1984 in American television

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This article is a list of television-related events during 1984.

Events[edit]

Date Event
January 9 Wendy's "Fluffy Bun" advertisement is first broadcast, which gains Clara Peller and her "Where's the beef?" catchphrase national fame.
Something About Amelia, a story concerning incest, is broadcast by ABC. Glenn Close, Ted Danson, and Roxana Zal are the main actors.
January 22 During CBS's broadcast of Super Bowl XVIII, Apple Computer Company heralds the introduction of its Apple Macintosh personal computer with the famous advertisement "1984", the only time it is broadcast on national television.
January 23 Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan defeats The Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation championship at Madison Square Garden; the match is televised by the MSG Network.
January 27 Michael Jackson's hair catches fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.
February 1 Arts & Entertainment Network launches from the merger of ARTS and RCA's The Entertainment Channel. It originally broadcasts after kids' channel Nickelodeon signs off.
Lifetime is launched from the merger of Hearst/ABC's Daytime and Viacom's Cable Health Network.
In Bakersfield, California, CBS affiliate KPWR-TV changes its call letters to the current KGET-TV, in preparation for an affiliation swap with NBC affiliate KERO-TV the following month.
February 26 KDRV in Medford, Oregon signs on as an ABC affiliate, giving the Medford market full-time access to all three networks for the first time.
February 28 At the 26th Grammy Awards telecast by CBS, Michael Jackson wins a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards.
May 18 Character Bobby Ewing finds himself in the crossfire as a rival tries to gun down his brother J.R. on the season finale of the CBS series Dallas.
May 19 CBS tapes the Michael Larson episodes of Press Your Luck in which Larson wins $110,237 cash and prizes. (The episodes, which are split into two parts, would air on June 8 and 11.)
July 14 In what became known as Black Saturday, Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation takes over Superstation WTBS' Saturday evening time period once occupied by Georgia Championship Wrestling.
September 10 The game show Jeopardy! returns to television as a syndicated show with new host Alex Trebek.
September 14 Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler host the first MTV Video Music Awards at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, an event which included Madonna's performance of the song "Like a Virgin".
September 24 The game show Super Password premieres on NBC at 12:00 noon EST. The new version of the classic game show is one of the few shows to survive at a time period that normally broadcasts news on any of the three major networks, running for 4 1/2 years.
October 1 Montana, the last state in the Union without its own PBS station, gains one when Montana PBS launches.
American Movie Classics is initiated.
October 8 NBC broadcasts The Burning Bed, which features Farrah Fawcett as a woman who kills her abusive husband. The fact-based film is the highest-rated entertainment event of the 1984–1985 season.
October 27 Turner Broadcasting System initiates the Cable Music Channel in the U.S., only to end it one month later.
November 12 Theresa Saldana appears as herself in the NBC movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, a retelling of her 1982 stabbing incident and its aftermath.
December 17 George C. Scott plays Ebenezer Scrooge in a new version of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, broadcast by CBS.
The ABC soap opera One Life to Live changes its opening sequence and theme song, which lasted until 1991.
ABC purchases a majority stake of ESPN from Getty Oil Corp.
December 28 The Edge of Night ends after twenty-eight years on CBS and ABC daytime.

Programs[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Date Show Network
January 4 Night Court NBC
January 6 Blue Thunder ABC
January 20 The Master NBC
January 22 Airwolf CBS
January 28 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer
March 6 a.k.a. Pablo ABC
March 19 Kate and Allie CBS
March 20 Shaping Up ABC
March 31 Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Syndication
April Video Music Box WNYC-TV
April 4 Double Trouble NBC
April 12 The Duck Factory
April 14 My Little Pony Syndication
June 2 Leo the Lion CBN
July 2 Scrabble NBC
July 13 Brothers Showtime
July 30 Santa Barbara NBC
August 13 Call to Glory ABC
September 5 Heathcliff Syndication
September 7 Kids Incorporated
September 8 Dragon's Lair ABC
Mighty Orbots
Turbo Teen
Challenge of the GoBots Syndication
September 10 Voltron: Defender of the Universe
September 15 Snorks NBC
Pink Panther and Sons
The Get Along Gang CBS
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies
Pole Position
Pryor's Place
September 16 E/R
Punky Brewster NBC
September 17 The Transformers Syndication
September 18 Hunter NBC
September 19 Highway to Heaven
September 20 The Cosby Show
Who's the Boss? ABC
September 22 Cover Up CBS
September 23 Paper Dolls ABC
September 25 Three's a Crowd
September 26 It's Your Move NBC
September 27 Partners in Crime
September 28 Miami Vice
September 30 Tales from the Darkside Syndication
Murder, She Wrote CBS
October 3 Charles in Charge
October 7 Out of Control Nickelodeon
October 8 Trivia Trap ABC
October 10 Dreams CBS
October 26 V NBC
December 30 Crazy Like a Fox CBS

Returning this year[edit]

Title Last aired Previous network New title Returning network Returning
People are Funny 1960 NBC Same Same March 24
Showoffs 1975 ABC Body Language CBS June 4
Jeopardy! 1979 NBC Same Syndication September 10
Let's Make a Deal 1981 Syndication The All-New Let's Make a Deal Same September 17
Password Plus 1982 NBC Super Password September 24

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
March 10 We Got It Made (returned in 1987) 1983
April 2 Automan
April 7 Mama's Family (returned in 1986)
April 10 a.k.a. Pablo 1984
April 16 Blue Thunder
April 27 Masquerade 1983
April 30 That's Incredible! 1980
May 15 Oh Madeline 1983
May 19 Fantasy Island 1978
May 22 Hart to Hart 1979
May 28 One Day at a Time 1975
June 1 Tattletales 1982
June 2 Whiz Kids 1983
June 14 Lottery!
July 4 Real People 1979
July 11 The Duck Factory 1984
July 12 Happy Days 1974
August 11 Boone 1983
September 1 Monchhchis
The Little Rascals 1982
Pac-Man
Richie Rich 1980
Rubik, the Amazing Cube 1983
The Littles
September 5 Jennifer Slept Here
September 8 The Flintstone Funnies 1982
September 18 Three's Company 1977
November 10 The Puppy's Further Adventures 1982
December 1 Dean Martin Celebrity Roast 1973
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show 1983
December 8 Captain Kangaroo 1955
December 11 AfterMASH 1983
December 28 The Edge of Night 1956

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Births[edit]

Date Name Notability
January 2 Kristen Hager Canadian actress (Valemont, Being Human)
January 6 Kate McKinnon Actress and singer (The Big Gay Sketch Show, Saturday Night Live)
January 24 Ashley C. Williams Actress
January 26 Layla Kayleigh English-American television host
February 1 Lee Thompson Young Actor (The Famous Jett Jackson, Rizzoli & Isles) (d. 2013)
February 18 Chelsea Hobbs Canadian actress (Make It or Break It)
March 10 Olivia Wilde Actress (House, M.D.)
March 12 Jaimie Alexander Actress (Watch Over Me, Kyle XY)
March 14 Liesel Matthews Actress
March 20 Justine Ezarik YouTube personality and actress (The Annoying Orange, iJustine)
Christy Carlson Romano Actress (Even Stevens, Kim Possible) and singer
March 25 Katharine McPhee Actress and singer (American Idol, Smash, Scorpion)
March 30 Helena Mattsson Swedish-American actress (666 Park Avenue)
April 2 Ashley Peldon Actress (The Mommies) and sister of Courtney Peldon
April 4 Chrissie Fit Actress (General Hospital)
April 8 Taran Noah Smith Actor (Home Improvement)
Kirsten Storms Actress (Days of Our Lives, General Hospital)
April 10 Cara DeLizia Actress (So Weird)
Mandy Moore Actress and singer (TRON: Uprising, Sheriff Callie's Wild West, High School USA!)
April 11 Kelli Garner Actress (Pan Am)
April 16 Claire Foy English actress (Upstairs Downstairs)
April 18 America Ferrera Actress (Ugly Betty)
April 22 Michelle Ryan British actress (Bionic Woman)
April 26 Emily Wickersham Actress (NCIS)
April 27 Patrick Stump Musician (Fall Out Boy) and actor (Robot Chicken)
April 29 Firass Dirani Australian actor (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Taylor Cole Actress (Summerland)
May 8 Julia Whelan Actress (Once and Again)
May 12 Clare Bowen Australian actress and singer (Nashville)
May 24 Sarah Hagan Actress (Freaks and Geeks)
May 29 Carmelo Anthony Basketball player
Kaycee Stroh Actress (High School Musical)
June 4 Jillian Murray Actress
June 6 Antonia Prebble New Zealand actress (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
June 13 Phillip Van Dyke Voice actor ("Arnold" from Hey Arnold! in 1997–99)
June 26 Aubrey Plaza Actress (Parks and Recreation)
June 27 Emma Lahana New Zealand actress (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Khloé Kardashian Actress (Keeping Up with the Kardashians)
July 7 Ross Malinger Voice actor (Recess)
July 8 Alexis Dziena Actress (Invasion, Entourage)
July 10 Kelly Dowdle Actress (American Crime Story)
Aviva Baumann Actress
July 11 Rachael Taylor Australian actress (666 Park Avenue, Crisis, Jessica Jones)
July 19 Kaitlin Doubleday Actress (Empire)
July 27 Taylor Schilling Actress (Mercy, Orange is the New Black)
July 30 Gabrielle Christian Actress (South of Nowhere)
Gina Rodriguez Actress (Jane the Virgin)
August 1 Valery Ortiz Actress (South of Nowhere, What About Brian)
August 3 Emily Baldoni Swedish-American actress
August 10 Ryan Eggold Actor (90210, The Blacklist)
August 28 Sarah Roemer Actress (The Event, Chosen)
Michael Galeota Actor (The Jersey) (d. 2016)
September 1 Joe Trohman American musician (Fall Out Boy)
September 14 Adam Lamberg Actor (Lizzie McGuire)
September 16 Sabrina Bryan Actress, singer (The Cheetah Girls; Dancing with the Stars contestant [2 seasons])
September 18 Nina Arianda Actress
September 19 Kevin Zegers Canadian actor (Gossip Girl)
Lydia Hearst Actress and great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst
September 22 Laura Vandervoort Canadian actress (Instant Star, V, Smallville, Bitten)
September 23 CariDee English Model and actress (America's Next Top Model)
Anneliese van der Pol Actress (That's So Raven) and singer
September 27 Avril Lavigne Singer and actress
October 3 Ashlee Simpson Actress, singer (7th Heaven, The Ashlee Simpson Show) sister of Jessica Simpson
Jessica Parker Kennedy Actress (Kaya, The Secret Circle, Black Sails)
October 4 Glenn McMillan Brazilian actor (Power Rangers Wild Force)
October 11 Martha MacIsaac Canadian actress (1600 Penn)
October 14 Jason Davis Voice actor (Recess)
October 25 Katy Perry Singer, songwriter, and actress
October 27 Emilie Ullerup Danish-American actress (Sanctuary, Arctic Air)
October 28 Finn Wittrock Actor (All My Children, American Horror Story)
November 16 Kimberly J. Brown Actress (Halloweentown, Vampire Princess Miyu, Guiding Light)
November 21 Lindsey Haun Actress and singer
Jena Malone Actress
November 22 Scarlett Johansson Actress (4-time host of Saturday Night Live)
November 23 Lucas Grabeel Actor (Halloweentown, High School Musical, Switched at Birth)
November 28 Mary Elizabeth Winstead Actress (Wolf Lake, The Returned)
December 4 Lindsey Felton Actress (Thunder Alley, Caitlin's Way)
December 10 Tom Hern New Zealand actor (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
December 15 Kirsty Lee Allan Australian actress
December 17 Shannon Woodward Actress (The Riches, Raising Hope)
December 19 Erica O'Keith Actress (Romeo!)
December 20 Bob Morley Actor (The 100)
December 22 Greg Finley Actor (The Secret Life of the American Teenager)

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
February 16 Kenny Williams 69 Game show announcer (The Hollywood Squares, High Rollers, Gambit)
March 1 Jackie Coogan 69 actor (Uncle Fester on The Addams Family)
March 24 Sam Jaffe 93 actor (Dr. Zorba on Ben Casey)
May 2 Jack Barry 66 game show host/producer (The Joker's Wild)
May 16 Andy Kaufman 35 comedian (Latka Gravas on Taxi)
June 15 Ned Glass 78 actor
August 8 Richard Deacon 63 actor (Fred Rutherford on Leave It to Beaver and Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show)
October 18 Jon-Erik Hexum 26 actor (gunshot wound from accident on set of TV series Cover Up)
December 7 Jeanne Cagney 65 actress


See also[edit]