Fall TV Preview Madness! (ABC, 1985)

ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - You'll Love it!

In Fall TV Preview Madness, I present a network television schedule preview special from the distant past. We see the good, bad, and ugly for a network’s entire upcoming fall slate.

I’m counting down the days until the Fall 2012 television season gets underway the only way I know how — by bringing you network promos for TV seasons long gone. Today’s preview is for ABC’s 1985 Fall TV season. ABC only returned 11 scripted series in 1985-86, compared to 15 for CBS and 18 for NBC. They also had the most shows from the previous season not returning, with 16.

By season’s end, ABC had two just shows in the ratings Top 10 (Dynasty and Who’s the Boss?), and six in the Top 30.

Here’s the 1985 ABC Fall preview (in two parts), complete with an appropriation of Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” You’ll love it!  (* denotes new series.)


ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - MacGyver

7pmRipley’s Believe It or Not! (1982 – 1986)
8pm*MacGyver (1985 – 1992)
9pm — The ABC Sunday Night Movie (1965 – 1998)

Although Murder, She Wrote owned the 8pm timeslot, MacGyver held his own. The Richard Dean Anderson show was moved to Mondays in 1986 and stayed there for six seasons.


8pmHardcastle and McCormick (1983 – 1986)
9pm — Monday Night Football (1970 – 2005)

After football season ended, ABC ran a movie in MNF’s timeslot.


ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - Growing Pains

8pmWho’s the Boss? (1984 – 1992)
8:30pm*Growing Pains (1985 – 1992)
9pm — Moonlighting (1985 – 1989)
10pm*Our Family Honor (Starring Eli Wallach; ended after 13 episodes.)

I have very fond memories of ABC’s Tuesday night lineup of this era, although I don’t remember Our Family Honor at all. For at least a few years, Who’s the Boss?, Growing Pains, and Moonlighting were appointment viewing in my house. Oh and hey, notice anything off about that Growing Pains preview? Those scenes were from the pilot, which had Chrissy Seaver played by Elizabeth Ward. Tracey Gold took over for the start of the first year.


ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - The Insiders

8pm*The Insiders (Starring Nicholas Campbell and Stoney Jackson; ended after 13 episodes.)
9pmDynasty (1981 – 1989)
10pmHotel (1983 – 1988)

Meh. I don’t remember The Insiders at all — despite its awesome use of Genesis’ “Just a Job to Do” — and I had absolutely no interest in either of the two soap operas (although I did dig Linda Evans).


ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - Lady Blue

8pmThe Fall Guy (1981 – 1986)
9pm*Lady Blue (Starring Jamie Rose; ended after 13 episodes.)
10pm*Dynasty II: The Colbys of California (1985 – 1987) and 20/20 (1978 – present)

Man, that Lady Blue promo looked like every cop show parody I’ve ever seen. I’m surprised her sergeant didn’t tell her, “You’re out of line! I”m gonna get yer bade one day woman cop!”

I don’t remember watching The Fall Guy, but I know I had this brown pickup from the show, and it was one of my favorite toys.


ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - Spenser: For Hire

8pmWebster (1983 – 1987)
8:30pmMr. Belvedere (1985 – 1990)
9pmDiff’rent Strokes (Ran from 1978 – 1985 on NBC; ended after 19 episodes on ABC.)
9:30pmBenson (1979 – 1986)
10pm* —  Spenser: For Hire (1985 – 1988)

I remember watching Webster, but remember very little about the show itself. I loved Mr. Belvedere, but Diff’rent Strokes needed to be put out of its misery by this time. I only got into Benson thanks to countless reruns on WPIX Channel 11 in New York. Never did get into Spenser: For Hire, although I suspect I’d appreciate it now.


ABC 1985 Fall TV Preview - Hollywood Beat

8pm*Hollywood Beat (Starring Jack Scalia and Jay Acovone; ended after 14 episodes.)
9pm*Lime Street (Starring Robert Wagner; ended after 5 episodes.)
10pmThe Love Boat (1977 – 1986)

I had never heard of those first two shows until today. The Love Boat, aka Hollywood Squares on Water, is the kind of kitschy show that could never be made today. Unless it starred a bunch of reality show burnouts.