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History Of Television
1980's

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1980's Classic TV

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As we enter the 1980's a 19 inch portable with Remote is running about $499. A console TV with remote is about $799. Vcr's are still around $800 and the blank tapes are about $20.

Cable TV is starting to show up in some cities. There were just a few stations available on cable such as Wor from New Yourk, Wtbs from Atlanta, Wgn from Chicago and Usa Network and Nickolodean. Cable TV cost about $8 a month in the early 80's.

On Network TV the buzz was around the show Dallas and "Who Shot J.R.?

The other big show of 1980 was The Dukes Of Hazzard featuring the beautiful Catherine Back wearing her Daisy Dukes.

60 Minutes, M.A.S.H. Alice, The Jeffersons and Three's Company were all in the Top 10.

In 1981 a new cable TV channel debuted called Mtv, this channel showed on music videos and became quite popular.

There was a Writers Guild Of America Strike and many shows did not debut new episodes until December of 1981.

With the prime time soap Dallas still going strong CBS added two other prime time soaps in Falcon Ccrest & Knots Landing, both shows had a long run as well.

Some new series debuted in 1982 such as The A-Team, Newhart, Cagney & Lacey,T.J. Hooker, Joani Loves Chachi & Gloria.

Newcomers to the top 10 include Magnum P.I. Love Boat, Simon & Simon & Falcon Crest.

New series for 1983 included Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Jennifer Slept Here, We Got It Made, & Webster.

Kate & Allie, Cagney & Lacey & Hotel all make the Top 10 in 1983.

For 1984 some new dramas debut with shows such as Highway To Heaven, Murder She Wrote & Finder Of Lost Loves.

By the mid 80's most of the popular 70's shows were gone like Happy Days, Fantasy Island, Laverne & Shirley & Three's Company.

A popular syndicated sci-fi series aired in the mid 80s called Tales From The Darkside, this was one of the best sci-fi shows of the decade.

Sitcoms came on strong with a number of them making the top 15. Cosby Show and Familiy Ties were the top 2 shows along with Golden Girls, Who's The Boss, Cheers & Night Court.

Samantha Smith the young star of the drama Lime Street was killed in a plane crash and the series discontinued production.

1986 was the first year Dallas dropped out of the top ten. In 1986 Dallas had its Dream Season as the the season of shows was Pam dreaming only to have a surprise in her bathroom in the final episode.

The Fox TV network debuted but they didn't offer a full season of primetime shows until 1987.

In April of 1987 Fox TV announced its first lineup of primetime shows including Married With Children, 21 Jump Street, Tracy Ullman Show & The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter. At this point Fox only airs shows on Saturday & Sunday.

Well the Dream Season didn't help the TV show Dallas as they dropped out of the Top 20.

New shows in the Top 10 include Growing Pains, The Wonder Years, Alf & A Different World.

Popular new shows included My Two Dads, Just The Ten Of Us, Full House, Jake & The Fatman, China Beach & Beauty & The Beast.

The big show for 1988 was the sitcom Roseanne which ranked #2 in the ratings. Anthing But Love and Empty Nest also made the Top 10 in 1988.

In 1989 Fox TV has its first show in the Top 30, The Simpsons debuted and its still going strong today.

By 1989 most homes had cable tv and many of the cable networks that we have today were already on cable by 1989.

 

 

 

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