Entertainment The Best '80s TV Shows  

Ranker TV
Originally by
169.8k votes 6.8k voters 302.5k views 510 items

List Rules Only TV series that aired between 1980 and 1989

List of the best television shows from the '80s, as ranked by television fans. In the 1980s, sitcoms were among the most talked about and most watched shows on the air. Shows like Cheers, The Cosby Show, Murphy Brown, and The Golden Girls were always topics of conversation around the water cooler. Family sitcoms were especially popular, with the rise of shows like Family Ties, The Wonder Years, The Facts of Life, and Who’s the Boss.

Procedural crime dramas like Miami Vice, Knight Rider, and Remington Steele were popular, not only for the feather-haired hunks and uniquely '80s fashion, but also for their action-packed plots. The '80s also saw a rise in soap-style primetime television. The goings on in Dynasty and Dallas were constant topics of conversation. Many of the more popular shows lasted well into the next decade, but even some of the most well-remembered shows of the 80s only lasted a season or two, such as Max Headroom and The Greatest American Hero.

What are your favorite shows from the '80s? Take a look at this list filled with the best shows the '80s had to offer. Maybe you’ll be inspired to take out those old Betamax recordings and rewatch your favorite actually-good '80s shows that really hold up. For more 80s TV, check out the best shows set in the 1980s

list ordered by
1
1,596 801
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1982-1993
Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for ...more
2
1,321 760
Family Ties is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1982-1989
Family Ties is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 22, 1982 until May 14, 1989. The series, created by Gary David Goldberg, reflected the move in the United States from the ...more
3
1,645 668
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1980-1988
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
4
1,258 719
Night Court is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1984-1992
Night Court is an American television situation comedy that aired on NBC from January 4, 1984, to May 31, 1992. The setting was the night shift of a Manhattan court, presided over by the young, ...more
5
1,326 763
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1988-1993
The Wonder Years is an American television comedy-drama created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black. It ran on ABC from 1988 through 1993. The pilot aired on January 31, 1988, following ABC's ...more
6
1,353 626
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
murphycat added 1972-1983
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
7
1,371 692
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1985-1992
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and ...more
8
911 784
Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1985-1989
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
9
657 804
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1981-1987
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
10
863 641
Taxi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
looksharp added 1978-1983
Taxi is an American sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and from 1982 to 1983 on NBC. The series—which won 18 Emmy Awards, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series—focuses ...more
11
777 757
Newhart is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1982-1990
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
12
1,395 572
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1983-1987
The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more
13
1,401 598
Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1987-1997
Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a dysfunctional family living in a fictional Chicago suburb. The series, notable for being the first ...more
14
1,116 603
Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1984-1990
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
15
1,045 791
The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1984-1992
The Cosby Show is an American television sitcom starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992. The show focuses on the Huxtable family, ...more
16
1,396 479
The Dukes of Hazzard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1979-1985
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
17
455 783
L.A. Law is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1986-1994
L.A. Law is an American television legal drama series that ran for eight seasons on NBC from September 15, 1986 to May 19, 1994. Created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, it contained ...more
18
1,378 492
Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1982-1986
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
19
1,315 471
MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1985-1992
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
20
738 688
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1982-1987
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
21
953 417
WKRP in Cincinnati is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1978
WKRP in Cincinnati is an American situation comedy television series that features the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was ...more
22
555 827
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1988-1998
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
23
442 764
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1982-1988
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
24
1,024 608
ALF is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1986-1990
ALF is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 22, 1986 to March 24, 1990. It was the first television series to be presented in Dolby Surround sound system. The title character is ...more
25
555 751
Designing Women is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s TV Shows
1986-1993
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