Thursday, April 19, 2018

1980's Television...Wut you talkin' About?

After our post on 1970's TV hell, we wondered what 1980's TV hell would look like. Via Wikipedia here are the top 10 TV shows for 1985-86*:
Rank Program Network Rating
1 The Cosby Show NBC 33.7
2 Family Ties 30.0
3 Murder, She Wrote CBS 25.3
4 60 Minutes 23.9
5 Cheers NBC 23.7
6 Dallas CBS 21.9
7 Dynasty ABC 21.8
The Golden Girls NBC
9 Miami Vice 21.3
10 Who's the Boss? ABC 21.1
Operating under the theory that a decades cultural trends reach their zenith in the 8 year, here's the top ten TV shows of 1988-89:
Rank Program Network Rating
1 The Cosby Show NBC 25.6
2 Roseanne ABC 23.8
3 A Different World NBC 23.0
4 Cheers 22.3
5 60 Minutes CBS 21.7
6 The Golden Girls NBC 21.4
7 Who's the Boss? ABC 20.8
8 Murder, She Wrote CBS 19.9
9 Empty Nest NBC 19.2
10 Anything but Love ABC 19.0
First the ratings are stunning. Nothing today will even approach a 25.

Second, for a decade remembered for everything being cool, 1980's television seems pretty lame. Miami Vice** for certain, maybe A Different World. But remember folks, that's a spinoff of the Cosby Show and lead in right after. A Different World was part of the Cosby juggernaut. 

Four of these TV shows are about old people and a fourth, 60 Minutes is for old people. Cheers is about a bunch of losers sitting around a bar which ruins everyone with whom it comes in contact, Diane, Rebecca, even Robin Colcord.

*For foreign readers, American television seasons start in the autumn and end in late spring.
**Visionary NBC programing chief Brandon Tartacoff called the show 'MTV Cops'.

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