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
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 &
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 &
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
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 &
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.