Entertainment

The Best 1980s Action TV Series  

Ranker TV
5.2k votes 494 voters 18.8k 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
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 1 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
2
The Dukes of Hazzard is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 3 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┬ľU.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more
4
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
Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
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
The Fall Guy is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
Airwolf is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
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
Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
The Greatest American Hero is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
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
Hardcastle and McCormick is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
Hunter is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Baywatch is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 25 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