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Top 5 Favorite TV Shows (1980s)

Updated on November 20, 2012
Tom Wopat , John Schneider & The General Lee (DukeFest 2008 at Atlanta Motor Speedway)
Tom Wopat , John Schneider & The General Lee (DukeFest 2008 at Atlanta Motor Speedway) | Source

I enjoyed writing about some of my most favorite shows during the 70s and decided that I would share with you what I watched during the next era in the 80s. It is amazing when you think back to the earlier years of your life and how different things were at that time. Yes, this definitely included the shows that were on television.

During the 80s there were many television shows that captivated my attention; however, I have narrowed it down to my top five favorites (listed in no particular order) along with a few mentionables. The top five shows of my choice are as follows: The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Miami Vice and The Cosby Show.

The Dukes of Hazzard

The Dukes of Hazzard's Bo (John Schneider) and Luke (Tom Wopat) Duke brought fast-paced, action-packed fun and drama to our households from week to week. For approximately six years (1979-1985), the "Duke Boys" gave Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) a run for their money - literally.

Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach), Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) and Cooter (Ben Jones) added another great dynamic to the show because they always ended up involved in the antics of Bo and Luke. They worked as a united front to get to the truth, clear their names and make Boss Hogg sweat a little during the process.

In 2008, I had the pleasure of meeting and taking a picture with Tom Wopat at DukeFest which was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As you can imagine, it was a once in a lifetime event for me and I will treasure that moment forever.

The A-Team

"Hannibal (George Peppard), Murdock (Dwight Schultz), Baracus (Laurence Tureaud aka Mr. T) and Faceman (Dirk Benedict)" made their debut in 1983 and entertained us for approximately four years. I loved that these four characters were so different but they worked together great to solve some great cases. Yes, they were on the run for a crime they didn't commit ... I think this just added to the extreme measures that the team had to take in order to stay free and help their clients.

In June 2010, Liam Neeson led an all-star cast in the theatrical adaption of the television series. The film grossed over $25M (United States) on opening weekend and $177M (Worldwide) by September 2010.

Knight Rider

Who didn't want to own a sporty looking, high-tech, talking black car after watching Knight Rider? I know that I wanted to own one because it was the coolest car that I'd ever seen outside of the General Lee. The car was sleek, fast and assembled with the greatest technology.

Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) and his sidekick car KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) were a force to be reckoned with from week to week. One of my favorite set of episodes was when Hasselhoff had to play dual roles - Michael Knight vs. Garthe Knight.

In 2008, NBC attempted to bring an updated version of Knight Rider back to television audiences. The 60 minute show starring Justin Bruening (Mike Traceur) and Val Kilmer (KITT) lasted for approximately 18 episodes (10 episodes in 2008 and 8 episodes in 2009).

Miami Vice

World-Renowned Director Michael Mann brought Miami Vice (1984-1990) to television audiences through a broadcast deal with NBC. Don Johnson (James "Sonny" Crockett) and Philip Michael Thomas (Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs) portrayed their respective character with such tenacity and excitement.

Honestly, I was one of the many young ladies who had a crush on both of these characters; however, I loved the action and Miami setting especially since I visited my family there during the summer.

There was a 2006 film adaption of this television series released which co-starred Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. The successful theatrical version grossed over $163M worldwide.

The Cosby Show

The Cosby Show introduced mainstream television audiences to the "Huxtables." Dr. Heathcliff (Bill Cosby) and Clair (Phylicia Rashad) Huxtable along with their children Sandra (Sabrina LeBeauf), Denise (Lisa Bonet), Theo (Malcolm Jamal Warner), Vanessa (Tempestt Bledsoe) and Rudy (Keisha Knight Pulliam) brought laughter, life lessons and fun to many households.

This show became important to me because growing up during this time and seeing some of the teenage issues that the Huxtable children faced allowed me to relate. Yes, there was plenty of comic relief (as you can view in the video below) but there were also quite a bit of life lessons (e.g. dealing with peer pressure, sibling issues and finding your way in the world).

Other mentionable shows:

  • Cagney & Lacey (1981-1988)
  • Cheers (1982-1993)
  • Dallas (1978-1991)
  • Different Strokes (1978-1986)
  • Dynasty (1981-1989)
  • The Facts of Life (1979-1988)
  • The Golden Girls (1985-1992)

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my top five favorite shows of the 1980s. Please feel free to comment and share with me which were some of your favorite shows during the era. Until next time ...

Poll: Favorite Television Show (1980s)

Which of these 1980s TV shows did you like the best?

See results


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear UMHiram,

      You are as welcome as you can be. I only told you the truth. You do have a gift for writing and I urge you to keep it up.

      And thank you sincerely for your following.

      I Cherish All of My Valued-Followers. And that means YOU too.


    • UMHiram profile image

      Unique Hiram 3 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for reading this Hub along with your vote and kind words. I'm glad the you enjoyed it Kenneth.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing, to be perfectly-honest.

      I loved every word--and the lay-out was superb. Interesting, in-depth, helpful, and very informative. Great job.

      Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

      You have such a gift for writing. I am honored to have discovered you.


      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • UMHiram profile image

      Unique Hiram 5 years ago from Midwest

      LOL, I understand Amanda ... I was coming into my teenage years in the 80s so my television viewing changed a bit :o) On top of that, I am a huge NASCAR follower so that would explain my love for The Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Amanda 5 years ago

      Now see, I was a wee little tyke in the 80s so I would be looking for cartoons but I agree with The Cosby Show and Dallas.