TV Shows – 1980s

Almost Grown

1 9 8 8 – 1 9 8 9 (USA) A CBS drama series covering twenty-five years in the lifetime of a formerly married couple. New Jersey couple Norman (Timothy Daly) and Susie (Eve Gordon) were divorced but still spent a lot of time together. Norman, a radio station manager, often found himself in the emotional doldrums(…)

Aloha Paradise

1 9 8 1 (USA) 13 x 50 minute episodes Another Aaron Spelling production saw guests working out their love lives at the Hawaiian Paradise Village holiday resort. The resort staff included Fran the hotel social director (Patricia Klous), Richard the lifeguard (Stephen Shortridge), and Evelyn the bartender (Mokiha-Na). Despite the presence of Debbie Reynolds the(…)

Alright Now

1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 0 (UK) Running for two seasons between 1979 and 1980, Alright Now was an ITV music series featuring the very latest top rock, pop and punk bands performing live in the Tyne Tees television studios in Newcastle, intercut with interviews, music-related location reports and archive film clips. The show was(…)


1 9 8 3 (USA) 12 x 30 minute episodes This ABC sitcom was an obvious (though unacknowledged) US adaptation of British comedy classic, Fawlty Towers, starring John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, the manic manager of a British seaside guest house. In this American version, the central character was turned into a female, Amanda, and played by Maude‘s Bea(…)

Amazing Stories

1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 7  (USA) 45 x 30 minute episodes This modern-day Twilight Zone was an anthology of sci-fi and fantasy dramas from NBC and Universal (and Steven Spielberg). The series attracted the cream of Hollywood, both in front of and behind the camera; Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Robert(…)


1 9 8 6 – 1 9 9 1 (USA) 110 x 30 minute episodes Screened as part of NBC’s Saturday evening offering for over five years, Amen was set in an African-American church, the First Community Church of Philadelphia, and revolved around the church’s Deacon, Ernest Frye (played by Sherman Hemsley, who had previously appeared on All In(…)

American Bandstand

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 8 9 (USA) American Bandstand became a powerful symbol of American teenage culture with its nearly four-decade look at the ever-changing tastes of the country’s youth. Featuring guest artists who lip-synced to their latest tunes, and a teenage audience whose members danced for the cameras, the show launched a conga(…)

Andy Robson

1 9 8 2 (UK) 20 x 25 minute episodes Based on Frederick Grice’s 1969 novel, The Courage of Andy Robson, about a young boy (Tom Davidson) who is uprooted from his life in the pit community of Easington in 1910, when his father is killed in a mining accident. Andy is sent to stay in(…)


1 9 7 5 – 1 9 8 3 (UK) 97 x 30 minute episodes 58 x 50 minute episodes Angels was the BBC’s twice-weekly story of six student nurses at (the fictitious) St Angela’s Hospital, Battersea – and later, the brand new Heath Green Hospital in Birmingham. St James’ Hospital in Balham (demolished in 1992) was used(…)


1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 0 (USA) 37 x 30 minute episodes When Brad Benson walked into the Liberty Coffee Shop, Angie thought he was poor and began sneaking him some pastries. It turned out that he was a paediatrician and a member of one of Philadelphia’s richest families. In true Cinderella fashion,(…)

Animal Magic

1 9 6 2 – 1 9 8 4 (UK) 440 x 30 minute episodes Animal Magic first aired on 13 April 1962 and ran for 22 years with host Johnny Morris (pictured) mixing tips on animal care with information on wildlife and zoos, while providing the animals with quintessential English voices – the blustering retired colonel,(…)

Annie McGuire

1 9 8 8 (USA) 6 x 30 minute episodes Newlyweds Annie (Mary Tyler Moore) and Nick (Denis Arndt) McGuire both have kids from previous marriages and are each trying to balance their respective careers (hers in politics, his in engineering). The new couple must also deal with her idealist liberal activist mother (Eileen Heckart) and his(…)

Another World

1 9 6 4 – 1 9 9 9 (USA) One of several daytime serial dramas created by Irna Phillips for American television, Another World was the first soap opera to expand from a half-hour, five days a week, to a full hour five days a week. It was also the first serial drama to engender a spin-off(…)

Antiques Roadshow

1 9 7 9 – Current (UK) Few would have predicted that Antiques Roadshow would draw bigger audiences in some regions than Coronation Street – but it did. The BBCs Sunday teatime show in which silver-haired Arthur Negus was the main expert looking at ordinary people’s treasures was a slow but steady hit, and Arthur became a favourite uncle until he(…)

Anything But Love

1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 2 (USA) 56 x 30 minute episodes Hannah Miller (Jamie Lee Curtis) is flying home to Chicago after breaking up with her lover in Los Angeles when she meets Marty Gold (Richard Lewis), a senior writer at Chicago Monthly magazine. He arranges a job interview for Hannah there, she is(…)

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