TV Shows – 1990s

Who’s The Boss?

1 9 8 4 – 1 9 9 2 (USA) 196 x 30 minute episodes Tony Micelli was a former second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals and a widower with a young daughter, Samantha (Alyssa Milano). Fed up with the congestion and bustle of New York City, he sought refuge working as a domestic for(…)

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

1 9 8 8 – 1 9 9 8 (UK) 136 x 30 minute episodes Beginning as a radio show on BBC Radio 4 in 1987, this half-hour show of improvised comedy based on studio audience suggestions was performed by alternating ‘alternative’ comedians under the sceptical eye of chairperson (and ex-barrister) Clive Anderson. Several of the performers(…)

Why Don’t You . . . ?

1 9 7 3 – 1 9 9 4 (UK) The full title of this Saturday morning summer show for kids was actually Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead. As a title, it was risky. Various groups of kids called things like the Belfast Gang, the(…)

Wild Palms

1 9 9 3 (USA) 1 x 90 minute episode 4 x 50 minute episodes This sci-fi mini-series from Hollywood helmsman Oliver Stone (his first foray onto the small screen) portrayed a dystopian vision of a future TV-dominated society. Set in a forbidding, fascistic Los Angeles of the future (2007!), it starred James Belushi as yuppie(…)


1 9 9 3 – 2 0 0 0 (UK) 60 x 5 minute episodes     Wizadora Wendy van der Plank (1) Lizzie McPhee (2) Tatty Bogle Joe Greco (1) Steven Ryde (2) Stan the Shopkeeper Brian Murphy Pippa the Postwoman Tessa Hatts  Hangle Francis Wright


1 9 8 2 – 1 9 9 2 (UK) 1985 saw Terry Wogan – the King of Television (and Radio) – graduate to an eponymous thrice-weekly live chat show. The new format began ignominiously when the host fell over on the very first episode, although since he was reportedly earning over £350,000 a year(…)

Wonder Years, The

1 9 8 8 – 1 9 9 3 (USA) 115 x 30 minute episodes The Wonder Years was a whimsical view of growing up in suburban America of the 1960s through the eyes of a 12-year- old. In 1968 Kevin Arnold, a rambunctious kid with an angelic face, was just entering Robert F. Kennedy Junior High(…)


1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 7 (UK) 63 x 30 minute episodes Long running Children’s TV series telling the stories of a young schoolboy with the power to transform himself into a dog. Only his best friend knows the truth and helps him hide the secret from the boy’s parents, school-teacher Miss Jessop, and headmaster Mr. Blocker.(…)

Word, The

1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 5 (UK) An edgy, youth-driven Channel 4 show, The Word encompassed live music, chat and all sorts of bizarre features. The main presenter, Terry Christian, floundered around spewing verbal diarrhoea in grating Mancunian tones while staring gormlessly at the camera and stumbling and stuttering through link after(…)

Working Girl

1 9 9 0 (USA) 12 x 30 minute episodes This situation comedy based on the popular 1988 film featured more of the adventures of secretary Tess McGill in the office setting, with relative newcomer Sandra Bullock replacing Melanie Griffith in the title role. Co-star Judy Prescott (who played McGill’s best friend, Lana Peters) recalls(…)

World In Action

1 9 6 3 – 1 9 9 8 (UK) Granada TV’s hard-hitting current affairs series World in Action was first transmitted in 1963 and has set a consistently high standard in investigative journalism. The first edition, in January, highlighted the atomic arms race and showed Khrushchev and Kennedy in conflict. Later in the year, World in Action ran into trouble over an(…)

X Files, The

1 9 9 3 – 2 0 0 2 (USA) 201 x 45 minute episodes “The truth is out there . . .” The X Files made its debut in September 1993 to little fanfare, but the supernatural adventures of special agents Fox Mulder (Yale-graduate David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) quickly built a cult following(…)

Xena: Warrior Princess

1 9 9 5 – 2 0 0 1 (USA) 134 x 60 minute episodes The success of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys brought this spin-off series that ultimately proved more popular than the original. Xena – sexy, muscular, tall, and dressed in leather – was an evil warrior princess who battled Hercules, but in her last appearance(…)

Yellowthread Street

1 9 9 0 (UK) 13 x 60 minute episodes This Yorkshire Television (ITV) series followed the Triad-busting cases of a group of Royal Hong Kong Police Force detectives, based in the colony’s Yellowthread precinct. The series never really caught on despite the exotic setting and sometimes lavish production. A clearly uncomfortable cast (seemingly selected for looks(…)

You and Me

1 9 7 4 – 1 9 9 2 (UK) Humans and puppets interacted, told stories and had fun to provide entertainment to 4 and 5-year-old preschool viewers. The series did not shy away from teaching children about the modern world and, in 1987, ran segments dealing with child abuse. The segments featured a character called(…)

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