80s TV – Nielsen Ratings Top Shows by Year

We were clearly obsessed with the Ewing and Huxtable families in the 80s; of the eleven years shown below (stretching slightly back into 1979 and forward into 1990 to account for the span of a television season), “Dallas” and “The Cosby Show” took the top spot a whopping eight times!

80s TV Show: Dallas

80s TV Show, ‘Dallas’ captured the top spot in the TV rankings for three years.

Top 80s TV Show by Year

1979–1980: 60 Minutes (CBS)
1980–1981: Dallas (CBS)
1981–1982: Dallas (CBS)
1982–1983: 60 Minutes (CBS)
1983–1984: Dallas (CBS)
1984–1985: Dynasty (ABC)
1985–1986: The Cosby Show (NBC)
1986–1987: The Cosby Show (NBC)
1987–1988: The Cosby Show (NBC)
1988–1989: The Cosby Show (NBC)
1989–1990: (tie) The Cosby Show (NBC) and Roseanne (ABC)

Author: Pia Sooney

Just a little obsessed with all things 80s, Pia still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she runs a web design business.

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