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1985-86 Television Season

The top five shows of 1985-86 were Dallas, Cheers, Murder, She Wrote, Family Ties, with the most popular being Cosby Show. A full five of the top 10 programs were on NBC - including the top two. This was a remarkable turnaround for a network that had only one in the top 20 as recently as the Fall '82 season. (See below for the list of the top 30 programs.)

Shows that began before 8:00 p.m. on Sunday include Punky Brewster, 60 Minutes, Silver Spoons, and Ripley's Believe It or Not. Select a show below to read all about it and to share your memories!

Prime Time TV Schedule for 1985-1986
    8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
Shows that aired on Mondays ABC Hardcastle & McCormick Monday Night Football
CBS Scarecrow and Mrs. King Kate & Allie Newhart Cagney & Lacey
NBC TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes NBC Monday Night Movie
Shows that aired on Tuesdays ABC Who's The Boss Growing Pains Moonlighting Our Family Honor
CBS Hometown CBS Tuesday Night Movie
NBC A-Team Riptide Remington Steele
Shows that aired on Wednesdays ABC Insiders Dynasty Hotel
CBS Stir Crazy Charlie & Company George Burns Comedy Week The Equalizer
NBC Highway to Heaven Hell Town St. Elsewhere
Shows that aired on Thursdays ABC Fall Guy Lady Blue 20-20
CBS Magnum P.I. Simon & Simon Knots Landing
NBC Cosby Show Family Ties Cheers Night Court Hill Street Blues
Shows that aired on Fridays ABC Webster Mr. Belvedere Diff'rent Strokes Benson Spenser: For Hire
CBS Twilight Zone Dallas Falcon Crest
NBC Knight Rider Misfits of Science Miami Vice
Shows that aired on Saturdays ABC Hollywood Beat Lime Street Love Boat
CBS Airwolf CBS Saturday Movie
NBC  Gimme a Break Facts of Life Golden Girls 227 Hunter
Shows that aired on Sundays ABC MacGyver ABC Sunday Night Movie
CBS Murder, She Wrote Crazy Like a Fox Trapper John, M.D.
NBC Amazing Stories Alfred Hitchcock Presents NBC Sunday Night Movie
    8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

Note: Television seasons have generally begun in September of each year. And new shows often do not last the entire season. The shows below began the new season but did not necessarily run all the way through to summer reruns.
Continued - Indicates show began before the time period indicated. 

1985-86 Ratings

Rank Show Network Estimated
1. The Cosby Show NBC 28.948,300
2. Family Ties NBC 25,770,000
3. Murder, She Wrote CBS 21,732,700
4. 60 Minutes CBS 20,530,100
5. Cheers NBC 20,358,300
6. Dallas CBS 18,812,100
7. Dynasty ABC 18,726,200
8. The Golden Girls NBC 18,726,200
9. Miami Vice NBC 18,296,700
10. Who's the Boss? ABC 18,124,900
11. Night Court NBC 17,953,100
12. CBS Sunday Night Movie CBS 17,609,500
13. Highway to Heaven NBC 17,265,900
14. Kate & Allie CBS 17,180,000
15. Monday Night Football ABC 17,008,200
16. Newhart CBS 16,836,400
17. Knots Landing CBS 16,750,500
18. Growing Pains ABC 16,750,500
19. You Again NBC 16,492,800
20. 227 NBC 16,149,200
21. NBC Sunday Night Movie NBC 15,891,500
22. Hotel ABC 15,719,700
23. NBC Monday Night Movie NBC 15,719,700
24. Moonlighting ABC 15,547,900
25. Falcon Crest CBS 15,547,900
26. Valerie NBC 15,547,900
27. The Facts of Life NBC 15,204,300
28. Scarecrow & Mrs. King CBS 14,946,600
29. Simon & Simon CBS 14,774,800
30. The A-Team NBC 14,517,100
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