80s The Best 1980s Action TV Series  

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2.8k votes 332 voters 10.6k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite Action series that aired on TV in the '80s

If the 80s were about anything they were about excess... and action! Explosive, 'roided up, action. So, these are the best 1980s Action TV series, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best 1980s action TV series were based in greatly varied universes. Some of these great 80s action shows are crime dramas while some other of these seriously good 1980s action shows were about a rag tag bunch of scientists and alien scientists on a big fancy starship. So, these are the greatest 1980s action TV series. Vote for your favorites!

What shows will you find on this top 1980s action TV shows list? MacGyver was a hugely popular action series during the decade. As everyone's favorite inventive action hero, MacGyver could get himself out of the stickiest of situations. Magnum, P.I. was another one of the greatest shows that aired in the 1980s.

The A-Team promoted team-work while entertaining viewers in the 80s and motorcycle-lovers enjoyed the actions series CHIPs. Other shows that appear on this good 1980s action TV series list include Hill Street Blues, Tour of Duty and Miami Vice.

Which 80s action series is your favorite? Give the best shows a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.
list ordered by

1
102 30
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
George Peppard, Mr. T, Dwight Schultz The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more

2
91 24
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the ...more

3
91 26
Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Richard Basehart Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986. The series was broadcast on NBC and stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a ...more

4
105 37
MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. The show ran for seven seasons on ABC in the ...more

5
81 24
The Dukes of Hazzard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Catherine Bach The Dukes of Hazzard is an American television series that aired on the CBS television network from January 26, 1979 to February 8, 1985. The series was inspired by the 1975 film Moonrunners, ...more

6
79 31
Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago Miami Vice is an American television drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and Philip ...more

7
69 25
Airwolf is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Jan-Michael Vincent, Alex Cord, Ernest Borgnine Airwolf is an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on a high-tech military helicopter, code named Airwolf, and its crew as they undertake various ...more

8
59 26
The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin The Incredible Hulk is an American television series based on the Marvel Comics character The Hulk. The series aired on the CBS television network and starred Bill Bixby as David Banner, Lou ...more

9
57 30
CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Robert Pine CHiPs is an American television drama series produced by MGM Studios that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1977, to July 17, 1983. CHiPs followed the lives of two motorcycle police ...more

10
40 16
The Fall Guy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Joaquin Phoenix, Priscilla Presley, Markie Post The Fall Guy is an American action/adventure television program produced for ABC and originally broadcast from November 4, 1981 to May 2, 1986. It stars Lee Majors, Douglas Barr, and Heather

11
34 14
Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Gerald McRaney, Tim Reid, Jameson Parker Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24, 1981 to January 21, 1989. The series was broadcast on CBS and starred Gerald McRaney and ...more

12
52 30
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith Charlie's Angels is an American drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22, 1976 to June 24, 1981, producing five seasons and 110 episodes. The series was created by Ivan Goff ...more

13
55 36
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more

14
29 15
Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley Moonlighting is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 3, 1985, to May 14, 1989. The network aired a total of 66 episodes. Starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as ...more

15
40 27
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and ...more

16
47 34
Baywatch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth Baywatch is an American action drama series about the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles County, California, starring David Hasselhoff. The show was canceled ...more

17
39 28
Hardcastle and McCormick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
JoakimOlah added Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Joe Santos Hardcastle and McCormick is an American action/drama television series from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, shown on ABC from 1983 through 1986. The series stars Brian Keith as Judge Milton C. ...more

18
43 32
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts Remington Steele is an American television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason. The series, starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, was produced by MTM Enterprises ...more

19
37 27
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris Mission: Impossible is an American television series that was created and initially produced by Bruce Geller. It chronicles the missions of a team of secret government agents known as the ...more

20
36 29
Hunter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer, Charles Hallahan Hunter is an American police drama television show that was created by Frank Lupo, and starring Fred Dryer as Sgt. Rick Hunter and Stepfanie Kramer as Sgt. Dee Dee McCall, which ran on NBC from ...more

21
26 20
The Greatest American Hero is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added William Katt, Connie Sellecca, Robert Culp The Greatest American Hero is an American comedy-drama television series that aired for three seasons from 1981 to 1983 on ABC. Created by producer Stephen J. Cannell, it premiered as a two-hour ...more

22
43 39
21 Jump Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Peter Deluise 21 Jump Street is an American police procedural television series that aired on the Fox Network and in first run syndication from April 12, 1987, to April 27, 1991, with a total of 103 episodes. ...more

23
33 30
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, and ...more

24
8 3
The Transformers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Infinitememewisdom added Frank Welker, Chris Latta, Peter Cullen The Transformers is the first animated television series in the Transformers franchise. The series depicts a war among giant robots that can transform into vehicles and other objects. Written ...more

25
22 19
The Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka, Robert Lansing The Equalizer was an American crime drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985 until late-spring 1989. It starred Edward Woodward as a retired espionage/intelligence ...more

26
20 17
Spenser: For Hire is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Avery Brooks, Robert Urich, Richard Jaeckel Spenser: For Hire is a mystery television series based on Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels. The series, developed for TV by John Wilder, differs from the novels, mostly in its lesser degree of ...more

27
21 19
Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers, Lionel Stander Hart to Hart is an American television series, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy couple who moonlight as amateur detectives, much in the style ...more

28
18 17
Scarecrow and Mrs. King is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Kate Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner, Beverly Garland Scarecrow and Mrs. King is an American television series that aired from October 3, 1983, to May 28, 1987 on CBS. The show starred Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner as divorced housewife Amanda ...more

29
18 18
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Tyne Daly, Al Waxman, John Karlen Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from March 25, 1982 to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show stars ...more

30
20 21
T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added William Shatner, Heather Locklear, Adrian Zmed This show is an American police drama television program starring William Shatner in the title role as a 15-year veteran police sergeant. The series premiered as a mid-season replacement on ...more

31
25 27
Street Hawk is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
JoakimOlah added Rex Smith, Richard Venture, Joe Regalbuto Street Hawk is an American television series that aired for 13 episodes on ABC in 1985. The series is a Limekiln and Templar Production in association with Universal Television. Its central ...more

32
37 42
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

33
31 37
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police ...more

34
17 22
Sledge Hammer! is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added David Rasche, Anne-Marie Martin, Harrison Page Sledge Hammer! is an American satirical police sitcom produced by New World Television that ran for two seasons on ABC from 1986 to 1988. The series was created by Alan Spencer and stars David ...more

35
1 2
Wiseguy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Jonathan Banks, Jim Byrnes, Ken Wahl Wiseguy is an American crime drama series that aired on CBS from September 16, 1987 to December 8, 1990 for a total of 75 episodes. The series was produced by Stephen J. Cannell and was filmed ...more

36
1 3
Voyagers! is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Jon-Erik Hexum, Meeno Peluce, Stephen Liska Voyagers! is an American science fiction time travel-based television series that aired on NBC during the 1982–1983 season. The series stars Jon-Erik Hexum and Meeno Peluce.

37
14 20
Jake and the Fatman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added William Conrad, Joe Penny, Alan Campbell Jake and the Fatman is a television crime drama starring William Conrad as prosecutor J. L. "Fatman" McCabe and Joe Penny as investigator Jake Styles. The series ran on CBS for five ...more

38
1 4
Dempsey & Makepeace is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Mooney1974 added Suzi Quatro, Glynis Barber, Michael Brandon Dempsey and Makepeace is a British television crime drama made by London Weekend Television for ITV, created and produced by Ranald Graham. The leading roles were played by Michael Brandon and ...more

39
0 3
Crime Story is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Dennis Farina, Bill Smitrovich, Steve Ryan Crime Story is an American television drama, created by Gustave Reininger and Chuck Adamson, that premiered in 1986 and ran for two seasons on NBC. The executive producer was Michael Mann, who ...more

40
22 32
The Young Riders is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Stephen Baldwin, Josh Brolin, Ty Miller The Young Riders is an American Western television series created by Ed Spielman that presents a fictionalized account of a group of young Pony Express riders based at the Sweetwater Station in ...more

41
14 22
Riptide is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Kelly Preston, Anne Francis, Richard Lewis Riptide is an American TV detective series that ran on NBC from December 3, 1983 to August 22, 1986, starring Perry King, Joe Penny, and Thom Bray. It was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. ...more

42
20 30
The Streets of San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in ...more

43
22 35
Tour of Duty is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Terence Knox, Stephen Caffrey, Tony Becker Tour of Duty is an American drama television series on CBS. It ran for three seasons from September 1987 to April 1990 as 58 one-hour episodes. The show was created by Steve Duncan and L. Travis ...more

44
14 25
Matt Houston is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
1491971760840 added Lee Horsley, Pamela Hensley, Lincoln Kilpatrick Matt Houston is an American crime drama series that aired on ABC from 1982 to 1985. Created by Lawrence Gordon, the series was produced by Aaron Spelling.

45
11 21
Automan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Desi Arnaz Jr., Chuck Wagner, Heather McNair Automan is an American science fiction superhero television series produced by Glen A. Larson. It aired for only 12 episodes on ABC between 1983 and 1984.

46
8 18
A Man Called Hawk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Avery Brooks, Moses Gunn A Man Called Hawk is a prime time television series that ran on the ABC television network between January 1989 and May 1989. The series is a spin-off of the crime drama series Spenser: For ...more

47
18 32
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who ...more

48
13 29
Thunderbirds is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Sylvia Anderson, Ray Barrett, Peter Dyneley Thunderbirds is a British science-fiction television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, made by their production company AP Films, and distributed by ITC Entertainment. Filmed between ...more

49
10 25
Manimal is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Simon MacCorkindale, Melody Anderson, Reni Santoni Manimal is an American action–adventure series that ran from September 30 to December 17, 1983 on NBC. The show centers on the character Dr. Jonathan Chase, a shape-shifting man who possessed ...more

50
7 21
Cover Up is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Jennifer O'Neill, Richard Anderson, Mykelti Williamson Cover Up is an American action/adventure television series that aired for one season on CBS from September 22, 1984 to April 6, 1985. Created by Glen A. Larson, the series stars Jennifer ...more