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Top 80 TV shows of the 80s: Nos. 1 to 20



Cheers_2 Okay, 80s television addicts, your patience is about to pay off. We've finally reached the top 20 TV shows of the 80s on our seemingly never-ending list of the Best 80 TV shows of the 80s.

The final 20 all received a high vote tally from blog readers, but deciding the top three was the toughest. All three tied for the most number of votes. Remember, click here to read how we came up with the list. And click these links for the rest of the list: Nos. 21-40, 41-60, 61-80

Top 20 television shows of the 80s:

20. Designing Women (1986-93): Dixie Carter, Delta Burke

19. Silver Spoons (1982-87): Rick Schroder, Erin Gray

18. Facts of Life (1979-88): Lisa Whelchel, Charlotte Rae

17. Fantasy Island (1978 - 1984): Ricardo Montalban, Hervé Villechaize

16. Head of the Class (1986-91): Howard Hesseman, Dan Frischman

15. Remington Steele (1981-86): Pierce Brosnan, Stephanie Zimbalist

14. Square Pegs (1982-83): Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Linker

13. Pee Wee's Playhouse (1986-1991): Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman

12. Dallas (1978-91): Larry Hagman, Linda Gray

11. The Love Boat (1977-1986): Gavin MacLeod, Fred Grandy

10. The A-Team (1983-86): George Peppard, Mr. T

9. Moonlighting (1985-89): Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis

8. Night Court (1984-91): Harry Anderson, John Larroquette

7. You Can't Do That on Television (1979-90): Christine McGlade , Lisa Ruddy

6. Magnum P.I. (1980-88): Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

5. Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85): Tom Wopat, John Schneider

4. The Cosby Show (1984-92): Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad

3. Family Ties (1982-89): Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross

And the big decision....

2. Miami Vice (1984-89): Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas. One could easily argue this show deserves the top spot. Unlike few other shows on the list, it's straight from an 80s time capsule and changed the future of TV drama.

1. Cheers (1983-1993): Ted Danson, George Wendt. One of the few shows in TV history that seemed as creative and funny during episode 1 as it did during its finale (which some may argue is possibly the best sitcom finale of all time, behind only "Newhart" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show.")

Cheers won 26 Emmy Awards (from 117 nominations). It was able to keep its top characters throughout its 11 seasons, survived the death of one cast member (Nicholas Colasanto as "Coach"), the swapping out of the female lead (Kirstie Alley for Shelley Long), and even spawned a hugely successful spinoff series with another co-star ("Frasier" with Kelsey Grammer). And as an unexpected side benefit, the site of the bar in Boston is now a tourist magnet.

So there's the list. Feel free to drop us a comment with your thoughts on the inclusions and omissions.

[Special thanks to for filling in the occasional blanks.]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:24pm]


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