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The Best 1980s CBS Shows

Updated June 14, 2019 2.0k votes 235 voters 11.2k views30 items

List RulesVote 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
    85
    26

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

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

    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    70
    30

    Magnum, P.I.

    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

    Premiered1980

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

    Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Newhart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    55
    31

    Newhart

    Bob Newhart, Mary Frann

    Premiered1982

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Newhart is an American television situation comedy which aired on the CBS network from October... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    48
    32

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

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

    This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and... more on Wikipedia

    More Murder, She Wrote 

    #9 of 35 Longest Running US Drama Shows#236 of 639 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch

  • 5
    Designing Women is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    54
    39

    Designing Women

    Delta Burke, Dixie Carter

    Premiered1986

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Designing Women (CBS, 1986) is an American television sitcom created by Linda... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    46
    28

    Simon & Simon

    Gerald McRaney, Tim Reid

    Premiered1981

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama

    Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24,... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Kate & Allie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    45
    30

    Kate & Allie

    Jane Curtin, Susan Saint James

    Premiered1984

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Kate & Allie is an American television situation comedy which ran from March 19, 1984, to May... more on Wikipedia

    More Kate & Allie 

    #174 of 297 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History#7 of 48 The Best Single Woman Sitcoms

  • 8
    Alice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    43
    25

    Alice

    Linda Lavin, Beth Howland

    Premiered1976

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Alice is an American sitcom television series that ran from August 31, 1976 to March 19, 1985... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Dallas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    33
    12

    Dallas

    Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval

    Premiered1978

    Genres (Tv)Soap opera, Drama

    Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2,... more on Wikipedia

    More Dallas 

    #3 of 39 Longest Running US Soap Operas#60 of 335 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • 10
    Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    41
    28

    Cagney & Lacey

    Tyne Daly, Al Waxman

    Premiered1982

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

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

    More Cagney & Lacey 

    #234 of 296 The Best Duos of All Time#37 of 66 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

  • 11
    Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    49
    43

    Murphy Brown

    Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud

    Premiered1988

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Murphy Brown is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS from November 14, 1988, to May... more on Wikipedia

    More Murphy Brown 

    #13 of 72 The Longest Running US Sitcoms#135 of 437 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • 12
    The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    23
    11

    The Jeffersons

    Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley

    Premiered1975

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Charles in Charge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    34
    34

    Charles in Charge

    Scott Baio, Willie Aames

    Premiered1984

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Charles in Charge is an American sitcom series starring Scott Baio as Charles, a 19-year-old... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Trapper John, M.D. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    30
    31

    Trapper John, M.D.

    Brian Stokes Mitchell, Pernell Roberts

    Premiered1979

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Medical fiction

    Trapper John, M.D. is an American television medical drama and spin-off of the film MASH.... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    35
    36

    T. J. Hooker

    William Shatner, Heather Locklear

    Premiered1982

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

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

    More T. J. Hooker 

    #85 of 236 The Best Ever Police Procedural Series#7 of 51 The Best Aaron Spelling Shows and TV Series

  • 16
    Falcon Crest is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    28
    35

    Falcon Crest

    Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas

    Premiered1981

    Genres (Tv)Soap opera, Drama

    Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for... more on Wikipedia

    More Falcon Crest 

    #5 of 96 The All-Time Best Primetime Soap Operas#16 of 50 The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time

  • 17
    Airwolf is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    33
    41

    Airwolf

    Jan-Michael Vincent, Alex Cord

    Premiered1984

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

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

    More Airwolf 

    #132 of 308 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time#90 of 94 TV Shows You Wish You Were A Character On

  • 18
    Scarecrow and Mrs. King is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    25
    35

    Scarecrow and Mrs. King

    Kate Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner

    Premiered1983

    Genres (Tv)Espionage, Drama

    Scarecrow and Mrs. King is an American television series that aired from October 3, 1983, to... more on Wikipedia

    More Scarecrow and Mrs. King 

    #219 of 265 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time#36 of 102 The Best Espionage TV Shows

  • 19
    Tour of Duty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    25
    35

    Tour of Duty

    Terence Knox, Stephen Caffrey

    Premiered1987

    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... more on Wikipedia

    More Tour of Duty 

    #15 of 67 The Best Military TV Shows#66 of 78 The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made

  • 20
    Jake and the Fatman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    23
    35

    Jake and the Fatman

    William Conrad, Joe Penny

    Premiered1987

    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"... more on Wikipedia

    More Jake and the Fatman 

    #59 of 127 The Best TV Spinoffs#45 of 101 The Best Legal Drama TV Shows Ever

  • 21
    The Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    22
    34

    The Equalizer

    Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka

    Premiered1985

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

    The Equalizer was an American drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985... more on Wikipedia

    More The Equalizer 

    #217 of 537 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#150 of 507 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

  • 22
    Private Benjamin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    21
    31

    Private Benjamin

    Craig T. Nelson, Eileen Brennan

    Premiered1981

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Military

    Private Benjamin is an American sitcom based on the movie of the same name. The show aired on... more on Wikipedia

    More Private Benjamin 

    #250 of 312 The Best Female-Led TV Shows#171 of 184 The Most Important TV Sitcoms

  • 23
    Square Pegs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    19
    37

    Square Pegs

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Linker

    Premiered1982

    Genres (Tv)Television comedy, Comedy

    Square Pegs is an American comedy series that aired on CBS during the 1982–1983 season. The... more on Wikipedia

    More Square Pegs 

    #142 of 144 The TV Shows Most Loved by Hipsters#10 of 13 The Most Delightful Bill Murray Cameos

  • 24
    Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1980s CBS Shows
    17
    41

    Dirty Dancing

    Constance Marie, Melora Hardin

    Premiered1988

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Dirty Dancing is a 1988 television series on the CBS network. It is based on the film Dirty... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    #3 of 17 17 Forgotten Shows Based On Popular Movies#14 of 50 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
    15
    37

    Crazy like a Fox

    Jack Warden, John Rubinstein

    Premiered1984

    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... more on Wikipedia
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