- January – Alan Bond, who already owns QTQ-9 & STW-9 purchases TCN-9 & GTV-9 from Kerry Packer for $1.055 billion. The expanded Nine Network becomes the first coast-to-coast network.
- 5 January – British soap opera series EastEnders debuts on ABC.
- February – Fairfax, owners of ATN-7 & BTQ-7 purchase HSV-7 from The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd for $320 million. The move sees the replacement of most Melbourne-produced programming with networked programming from Sydney, including long-running shows such as World of Sport & sees Mal Walden sacked as newsreader. The revamped news service, read by former STW-9 newsreader Greg Pearce plunges to as low as zero in the ratings.
- 9 February – American sitcom ALF debuts on Seven Network.
- 16 February – Australian children's series Mr. Squiggle returns with a brand new series with Roxanne Kimmorley taking over as presenter.
- 16 February – ABC debuts a brand new weekday afternoon magazine series called The Afternoon Show presented by former Models saxophonist James Valentine. The show begins by airing three programmes per day. One show (The Mysterious Cities of Gold) airs weekdays at 5:00pm, one (The Return of the Antelope) airs for only two days and the other three (which includes Behind the News, Educating Marmalade and Earthwatch) will be airing on one different day of the week for the 5:30pm timeslot. The third programme (which is the continuing episodes of The Kids of Degrassi Street) for this show also airs at 6:00pm on weeknights.
- 6 April – British children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends debuts on ABC at 3:55pm.
- 13 April – ABC weekday afternoon magazine series The Afternoon Show updates its schedule by airing four different programmes on five different days of the week. One show (a brand new Canadian drama series called The Campbells) airs from Monday to Thursdays, the other (which is an Australian children's environmental series called Earthwatch now presented by David Smith) now airs only on Fridays, the next programme, a brand new sketch comedy series from Canada titled You Can't Do That on Television airs weekdays at 5:30pm and the last one includes reruns of the French-American animated series Inspector Gadget being shown weeknights at 6:00pm.
- 20 April – ABC comedy series The Dingo Principle broadcasts a mock interview with the Ayatollah Khomeini, which results in diplomatic tensions with Iran, including the expulsion of two Australian diplomats. Two weeks later, the ABC receives a letter of complaint from the Soviet embassy regarding a skit lampooning Russian figures Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Lenin.
- 4 May – Australian children's weekday and weekend morning series The Cartoon Connection airs on Seven Network in Melbourne for the first time starting off with The Herculoids (replacing The Bugs Bunny Show because this show aired on Seven only in Sydney), The Flintstones, Tom and Jerry and The Partridge Family on weekdays, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, Paw Paws, Galtar and the Golden Lance (replacing ThunderCats, this show first airs in Sydney in 1987, it didn't air in Melbourne until 1989) and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? on Saturdays and The Smurfs, The Challenge of the GoBots, It's Punky Brewster and Defenders of the Earth on Sundays.
- 1 July – Neighbours screens the wedding of Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell, which later in November 1988 saw the most-watched all time episodes in the UK.
- 6 July – Reruns of the British children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends airs on ABC for the first time. It was also the second time the series has been broadcasted.
- July – Westfield buys Network Ten from Rupert Murdoch's News Limited for $842 million.
- 19 July – Long-running ABC music program Countdown broadcasts its final episode.
- August – New cross-media ownership rules force the sale of the Seven Network. Fairfax sells its stations to Christopher Skase's Qintex company for $780 million.
- 26 October – A new Australian children's television series called Kaboodle debuts on ABC.
- 27 December – Kerry Stokes's ownership of ADS-7 (while owning Network Ten outlets in Perth and Canberra) and TVW-7's ownership of SAS-10, result in the stations deciding to swap callsigns and affiliations. ADS-7 becomes ADS-10 and aligns to the Ten Network and SAS-10 becomes SAS-7 and aligns to the Seven Network.
The following quote came from Seven National News reporter Alan Murrell on the 27 December 1987 edition regarding the move:
"Tonight will mark the end of the callsigns ADS-7 and SAS-10. Tomorrow, it’ll be ADS-10 and SAS-7. It’s the first time such a change has been made. The switch follows a media shake-up earlier this year, which left ADS in the hands of the owners of the Ten Network. Already, the cosmetic changes are being made at Strangways Terrace in Gilberton. But viewers will notice little difference. They’ll still turn the knob to Ten for Channel Ten programs, and to Seven for Seven programs.
"The only difference will be that the local personalities will be seen on different channels. So if you want to watch Steve Witterman and Caroline Ainslie reading the news tomorrow night, you simply turn the dial three positions, from Seven-to ADS-10. And it’s as easy as that."
New International Programming 
Television shows 
Ending this year 
Returning this year 
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TV movies