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The Best 1980s Action TV Series

Updated October 4, 2019 9.1k votes 701 voters 30.9k views50 items

List RulesVote 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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  • 1
    Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    290
    60

    Magnum, P.I.

    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

    Premiered1980

    Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    276
    68

    Knight Rider

    David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare

    Premiered1982

    Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    287
    74

    The A-Team

    George Peppard, Mr. T

    Premiered1983

    The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    293
    81

    MacGyver

    Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar

    Premiered1985

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  • 5
    Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    237
    70

    Miami Vice

    Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas

    Premiered1984

    Miami Vice is an American television drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Dukes of Hazzard is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    230
    66

    The Dukes of Hazzard

    Tom Wopat, John Schneider

    Premiered1979

    The Dukes of Hazzard is an American television series that aired on the CBS television network... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    The Fall Guy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    184
    53

    The Fall Guy

    Joaquin Phoenix, Priscilla Presley

    Premiered1981

    The Fall Guy is an American action/adventure television program produced for ABC and... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    186
    70

    The Incredible Hulk

    Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno

    Premiered1977

    The Incredible Hulk is an American television series based on the Marvel Comics character The... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    179
    69

    CHiPs

    Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox

    Premiered1977

    CHiPs is an American television drama series produced by MGM Studios that originally aired on... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Airwolf is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    194
    79

    Airwolf

    Jan-Michael Vincent, Alex Cord

    Premiered1984

    Airwolf is an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    157
    66

    Simon & Simon

    Gerald McRaney, Tim Reid

    Premiered1981

    Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24,... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    162
    75

    Charlie's Angels

    Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett

    Premiered1976

    Charlie's Angels is an American drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    149
    85

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

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  • 14
    Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    123
    63

    Moonlighting

    Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis

    Premiered1985

    Moonlighting is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 3, 1985, to May 14,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    113
    61

    Hart to Hart

    Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers

    Premiered1979

    Hart to Hart is an American television series, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Greatest American Hero is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    123
    71

    The Greatest American Hero

    William Katt, Connie Sellecca

    Premiered1981

    The Greatest American Hero is an American comedy-drama television series that aired for three... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    113
    65

    Hawaii Five-O

    Jack Lord, James MacArthur

    Premiered1968

    Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    125
    79

    Remington Steele

    Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan

    Premiered1982

    Remington Steele is an American television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael... more on Wikipedia

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    #33 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows#19 of 66 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

  • 19
    Hunter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    117
    76

    Hunter

    Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer

    Premiered1984

    Hunter is an American police drama television show that was created by Frank Lupo, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    91
    57

    Cagney & Lacey

    Tyne Daly, Al Waxman

    Premiered1982

    Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Hardcastle and McCormick is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    114
    79

    Hardcastle and McCormick

    Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly

    Premiered1983

    Hardcastle and McCormick is an American action/drama television series that aired on ABC from... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Baywatch is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    118
    87

    Baywatch

    David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson

    Premiered1989

    Baywatch is an American action drama series about the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who patrol... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    97
    69

    T. J. Hooker

    William Shatner, Heather Locklear

    Premiered1982

    This show is an American police drama television program starring William Shatner in the title... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    103
    76

    Bonanza

    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon

    Premiered1959

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • 25
    Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1980s Action TV Series
    93
    73

    Hill Street Blues

    Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren

    Premiered1981

    Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and... more on Wikipedia
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