1980s - My Favorite TV Cops Shows
There were always a number of games that I played growing up with my cousins and friends. My favorite were the action-packed ones like cops and robbers. Don't get me wrong, I loved to roller skate, jump double dutch, play hopscotch and dodge ball - just to name a few. However, there was nothing like playing the police officer who got to catch and handcuff the bad guy(s).
A number of television cop shows were prominent throughout the 1980s and I wanted to share which ones I loved to watch during that era. I am sure that those of you who were brought up during this era can appreciate my list and share great thoughts about these shows. I encourage you to sit back, read and enjoy the memories with me.
Sgt. Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) and his female partner Sgt. Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) were always interesting for me to watch because they were homicide investigators working for the LAPD. They often had to go undercover and never really played by the rules completely which made them an interesting duo. This show aired on NBC for approximately seven years (1984-1991).
Hunter (Season 1) Theme Song
Who doesn't love the scenery of Hawaii? Although, I haven't been there yet ... Magnum P.I. (Tom Selleck) made me feel like I was right there on the island during his many adventures. Robin's Nest was the fictional 200-acre beachfront estate belonging to Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV. His sidekicks included pilot T.C. (Roger E. Mosley), Rick (Larry Manetti) and Higgins (John Hillerman). CBS played host to this series for eight years (1980-1988).
Cagney & Lacey
Detectives Christine Cagney (Sharon Gless) and Mary Beth Lacey (Tyne Daly) provided seven years (1981-1988) of emotion-filled, action-packed television entertainment as NYPD police officers. Although Gless technically didn't join the cast until 1982, she made her mark in the series and you couldn't tell that she wasn't there from the very beginning. I loved the fact that this show was based on two female cops who had to balance their workloads, personal lives and real-life issues.
Beaches, sand and fast-paced night life are some of the things attract folks to Miami, FL. The two television cops that caught my attention were Crockett (Philip Michael Thomas) and Tubbs (Don Johnson). For five years (1984-1989), these two undercover Metro-Dade Police Department detectives fought some serious crime lords in South Florida. These two gentlemen were also trendsetters in the fashion department during this era. I loved the high adrenaline action, fashion, cars, boats and the two characters who were always entertaining.
In The Heat of the Night
Sparta Police Chief Gillespie (Carroll O'Connor) and Detective Tibbs (Howard Rollins) made this show enjoyable for me to watch due to the dynamics of the cast. I loved the various story lines that were told throughout the televised seasons. Some of the episodes included dealing with prejudices, copycat murders, unsolved cases, love triangles and kidnapping - just to name a few. The show was first aired on NBC (1988-1992) and then on CBS (1992-1995).
Although I only shared five of the many television cop shows that I watched back in the 1980s, here are some honorable mentions:
- Chips (1977-1983)
- Columbo (1971-2003)
- Knight Rider (1982-1986)
- T.J. Hooker (1982-1986)
- 21 Jump Street (1987-1991)
I hope that you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane as well as the listing of my favorite 1980s TV cop shows. I would love to hear about some of your favorite cop shows whether they are listed or not in this Hub. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.