Action The Best 1980s Action TV Series  

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2.4k votes 296 voters 8.3k views 45 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.

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The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
The A-Team 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 Special Forces personnel who, after being imprisoned as war ...more

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Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Knight Rider 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

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MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
MacGyver 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

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Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Magnum, P.I. 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

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The Dukes of Hazzard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
The Dukes of Hazzard 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

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Airwolf is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Airwolf 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

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Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Miami Vice Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago Miami Vice is an American television crime drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and ...more

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The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
The Incredible Hulk 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

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The Fall Guy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added The Fall Guy 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

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CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
CHiPs 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

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Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Charlie's Angels Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith Charlie's Angels is an American crime 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 ...more

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Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Star Trek: The Next Generation 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

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Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Remington Steele 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

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Hardcastle and McCormick is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
JoakimOlah added Hardcastle and McCormick 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

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Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Simon & Simon 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

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Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Moonlighting 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

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Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Mission: Impossible 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

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Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Hawaii Five-O 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

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Baywatch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Baywatch 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

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Hunter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Hunter 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

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The Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added The Equalizer 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

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21 Jump Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
21 Jump Street 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

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Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Hart to Hart 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

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Spenser: For Hire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Spenser: For Hire 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

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Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Bonanza 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

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Street Hawk is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
JoakimOlah added Street Hawk 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

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The Greatest American Hero is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added The Greatest American Hero 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

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Scarecrow and Mrs. King is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Scarecrow and Mrs. King 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

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T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added T. J. Hooker William Shatner, Heather Locklear, Adrian Zmed T. J. Hooker 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

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Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Doctor Who 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

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Jake and the Fatman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Jake and the Fatman 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

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Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Cagney & Lacey 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

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Sledge Hammer! is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Sledge Hammer! 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

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Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Hill Street Blues 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

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The Young Riders is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
The Young Riders 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

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Riptide is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Riptide 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

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Tour of Duty is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Tour of Duty 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

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Automan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Automan 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.

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The Streets of San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
The Streets of San Francisco 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

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A Man Called Hawk is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added A Man Called Hawk 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

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Matt Houston is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
1491971760840 added Matt Houston 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.

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 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

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Thunderbirds is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Thunderbirds 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

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Manimal is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Manimal 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

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Cover Up is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
Christian Shewcraft added Cover Up 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