cop in Chicago for eighteen years. Crime Story was his first series.
Mariah was the first prison drama on a network.
The David Susskind Show was on TV for a total of twenty–nine years. The first three years was on New York local TV.
David Susskind died from a heart attack on February 22, 1987 in New York.
Viewers Response: It was impossible to watch Designing Women. CBS moved it lots of times, then they cancelled the series
in the spring. The viewers protested and saved it from cancellation. Designing Women returned to Monday.
1986/87 Fall Season
This is Fox’s first season.
One Season (1986/87)
Alf – 1986–1990, NBC, comedy, Paul Fusco, Max Wright
Amen – 1986–1991, NBC, comedy, Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis
The Colbys – 1986–1988, ABC, soap, Charlton Heston, Stephanie Beacham
Crime Story – 1986–1988, NBC, crime drama, Dennis Farina, Bill Smitrovich
Designing Women – 1986–1993, CBS, comedy, Jean Smart, Annie Potts
Head Of The Class – 1986–1991, ABC, comedy, Howard Hessman, Robin Givens
LA Law – 1986–1994, NBC, drama, Harry Hamlin, Susan Dey, Corbin Bernsen
Matlock – 1986–1992, NBC; Jan 1993 – 1995, ABC, drama, Andy Griffith, Linda Purl
My Sister Sam – 1986–1988, CBS, comedy, Pam Dawber, Rebecca Schaeffer
Our House – 1986–1988, NBC, drama, William Brimley, Deidra Hall, Shannen Doherty
Sledge Hammer – 1986–1988, ABC, comedy, David Rasche
Cancelled TV Shows
Better Days – CBS, comedy, 5 episodes, Raphael Sbarge
Downtown – CBS, police drama, Blair Underwood
Easy Street – NBC, comedy, Loni Anderson
The Ellen Burstyn Show – ABC, comedy, Ellen Burstyn, Megan Mullally
Heart Of The City – ABC, police drama, Robert Desiderio
Jack & Mike – ABC, comedy/drama, Shelley Hack
Kay O’Brien – CBS, medical drama, Patricia Kalember
Life With Lucy – ABC, comedy, Lucy Ball, Gale Gordon
New Mike Hammer – CBS, detective drama, Stacy Keach
1986 – NBC, newsmagazine, Roger Mudd, Connie Chung
Our World – ABC, documentary, Linda Ellerbee, Ray Gandolf
Sidekicks – ABC, comedy, Gil Gerard, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Frank Bonner
Starman – ABC, sci-fi, Robert Hays, C.B. Barnes
Together We Stand – CBS, comedy, Elliott Gould, Dee Wallace Stone
The Wizard – CBS, adventure, David Rappaport
11 out of 26 new series SURVIVED for 1987/88
ABC – 3/10, The Colbys, Head Of The Class & Sledge
CBS – 2/8, Designing Women & My Sister Sam
NBC – 6/8, Alf, Amen, Crime Story, LA Law, Matlock,
& Our House
Mid Season shows
The Bronx Zoo – March 1987–1988, NBC, drama, Edward Asner
CBS Summer Playhouse – 1987–1989, CBS, anthology, Tim Reid, Daphne Maxwell Reid
The Cavanaughs – December 1986–1989, CBS, comedy, Barnard Hughes
The Charmings – March 1987–1988, ABC, comedy, Caitlin O'Heaney, Christopher Rich
The Days And Nights Of Molly Dodd – May 1987–1988, NBC, comedy/drama, Blair Brown
Houston Knights – March 1987–1988, CBS, crime drama, Michael Pare, Michael Beck
Married With Children – April 1987–1997, Fox, comedy, Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal
Max Headroom – March 1987–1988, ABC, sci-fi, Matt Frewer
Mr. President – May 1987–1988, Fox, comedy, George C. Scott, Conrad Bain
New Adventures of Beans Baxter – July 1987–1988, Fox, adventure, Jonathan Ward
Ohara – Jan 1987–1988, ABC, crime drama, Pat Morita
Rags To Riches – March 1987–1988, NBC, comedy/drama, Joseph Bologna
The Tracey Ullman Show – April 1987–1990, Fox, variety, Tracey Ullman
21 Jump Street – April 1987–1990, Fox; 1990/91, Syndication, crime drama, Johnny Depp
Werewolf – July 1987–1988, FOX, supernatural, John J. York, Chuck Connors
Cancelled Mid Season Shows
Animal Crack–Ups – ABC, wildlife/nature, Alan Thicke
Dads – ABC, comedy, Barry Bostwick
Gung Hu – ABC, comedy, Scott Bakula
Hard Copy – CBS, newspaper drama, Dean Devlin
Harry – ABC, comedy, 4 episodes, Richard Lewis, Holland Taylor
Karen's Song – FOX, comedy, Patty Duke, Teri Hatcher
Mariah – ABC, crime drama, 7 episodes, Chris Wiggins
Nothing In Common – NBC, comedy, 7 episodes, Bill Macy
Outlaws – CBS, detective drama, Richard Roundtree
The Popcorn Kid – CBS, comedy, 6 episodes, Faith Ford
Roomies – NBC, comedy, Corey Haim
Roxie – CBS, comedy, 2 episodes, Andrea Martin
Shell Game – CBS, comedy drama, 5 episodes, Marg Helgenberger
Spies – CBS, espionage/foreign intrigue, 6 episodes, George Hamilton
Sweet Surrender – NBC, comedy, 6 episodes, Dana Delany
Take Five – CBS, comedy, 2 episodes, George Segal
The Tortellis – NBC, comedy, 13 episodes, Dan Hedaya, Jean Kasem
Double Dare – 1986–1993, Nickelodeon, quiz, Marc Summers
Robert Klein Time – 1986–1988, USA, talk, Robert Klein
Charles In Charge – January 1987–1991, Syndication, comedy, Scott Baio, Willie Aames
A Current Affair – 1986–1996, syndication, newsmagazine, Maury Povich
Dancing To The Hits – syndication, music, Lorenzo Lamas
Dream Girl, U.S.A. – syndication, beauty contest, Ken Howard
Mama’s Family – 1986–1990, syndication; comedy, Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry
The New Cross–Wits – syndication, quiz, David Sparks
The New Gidget – 1986–1988, syndication, comedy, Caryn Richman, Dean Butler
Nightlife – syndication, talk, David Brenner
9 to 5 – 1986–1988, syndication, comedy, Valerie Curtin, Sally Struthers
One Big Family – syndication, comedy, Danny Thomas
The Rock 'N' Roll Evening News – syndication, news/information, Steve Kmetko
Siskel & Ebert – 1986–1999, syndication, commentary, Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert
Throb – 1986–1988, syndication, comedy, Diana Canova, Jane Leeves
What A Country – syndication, comedy, Yakov Smirnoff
You Write The Songs – syndication, music/competition, Ben Vereen
The Dick Cavett Show – ABC, talk/discussion, Dick Cavett
In Person From The Palace – CBS, variety, Bobby Colomby
Jimmy Breslin's People – ABC, talk/interview, Jimmy Breslin
Keep On Cruisin' – CBS, variety, Sinbad
Monday Sportsnite – ABC, sports news, Al Trautwig
Two Seasons (1985/86)
Amazing Stories – 1985–1987, NBC, fantasy anthology
Check It Out – 1985–1988, syndicated, comedy
Crook And Chase – April 1986–1993, TNN, magazine
The Equalizer – 1985–1989, CBS, detective drama
An Evening At The Improv – 1985–1995, A&E, comedy
The Golden Girls – 1985–1992, NBC, comedy
Growing Pains – 1985–1992, ABC, comedy
MacGyver – 1985–1992, ABC, adventure
Me & Mrs. C. – June 1986–1987, NBC, comedy
The New Leave It To Beaver – 1986–1989, WTBS, comedy
Perfect Strangers – March 1986–1993, ABC, comedy
Puttin' On The Hits – 1985–1988, syndication, music/competition
Small Wonder – 1985–1989, Syndication, comedy
Spenser: For Hire – 1985–1988, ABC, detective drama
Stingray – March 1986–1987, NBC, drama
The New $100,000 Pyramid – 1985–1988, syndication, quiz
The Twilight Zone – 1985–1987, CBS, sci-fi anthology
227 – 1985–1990, NBC, comedy
Valerie – March 1986–1987, NBC, comedy
What’s Happening Now!! – 1985–1988, syndication, comedy
You Again? – Feb1986–1987, NBC, comedy
Three Seasons (1984/85)
The Cosby Show – 1984–1992, NBC, comedy
Dr. Ruth – 1984–1991, Lifetime, discussion/advice
The George Michael Sports Machine – 1984–1991, NBC, sports highlights
Highway To Heaven – 1984–1989, NBC, drama
Hollywood Insider – May 1985–1995, USA Network, news/gossip
Hunter – 1984–1991, NBC, crime drama
Jeopardy – 1984–present, syndication, game
Larry King Live – June 1985–present, CNN, discussion
Miami Vice – 1984–1989, NBC, crime drama
Mr. Belvedere – March 1985–1990, ABC, comedy
Moonlighting – March 1985–1989, ABC, comedy/drama
Murder, She Wrote – 1984–1996, CBS, detective drama
Showbiz Today – 1984–2001, CNN, newsmagazine
Tales From The Darkside – 1984–1988, syndication, horror/supernatural
Who’s The Boss? – 1984–1992, ABC, comedy
Four Seasons (1983/84)
Church Street Station – March 1984–1987, TNN, music
Cover Story – March 1984–1989, USA, interview
Fame – 1983–1987, syndication, drama
Friday Night Videos – 1983–2000, NBC, music
Hotel – 1983–1988, ABC, drama
Kate & Allie – March 1984–1989, CBS, comedy
Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous – January 1984–1996, syndication, magazine
Love Connection – 1983–1995, Syndication – weekdays, game
Mike Hammer – Jan 1984–1987, CBS, detective drama
Night Court – Jan 1984–1992, NBC, comedy
Scarecrow & Mrs. King – 1983–1987, CBS, adventure
Star Search – 1983–1995, Syndication, talent
This Week In Country Music – 1983–1987, syndication, magazine
Webster – 1983–1987, ABC; 1987/88 in Syndication, comedy
Wheel Of Fortune – 1983–present, syndication, game
You Can Be A Star – 1983–1989, TNN, talent
Five Seasons (1982/83)
The A Team – Jan 1983–1987, NBC, adventure
At The Movies – 1982–1990, syndication, commentary
Cheers – 1982–1993, NBC, comedy
Family Ties – 1982–1989, NBC, comedy
Fraggle Rock – January 1983–1987, HBO, puppets
Nashville Now – March 1983–1993, TNN, talk/variety, LIVE
Newhart – 1982–1990, CBS, comedy
Remington Steele – 1982–1987, NBC, detective drama
St. Elsewhere – 1982–1988, NBC, drama
Six Seasons (1981/82)
Cagney & Lacey – March 1982–1988, CBS, crime drama
Entertainment Tonight – 1981–present, syndication, news/gossip
Falcon Crest – 1981–1990, CBS, soap
Gimme A Break – 1981–1987, NBC, comedy
Late Night With David Letterman – February 1982–1993, NBC, talk
The People's Court – 1981–1993, syndication, courtroom
Simon & Simon – Nov 1981–1989, CBS, detective drama
TJ Hooker – March 1982–1987, ABC, crime drama
Seven Seasons (1980/81)
Dynasty – Jan 1981–1989, ABC, soap
Hill Street Blues – Jan 1981–1987, NBC, crime drama
Magnum P.I. – Dec 1980–1988, CBS, detective drama
Solid Gold – 1980–1988, syndication, music
Eight Seasons (1979/80)
The Facts Of Life – August 1979–1988, NBC, comedy
Knots Landing – December 1979–1993, CBS, soap
Nine Seasons (1978/79)
Dance Fever – January 1979–1987, syndication, dance
PM Magazine – 1978–1990, syndication, magazine
Ten Seasons (1977/78)
Dallas – April 1978–1991, CBS, soap
20/20 – June 1978–present, ABC, newsmagazine
Twelve Seasons (1975/76)
Saturday Night Live – 1975–present, NBC; variety
Seventeen Seasons (1970/71)
Monday Night Football, 1970–2006, ABC, sports
Nineteen Seasons (1968/69)
Hee Haw – 1971–1993, syndication, variety
60 Minutes – 1968–present, CBS, newsmagazine
Twenty Seasons (1967/68)
Wild Kingdom – 1971–1988, syndication, wildlife
Twenty six Seasons (1961/62)
The David Susskind Show – 1961–1987, syndication, talk
Thirty three Seasons (1954/55)
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – 1962–1992, NBC, talk/variety