Top 20 TV Shows
1986 - 87
1. The Cosby
2. Family Ties
4. Murder, She Wrote
5. The Golden Girls
6. 60 Minutes
7. Night Court
8. Growing Pains
10. Who's The Boss?
16. NBC Monday Night Movie
17. CBS Sunday Movie
18. NFL Monday Night Football
19. Kate and Allie
20. NBC Sunday Night Movie
of the Season
Friday nights at 8:00
Mar 1987 - Feb 1988
White and Prince Charming come to live in modern times in this
brainless 'Bewitched' rip-off that miraculously lasted a year.
I had a clip here, but their lawyers made me take it down - this
show is actually available for syndication!
The Late Show
Starring Joan Rivers
FOX / 1986-87
was the first show on the brand new FOX Network.
left The Tonight Show
(where she was the permanent guest-host when Carson was off) to
star in her own talk show opposite former employer Johnny Carson.
list for the first episode included David Lee Roth, Pee Wee Herman,
Cher and Elton John -
it easily beat a re-run of the Carson Show that night.
Even with Rivers' career in red-hot overdrive, and massive cross-promotions,
the show was a high-profile, expensive flop for FOX.
ratings fell quickly when River's show had trouble booking guests.
'The Tonight Show' refused to book any guests who appeared on
of floundering with various formats, including a dreadful mock
newscast, FOX got out of the late-nite game - until 1993's mega-disaster
'The Chevy Chase Show'.
New Gidget starred Caryn Richman and was a pleasing update
of the 1965 series.
seen - William Schallert as Gidget's dad, he appeared on the original
New Gidget ran from 1986-1989 in
Ball (in Kabuki makeup) played Lucy Barker, an energetic, health
conscious grandmother who comes to live with her daughter, son-in-law
and their two kids in South Pasadena.
Life With Lucy
Saturday Nights at 8:00
Sept - Nov 1986 / ABC
to play the heavy was 80 year-old Gale Gordon ('Mr. Mooney') as
Lucy's ex-husband's partner Curtis McGibbons. It was the old
Lucy formula updated (hardly at all) for the eighties.
ovation that the 72 year-old comedienne got on her first entrance
went on for so long that most of it had to be edited out when
the show was aired.
With Lucy on Saturdays may be pivotal to the success of the
whole line-up" ABC's VP for scheduling said in 1985, "People will
surely watch the premiere, but the few weeks after that will be
premiere episode reached number 23 for the week, shocking industry
insiders who expected a top ten first outing.
With Lucy was cancelled after only three months (8 episodes
total) due to anemic ratings that kept getting worse and worse
as the weeks wore on.
episodes were filmed that were never shown during the original
Wednesday nights at 9:00
ABC / 1981-1989
ratings peaked during the 1984-85
season by portraying rich women as conniving, back-stabbing
hedonists in Nolan Miller gowns. The 84-85 season found Alexis
(Joan Collins) in jail for murder, Fallon driving off into oblivion
before her wedding, and the whole cast machine-gunned down at
a Royal wedding in Moldavia. Numbers started to slide the next
season, when even more outrageous plotlines were explored.
During the 1985-86 season, Krystal Carrington (Linda Evans) was kidnapped
by Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear) and replaced by a double who is
slowly poisoning Blake (John Forsyth). Sexually confused Steven Carrington
finally got another boyfriend, (Blake killed his first one in
the first season) a local prosecutor who goes after the Carrington
family businesses - and Alexis' sister Caress comes to town after
writing an unflattering book called 'Sister Dearest'.
The 1986-87 season opens with Blake in financial
ruin as Alexis prepares to take over. This drives him to the edge
and he tries to strangle his ex-wife Alexis while his evil brother
cheers him on. Sammy Jo
gets married and joins the catfight crowd as her role grows over
the next two years to attract younger viewers.
was Dynasty's first season out of the top twenty, and the last
season for The Colby's, a spin-off that debuted the previous
CBS: Teen Wolf (cartoon based on the movie),
Wildfire (a cartoon horse), The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse by
Ralph Bakshi and Pee Wee's Playhouse debut to immediately
become the number-one rated Saturday morning line-up of the year.
Carol, Carl, Whoopie and Robin
Carol Burnett teams with Carl Reiner, Whoopie Goldberg and Robin
Williams for a special variety hour. The highlight has Robin and
Carol performing a skit as written, and then again with Robin
Tuesday nights at 9:00
ABC / 1985-1989
was on a long losing streak, and Moonlighting was one of the few
hit shows the network had. Too bad the stars and producer didn't
get along at all, and the production company was unable to produce
episodes on schedule. This led to lots of reruns, and the quick
demise of the series. By then, Bruce Willis was a big movie star,
and didn't need a TV series any longer. Willis won the 1986-87
Emmy award for best actor in a drama.
network couldn't get enough 'Moonlighting' episodes to air, so
they just cloned the show as Jack and Mike and put it on right
"I've fallen and I can't get up!"
and "Where's the Beef?" are the big ones.
Tony the Tiger was still going strong
after three decades.
Brenner flops in a late-nite slot, Crime Story begins a two
year run (from the producers of Miami Vice), Sidekicks
features ten-year old Ernie Reyes, Jr. as a karate-kicking superkid,
with Gil Gerard and Keye Luke. Sledgehammer and Starman are two promising
series, Sledgehammer got picked up, Starman didn't.
Alf becomes a surprise top-ten hit for
NBC. Bobby Ewing shows up in the shower, back from the dead, on
starts a second season - without the show's star, Valerie Harper,
who quit in a salary dispute. She was replaced by Sandy Duncan
and the series was renamed The Hogan Family, running five
years. Harper won a huge lawsuit for a share of the profits of
the long-running series.
fall season tag line was "We Belong Together" while CBS wanted you
to "Share the Spirit".
Burstyn had a wonderful show but short run because of
the poor lead-in; the series followed Life with Lucy.
of the Class, Designing Women, My Sister Sam, LA Law began
their first seasons.
Wonder was a popular syndicated sitcom about a robotic six
year-old little girl that spoke in a clipped monotone like the robot from Lost in Space.
Mike Hammer, Hill Street Blues, Amazing Stories,
Scarecrow and Mrs. King, A-Team, Gimme A Break, Simon and Simon
were all cancelled in 1987.
Headroom debuted at the end of the 86-87 season and holds
the distinction of being the only TV program based on both a British
TV show and a series of Coke commercials.
to Heaven, Kate and Allie, Newhart, Magnum PI, Miami Vice, Golden
Girls, 227, My Two Dads were also popular.
a video look at ABC's daytime schedule.
Wizard lasted one season, but attracted a cult following. Starred
dwarf actor David Rappaport as a toymaker/inventor who solved crimes
for the government.
over a relationship, Rappaport committed suicide in 1990.
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