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The Best 1980s CBS Shows 

Ranker TV
Updated June 14, 2019 1.8k votes 230 voters 10.4k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite CBS TV Series that aired in the '80s

There was a lot of tremendous TV in the 80s, and these are the very best 1980s CBS shows ranked from best to worst by user votes. Since this is a list of the overall best shows, some of these good 80s CBS series are dramas while some of these other great shows are comedies, obviously. Many of the best 1980s CBS TV series are still popular today when they air in syndication as reruns. This isn't too surprising since many of these shows are considered all time classics. 

What series will you find on this best 1980s CBS shows list? When M*A*S*H ended in 1983, the series finale became the most watched final episode of all time, a statistic that still holds to this day. The final episode was co-written and directed by the series' star, Alan Alda. Designing Women was also a popular 80s CBS TV series.

Charles in Charge, starring Scott Baio ran on CBS from 1984 – 1990 and Jake and the Fatman was a hit for the network in the late-1980s. Other good shows that appear on this list of top 1980s CBS shows include T.J. Hooker, Cagney & Lacey and Murphy Brown.

Which 80s CBS show deserves the top spot on this list? Vote for your favorites!
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1
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

Premiered: 1972

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Medical drama, Sitcom, Satire, Military, + more

M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH. The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ...more

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#72 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #3 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcomslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

2
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

Premiered: 1980

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Adventure film, + more

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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#97 of 289 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #8 of 68 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Serieslisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

3
Newhart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

Premiered: 1982

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Newhart is an American television situation comedy which aired on the CBS network from October 25, 1982, to May 21, 1990. The series starred comedian Bob Newhart and actress Mary Frann as an ...more

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#505 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #80 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcomslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

4
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Crime, Procedural drama, Drama, Cozy mystery, + more

This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on ...more

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#211 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #63 of 291 The Best Female-Led TV Showslisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

5
Designing Women is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts

Premiered: 1986

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Designing Women is an American television sitcom created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason that aired on CBS from September 29, 1986, until May 24, 1993, producing seven seasons and 178 episodes. The ...more

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#411 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #102 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcomslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

6
Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Gerald McRaney, Tim Reid, Jameson Parker

Premiered: 1981

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama

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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#20 of 68 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series #361 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

7
Kate & Allie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Jane Curtin, Susan Saint James, Sam Freed

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Kate & Allie is an American television situation comedy which ran from March 19, 1984, to May 22, 1989 on CBS, starring Susan Saint James and Jane Curtin as two divorced women, both with ...more

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#169 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #49 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows #149 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time

8
Alice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Linda Lavin, Beth Howland, Vic Tayback

Premiered: 1976

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Alice is an American sitcom television series that ran from August 31, 1976 to March 19, 1985 on CBS. The series is based on the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The show stars Linda ...more

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#111 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #193 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Timelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

9
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

Premiered: 1978

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Drama

Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991, on CBS. The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texan family, the ...more

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#560 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #78 of 289 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Soap Operas

10
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Tyne Daly, Al Waxman, John Karlen

Premiered: 1982

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

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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#240 of 457 The Best Duos of All Time #37 of 68 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series #40 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

11
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Murphy Brown is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS from November 14, 1988, to May 18, 1998, for a total of 247 episodes. The program starred Candice Bergen as the eponymous Murphy ...more

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#98 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #96 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

12
The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs

Premiered: 1975

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. ...more

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#11 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #63 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

13
Charles in Charge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Scott Baio, Willie Aames, Nicole Eggert

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Charles in Charge is an American sitcom series starring Scott Baio as Charles, a 19-year-old student at the fictional Copeland College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who worked as a live-in ...more

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#114 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #205 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #288 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

14
T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
William Shatner, Heather Locklear, Adrian Zmed

Premiered: 1982

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

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

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#77 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #81 of 510 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked #145 of 153 The Best Action-Adventure TV Shows

15
Trapper John, M.D. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Pernell Roberts, Timothy Busfield

Premiered: 1979

Genres (Tv): Drama, Medical fiction

Trapper John, M.D. is an American television medical drama and spin-off of the film MASH. Pernell Roberts portrayed the title character, a lovable surgeon who became a mentor and father figure ...more

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#78 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows #59 of 118 The Best TV Spinoffslisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

16
Falcon Crest is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, Chao Li Chi

Premiered: 1981

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Drama

Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for nine seasons, from December 4, 1981 to May 17, 1990. A total of 227 episodes were produced. The ...more

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#6 of 95 The All-Time Best Primetime Soap Operas #17 of 222 The Greatest Soap Operas of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Soap Operas

17
Airwolf is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Jan-Michael Vincent, Alex Cord, Ernest Borgnine

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action

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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#127 of 331 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #352 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #44 of 222 The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time

18
Scarecrow and Mrs. King ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Kate Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner, Beverly Garland

Premiered: 1983

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Drama

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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#222 of 283 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time #77 of 510 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked #42 of 70 The Best Ever Spy TV Shows

19
Tour of Duty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Terence Knox, Stephen Caffrey, Tony Becker

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Military, Adventure film, Action

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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#66 of 69 The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made #20 of 74 The Best Military TV Shows #17 of 49 The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s

20
Jake and the Fatman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
William Conrad, Joe Penny, Alan Campbell

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Legal drama

Jake and the Fatman is a television drama starring William Conrad as prosecutor J. L. "Fatman" McCabe and Joe Penny as investigator Jake Styles. The series ran on CBS for five seasons ...more

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#66 of 118 The Best TV Spinoffs #151 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time #40 of 100 The Best Legal Drama TV Shows Ever

21
The Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka, Robert Lansing

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Crime Fiction, Drama, Action

The Equalizer was an American drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985 until late-spring 1989. It starred Edward Woodward as a retired espionage/intelligence officer with ...more

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#267 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #133 of 289 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #156 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

22
Private Benjamin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Craig T. Nelson, Eileen Brennan, Wendie Jo Sperber

Premiered: 1981

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Military

Private Benjamin is an American sitcom based on the movie of the same name. The show aired on CBS from April 6, 1981, to January 10, 1983. Eileen Brennan, who reprised her role from the film, ...more

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#199 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #207 of 291 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #52 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

23
Square Pegs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Linker, Merritt Butrick

Premiered: 1982

Genres (Tv): Television comedy, Comedy

Square Pegs is an American comedy series that aired on CBS during the 1982–1983 season. The series follows Patty Greene and Lauren Hutchinson, two awkward teenage girls desperate to fit in at ...more

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#390 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #258 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #129 of 139 The Best High School TV Shows

24
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Dirty Dancing Constance Marie, Melora Hardin, Paul Feig

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Drama

Dirty Dancing is a 1988 television series on the CBS network. It is based on the film Dirty Dancing but had none of the original cast or staff. It stars Patrick Cassidy as Johnny and Melora ...more

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#4 of 17 17 Forgotten Shows Based On Popular Movies #11 of 49 The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s

25
Crazy like a Fox is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
Jack Warden, John Rubinstein, Penny Peyser

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Television comedy, Drama

Crazy Like a Fox is an American television series set in San Francisco, California, that aired on CBS from December 30, 1984 to May 3, 1986.