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TV Seasons


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!

First Run:

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.

Name Change:

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.

The Return:

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 Ewing.

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 1977.

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.

Spin Off:

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 Hammer

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


Late Night

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


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