TV of the 1980s

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1. Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The misadventures of a wealthy Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American housekeeper from Harlem.

Stars: Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain, Dana Plato

Votes: 8,392

2. Gilligan's Island (1964–1992)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Seven men and women are stranded on an uncharted island following a torrential storm.

Stars: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer

Votes: 11,245

3. Doctor Who (1963–1989)

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The adventures in time and space of the Doctor, a Time Lord who changes appearance and personality by regenerating when near death, and is joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.

Stars: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker

Votes: 32,972

4. Charlie's Angels (1976–1981)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

A wealthy mystery man named Charlie runs a detective agency via a speakerphone and his personal assistant, John Bosley. His detectives are three beautiful women, who end up in a variety of difficult situations.

Stars: Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, David Doyle

Votes: 8,967

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965 TV Short)

TV-G | 25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Director: Bill Melendez | Stars: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer, Bill Melendez

Votes: 28,131

6. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973 TV Special)

Not Rated | 30 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

Directors: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman | Stars: Todd Barbee, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea, Hilary Momberger-Powers

Votes: 7,674

7. Frosty the Snowman (1969 TV Short)

TV-G | 25 min | Animation, Short, Family

A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante, Paul Frees

Votes: 13,394

8. Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976 TV Short)

TV-G | 25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Frosty's kind of lonely, so the kids think of making him a wife, Crystal. But will Jack Frost let them be happy?

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Andy Griffith, Shelley Winters, Dennis Day, Paul Frees

Votes: 2,311

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 TV Short)

Not Rated | 26 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam | Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray, Dal McKennon

Votes: 40,959

10. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966 TV Special)

Not Rated | 25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Director: Bill Melendez | Stars: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer, Cathy Steinberg

Votes: 14,269

11. Jack Frost (1979 TV Movie)

TV-G | 48 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The Groundhog tells the story of how, for once, Jack Frost became human, and helped a knight win his lady love.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Buddy Hackett, Robert Morse, Paul Frees, Larry Storch

Votes: 2,720

12. Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977 TV Movie)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

An outcast donkey in Roman era Judea with overlong ears finds his destiny on the way to Bethlehem.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Roger Miller, Brenda Vaccaro, Paul Frees, Don Messick

Votes: 1,601

13. Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979 TV Movie)

TV-G | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Long ago the Lady Borealis placed the evil Winterbolt under a magic spell, and put the last of her magic into the nose of a newborn reindeer: Rudolph. But now Winterbolt's awake. He gives ... See full summary »

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Red Buttons, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Alan Sues

Votes: 1,686

14. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 TV Movie)

TV-G | 47 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer | Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann, Paul Soles

Votes: 23,034

15. Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976 TV Movie)

TV-G | 60 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rudolph must find Happy, the baby New Year, before midnight on New Year's Eve.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Red Skelton, Frank Gorshin, Morey Amsterdam, Harold Peary

Votes: 3,025

16. The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town (1977 TV Movie)

TV-G | 50 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The Mailman decides to stop another deluge of letters by answering questions about the Easter Bunny: Sunny, a baby rabbit found and adopted by Kidville (a town of only kids--even a kid ... See full summary »

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Fred Astaire, Skip Hinnant, Bob McFadden, Allen Swift

Votes: 616

17. The Little Drummer Boy (1968 TV Special)

Not Rated | 25 min | Animation, Drama, Family

An orphan drummer boy who hated humanity finds his life changed forever when he meets three wise men on route to Bethlehem.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr., Takeya Nakamura | Stars: José Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray, Ted Eccles

Votes: 3,906

18. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974 TV Movie)

TV-G | 51 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving

Votes: 6,909

19. The Wonder Years (1988–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Kevin Arnold recalls growing up during the late 60s and early 70s; the turbulent social times make the transition from child to adult unusually interesting.

Stars: Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern, Alley Mills

Votes: 31,855

20. Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979–1982)

TV-PG | 25 min | Comedy

British sketch comedy starring the likes of Rowan Atkinson and Mel Smith.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys Jones

Votes: 1,963

21. The Kenny Everett Video Cassette (1978–1981)

30 min | Comedy, Music

This show featured music set to imagery, just prior to MTV. Most of it was concert footage though some had effects and a theme. It had a choreography segment featuring dancers known as "Hot Gossip".

Stars: Kenny Everett, Hot Gossip, David Essex, Cliff Richard

Votes: 128

22. Androcles and the Lion (1983 TV Movie)

60 min | Drama

When Androcles, a Christian in second-century Rome, extracts a thorn from a lion's paw, his kindness has unexpected consequences.

Stars: Billy Connolly, Anna Calder-Marshall, Bernard Bresslaw, Rupert Frazer

Votes: 5

23. The Kenny Everett Television Show (1981–1988)

30 min | Comedy, Music

Zany antics and sketches by the anarchic camp comic.

Stars: Kenny Everett, Cleo Rocos, Sheila Steafel, Andrie Reid

Votes: 619

24. Super Gran (1985–1987)

60 min | Comedy, Crime, Family

The adventures of a super-powered granny who fights crime in her community.

Stars: Gudrun Ure, Iain Cuthbertson, Bill Shine, Alan Snell

Votes: 369

25. Head of the Class (1986–1991)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy

A laidback teacher provides needed guidance about life for a special class of exceptional students.

Stars: William G. Schilling, Jeannetta Arnette, Dan Frischman, Robin Givens

Votes: 1,840

26. Family Ties (1982–1989)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Chronicles liberal ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, their conservative son Alex, daughters Mallory and Jennifer, and later, youngest child Andrew.

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Justine Bateman

Votes: 14,313

27. Hardcastle and McCormick (1983–1986)

60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A retired judge and his last defendant follow up on cases that were dismissed due to technicalities.

Stars: Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Joe Santos, John Hancock

Votes: 2,009

28. Moonlighting (1985–1989)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

The quirky cases of a former model and a smart aleck detective who manage a private detective agency.

Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley, Curtis Armstrong

Votes: 16,429

29. Remington Steele (1982–1987)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The cases of a female private detective partnered with a former thief who assumes the role of a fictitious detective in the business.

Stars: Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts, James Read

Votes: 6,464

30. The Yellow Rose (1983–1984)

60 min | Drama

The trials of the Champion family as they run the Yellow Rose ranch.

Stars: Sam Elliott, Cybill Shepherd, David Soul, Edward Albert

Votes: 167

31. Night Court (1984–1992)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

An eccentric fun-loving judge presides over an urban night court and all the silliness going on there.

Stars: Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll, Charles Robinson

Votes: 9,200

32. It Takes Two (1982–1983)

30 min | Comedy

Sam and Molly Quinn are two hard working career people just too busy with their careers (he a doctor and she a lawyer) to pay attention to each other or their teenage children.

Stars: Richard Crenna, Patty Duke, Billie Bird, Helen Hunt

Votes: 61

33. The Jeffersons (1975–1985)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A nouveau riche, African-American family who move into a luxury apartment building develop close, if occasionally fractious, relationships with other tenants.

Stars: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs, Roxie Roker

Votes: 6,706

34. Gimme a Break! (1981–1987)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy

Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, ... See full summary »

Stars: Nell Carter, Lara Jill Miller, Kari Michaelsen, Lauri Hendler

Votes: 2,223

35. 227 (1985–1990)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

This series took place in an apartment building numbered 227. The cast would frequently be sitting outside on a large set of stone stairs, involved in some discussion that would unfold into the weekly plotline.

Stars: Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Alaina Reed-Hall

Votes: 2,313

36. Alice (1976–1985)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures and trials of an aspiring singer and her co-workers at a greasy spoon diner.

Stars: Linda Lavin, Beth Howland, Vic Tayback, Philip McKeon

Votes: 3,354

37. One Day at a Time (1975–1984)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of a divorced mother, her family, and their building superintendent in Indianapolis.

Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr., Mackenzie Phillips

Votes: 3,165

38. Amen (1986–1991)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Deacon Frye, head of the First Community Church of Philadelphia, is trying to keep everything in his church firmly under control. His new assistant, Rev. Reuben Gregory, however, has some ... See full summary »

Stars: Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford, Roz Ryan

Votes: 1,283

39. Three's Company (1976–1984)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of two women and one man living in one apartment and their neighbors.

Stars: John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers, Richard Kline

Votes: 10,683

40. WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of the staff of a struggling Top 40 rock radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Stars: Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Howard Hesseman

Votes: 6,929

41. Newhart (1982–1990)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of an author turned innkeeper in rural Vermont and his friends.

Stars: Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston, Julia Duffy

Votes: 4,947

42. Taxi (1978–1983)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The staff of a New York City taxicab company go about their job while they dream of greater things.

Stars: Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner

Votes: 10,294

43. Cheers (1982–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

The regulars of the Boston bar Cheers share their experiences and lives with each other while drinking or working at the bar where everybody knows your name.

Stars: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt

Votes: 42,930

44. Married... with Children (1987–1997)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

Al Bundy is a misanthropic women's shoe salesman with a miserable life. He hates his job, his wife is lazy, his son is dysfunctional (especially with women), and his daughter is dim-witted and promiscuous.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal, Amanda Bearse

Votes: 89,833

45. Kate & Allie (1984–1989)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

When Allie Lowell divorces her husband and gets custody of their two children, she moves to New York City and moves in with her best friend, Kate McArdle, also divorced and raising a ... See full summary »

Stars: Susan Saint James, Jane Curtin, Frederick Koehler, Allison Smith

Votes: 1,413



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