We Look Back At The Top TV Shows of 1987

Categories: Top TV Show Ratings By Season,TV Ratings Reference

Written By

May 31st, 2008

1987: The Fox TV Network makes its prime-time debut.

Notable TV premieres of the year: Married With Children... (Fox), Full House (ABC), A Different World (NBC), and thirtysomething (ABC). Notable TV finales of the year: The A-Team (1983-87), Remington Steele (1982-87), Fame (1982-87), and Hill Street Blues (1981-87).

Top 20 Prime Time Broadcast Programs, September 1986- April 1987:

 


RANK PROGRAM NETWORK   HH RATING HH SHARE
1 Bill Cosby Show NBC   34.9 53
2 Family Ties NBC   33.4 50
3 Cheers NBC   27.5 41
4 Murder, She Wrote CBS   25.4 37
5 Night Court\Thur NBC   25.0 38
6 Golden Girls NBC   24.4 41
7 60 Minutes CBS   23.2 37
8 Growing Pains ABC   22.7 33
9 Moonlighting ABC   22.4 34
10 Who's The Boss? ABC   22.0 33
11 Dallas CBS   21.3 34
12 Nothing In Common NBC   19.6 31
13 Newhart CBS   19.5 28
14 Amen NBC   19.4 33
15 227 NBC   18.9 32
16 CBS Sunday Movie CBS   18.6 29
16 Matlock NBC   18.6 28
16 NBC Monday Night Movies NBC   18.6 28
19 Kate & Allie CBS   18.3 27
19 NFL Monday Night Football ABC   18.3 30

NBC's Thursday Night "Must See TV" was at the peak of its Cosby Show/Cheers era power (as opposed to the later Friends/Seinfeld era). The Cosby Show's 53 share was the last time a regular series averaged over a 50 share for an entire season.

1986-87 might be the peak of the TV sitcom as well, with sitcoms being 13 of the top 20 shows  (Bill Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court, Golden Girls, Growing Pains, Moonlighting, Who's The Boss, Nothing in Common, Newhart, Amen, 227, Kate & Allie) the most we've cataloged yet in our posts of past years top shows..

Only once in its long run was NFL Monday Night Football lower than a tie for 19th, and that was in 1988-89 when it was #20 by itself.

NBC dominated with 10 of the top 20 shows, CBS 6, and ABC 4.

For a bit of perspective, the top rated show this season, Tuesday's American Idol, Season To Date HH rating is 16.1 and its share is 24. Don't forget that a HH ratings point today means a lot more households than it did in the past.

The Cosby Show title card courtesy of Wikipedia.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2005 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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