1985 in American television

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For the American TV schedule, see: 1985-86 United States network television schedule.

The year 1985 involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events of that year.


Date Event
January 1 VH1 begins in the United States.
February 1 WJCK in Watertown, New York begins broadcasting, giving the Watertown market its first full-time ABC affiliate.
February 4 NBC becomes the first commercial television network to use satellite interconnection for its stations; as a result, it is the first network to discontinue use of chime intonations at the beginning of each telecast, to signal to its affiliates to start broadcasting the network feed.
March 2 The NBC situation comedy Gimme a Break! broadcasts an episode live.
March 18 Capital Cities Communications, a station owner group based in Albany, New York, stuns the broadcast industry by announcing that it is acquiring ABC for $3.5 billion. The move will prompt the company to sell off several of its television and radio stations to satisfy FCC ownership limits. The deal will be finalized on January 3, 1986.[1][2]
March 20 Norman Lear sells Tandem Productions and Embassy Television companies to The Coca-Cola Company, which also owns Columbia Pictures company, for $485 million.
April 28 WLIG commences broadcasting. (The call letters would change to WLNY-TV on September 1, 1996).
May 11 The first episode of Saturday Night's Main Event is broadcast by NBC, the first time that professional wrestling had been broadcast by network television since the 1950s.
May 15 The season finale of Dynasty on ABC sees the entire wedding party of Amanda Carrington (Catherine Oxenberg) and Prince Michael of Moldavia (Michael Praed) shot by revolutionaries in what is known as the Moldavian Massacre
May 17 The season finale of Dallas on CBS finds character Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) on his deathbed after his crazed ex-sister-in-law Katherine Wentworth (Morgan Brittany) runs him down with her car.
May 19 WOIO-TV commences broadcasting in Cleveland. Initially an independent station, it will become a charter affiliate of Fox in 1986 and switch to CBS in 1994 as a result of the 1994 United States broadcast TV realignment.
June 14 ABC broadcasts its 2,311th and last daytime episode of Family Feud after 9 years. Richard Dawson gives an emotional speech at the end of the broadcast. Dawson would return to the series during 1994 for one more season. Meanwhile, on CBS, Press Your Luck broadcasts the episode in which all three contestants would be invited back after a mistake on a question about the cartoon character Sylvester was corrected by Mel Blanc telephoning Peter Tomarken at the end of the show.
July 1 Nick at Nite, a nighttime program service with an emphasis on classic television reruns, is launched in the United States, being broadcast on the same channel as Nickelodeon. At the same time, A&E, which previously shared Nickelodeon's channel, begins broadcasting as its own 24-hour cable channel in January of that year on a separate satellite transponder.
July 13 The Live Aid concerts are broadcast from London and Philadelphia. In the U.S., the concerts are broadcast by MTV and over-the-air syndication, with ABC joining in a 3-hour prime-time period.
July 22 Douglas Marland starts his critically acclaimed eight-year run writing for the CBS soap opera As the World Turns.
August 4 Capital Cities Communications continues its acquisition of ABC when its CBS affiliate in Durham, North Carolina, WTVD, swaps affiliations with ABC affiliate WRAL-TV in Raleigh.[3]
August 19 A taping of an outdoor interview for NBC's Today is interrupted by David Letterman, who, while taping his own Late Night, leans out of an office window and announces, "My name is Larry Grossman (then-president of NBC News) and I'm not wearing any pants!"
September 2 NBC becomes the first broadcast network in the U.S. to broadcast its prime time programs with stereo sound.
September 8 Capital Cities Communications continues its acquisition of ABC when KFSN-TV, its CBS affiliate in Fresno, California, swaps affiliations with the market's existing ABC affiliate, KJEO.
September 14 In part one of a three-part season premiere of The Facts of Life on NBC, Edna's Edibles, which had been the main locale of the long-running series since 1983, is burned to the ground. Edna Garrett and the girls would rebuild and replace it with an ice cream and gift shop named Over Our Heads.
September 18 "Top Ten Things That Almost Rhyme With Peas" is the subject of the first "Top 10 List" on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman.
September 22 The first Farm Aid concert is telecast from Champaign, Illinois, in syndication and by TNN.
September 23 Jackie Gleason and Art Carney reunite in the CBS movie Izzy and Moe.
November 8 The final episode of The Price is Right with Johnny Olson as announcer is broadcast by CBS. Olson had died on October 12; the show was broadcast as an "in memoriam" tribute to him on October 29.
November 9 On NBC, Saturday Night Live begins its 11th season, with Lorne Michaels returning as executive producer and an all-new cast that includes Jon Lovitz and Dennis Miller.
November 17 Kane & Abel, a miniseries based on the bestselling Jeffrey Archer novel, debuts on CBS.
November 18 Elmo, a new character for Sesame Street, is introduced on PBS. In the same episode, the adult cast of Sesame Street come face-to-face with Aloysius Snuffleupagus for the first time since the character's 1971 introduction.
December 3 Copacabana, an original musical featuring Barry Manilow (based on his 1978 song of the same name), Annette O'Toole, and Estelle Getty, is broadcast by CBS.
Courteney Cox uses the word "period" (referring to menstruation) on U.S. television for the first time, in a commercial for Tampax brand tampons.



Date Show Network
January 7 Time Machine NBC
January 23 Sara
ThunderCats Syndication
March 1 Michael Nesmith in Television Parts NBC
March 3 Moonlighting ABC
March 4 Robotech Syndication
March 15 Mr. Belvedere ABC
March 30 CBS Storybreak CBS
April 7 National Geographic Explorer Nickelodeon
April 10 Lady Blue ABC
Double Dare CBS
May 11 WWF Saturday Night's Main Event NBC
June 3 Larry King Live CNN
June 30 Code of Vengeance NBC
July 14 Stingray
August 13 West 57th CBS
September 4 Hell Town NBC
September 7 The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo ABC
Star Wars: Droids
Star Wars: Ewoks
Small Wonder Syndication
What's Happening Now!!
September 14 227 NBC
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
The Golden Girls
It's Punky Brewster
The Berenstain Bears CBS
Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling
Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters
The Wuzzles
The Care Bears Syndication
September 16 America
Break the Bank
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
September 18 Charlie & Co. CBS
The Equalizer
George Burns Comedy Week
Stir Crazy
September 20 Spenser: For Hire ABC
September 21 Hollywood Beat
Lime Street
September 24 Growing Pains
September 29 MacGyver
Amazing Stories NBC
October 4 Misfits of Science
October 6 Jem Syndication
November 20 The Colbys ABC
November 21 Shadow Chasers
December 11 Foley Square CBS

Returning this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network Retitled as/Same New/Returning/Same network Return date
The Jetsons 1963 ABC Same Syndication September 16
The Twilight Zone 1964 CBS Same September 27
Making a Living 1982 ABC It's a Living Syndication September 28
Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1965 NBC Same Same September 29

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
February 1 Call to Glory 1984
February 8 The Dukes of Hazzard 1979
February 23 It's Your Move 1984
March 19 Alice 1976
March 22 V 1984
April 3 Charles in Charge (returned in 1987)
April 9 Three's a Crowd
April 19 Off the Rack 1985
May 8 Sara
May 16 Street Hawk
May 22 Double Dare
June 14 Family Feud (returned in 1988) 1976
June 25 The Jeffersons 1975
June 28 Robotech 1985
July 6 Cover Up 1984
July 20 Hail to the Chief 1985
August 1 Battle of the Planets 1978
August 10 Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids 1972
September 28 Little Muppet Monsters 1985
October 12 The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show 1983
October 26 Lime Street 1985
November 9 Super Friends 1973
November 23 Hollywood Beat 1985
December 7 The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
The Wuzzles
Dungeons & Dragons 1983
December 27 Glitter 1984

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
Diff'rent Strokes NBC ABC
The Jetsons

The Bugs Bunny Show





Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Title Network Date of airing
Space CBS April 14–18
North and South ABC November 3–10
Alice in Wonderland CBS December 9–10


Date Name Notability
January 11 Aja Naomi King Actress (How to Get Away with Murder)
January 25 Hartley Sawyer Actor (Glory Daze)
Michael Trevino Actor (The Vampire Diaries)
January 29 Isabel Lucas Australian actress (Home and Away, Emerald City)
February 6 Crystal Reed Actress (Teen Wolf)
February 7 Deborah Ann Woll Actress (True Blood, Daredevil)
Tina Majorino Actress (Camp Wilder, Veronica Mars, Big Love, The Deep End, Grey's Anatomy, Legends) and singer
February 9 Rachel Melvin Actress (Days of Our Lives)
David Gallagher Actor (7th Heaven)
February 19 Arielle Kebbel Actress (90210, Ballers)
Haylie Duff Actress and singer (7th Heaven)
February 22 Zach Roerig Actor (As the World Turns, The Vampire Diaries)
March 4 Scott Michael Foster Actor (Greek)
Whitney Port Actress (The Hills, The City)
March 15 Eva Amurri Actress (Undateable) and daughter of Susan Sarandon
James Maclurcan Australian actor (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
March 24 Jeremy James Kissner Actor (Flight 29 Down)
March 26 Keira Knightley English actress and singer (Pirates of the Caribbean)
March 31 Jessica Szohr Actress (Gossip Girl)
April 6 Al Mukadam Canadian actor
April 17 Rooney Mara Actress
April 24 Courtnee Draper Actress (The Jersey)
April 26 Jemima Kirke English actress (Girls)
May 5 Clark Duke Actor (Hearts Afire, Greek)
May 9 Chris Zylka Actor (The Secret Circle) and model
Audrina Partridge Actress (The Hills, Audrina, Dream Maker)
May 10 Odette Yustman Actress (October Road, The Astronaut Wives Club)
May 13 Iwan Rheon Welsh actor (Game of Thrones)
May 14 Sally Martin New Zealand actress (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
May 16 Julia Voth Canadian actress (Package Deal)
May 25 Lauren Frost Actress (Even Stevens)
May 28 Carey Mulligan British actress
June 6 Abbie Cobb Actress (Suburgatory)
June 8 Rosanna Pansino YouTube personality (Nerdy Nummies) and actress
June 10 Kristina Apgar Actress (Privileged)
June 17 Antoinette Picatto Actress (Cover Me)
Sarah Thompson New Zealand actress (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
June 18 Alex Hirsch Actor (Gravity Falls)
June 25 Annaleigh Ashford Actress (Masters of Sex) and singer
June 26 Ana Ularu Romanian-American actress (One Step Ahead]], Emerald City)
July 1 Léa Seydoux French actress
July 2 Ashley Tisdale Actress (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, High School Musical, Phineas and Ferb. Hellcats)
July 12 Adam Gregory Actor (90210, Winx Club, The Bold and the Beautiful)
July 18 Chace Crawford Actor (Gossip Girl)
July 21 Vanessa Lengies Actress (American Dreams, Hawthorne, Second Chance)
July 25 Shantel VanSanten Actress (One Tree Hill, Gang Related, The Messengers, Shooter)
James Lafferty Actor (One Tree Hill, Crisis)
July 27 Aljin Abella Australian actor (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
August 3 Georgina Haig Australian actress (The Elephant Princess, Reckless, Once Upon a Time)
August 9 Anna Kendrick Actress and singer
August 15 Emily Kinney Actress (The Walking Dead) and singer
August 16 Agnes Bruckner Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful, The Returned)
August 21 Laura Haddock Actress (Da Vinci's Demons)
August 27 Kayla Ewell Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful, The Vampire Diaries)
September 2 Allison Miller Roman-American actress (Kings, Terra Nova, Go On, Incorporated) and singer
September 8 Vanessa Baden Actress (Kenan & Kel)
September 14 Dilshad Vadsaria Actress (Greek, Second Chance)
September 16 Madeline Zima Actress (The Nanny, Californication)
September 24 Jessica Lucas Canadian actress (Edgemont, Life as We Know It, Melrose Place, Cult, Gotham) and singer
September 26 Talulah Riley English actress
September 27 Grace Helbig Actress and YouTube personality
October 8 Bruno Mars Singer (Saturday Night Live)
October 11 Michelle Trachtenberg Actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mercy, Gossip Girl) and singer
October 14 Daniel Clark Actor (Degrassi: The Next Generation)
October 20 Jennifer Freeman Actress (My Wife and Kids)
October 23 Masiela Lusha European-born American actress (George Lopez)
October 25 Gillian Zinser Actress (90210)
October 28 Troian Bellisario Actress (Lauren, Pretty Little Liars) and daughter of Donald P. Bellisario
October 29 Janet Montgomery English actress (Human Target, Entourage, Made in Jersey, Salem)
October 31 Kaitlin Ferrell Actress
November 4 Olivia Taylor Dudley Actress (The Magicians)
November 5 Elizabeth Rice Actress (Mad Men)
November 20 Dan Byrd Actor (Aliens in America)
November 30 Kaley Cuoco Actress (8 Simple Rules, 6teen, The Big Bang Theory)
December 3 Amanda Seyfried Actress (As the World Turns, Big Love) and singer
December 5 Frankie Muniz Actor (Malcolm in the Middle, The Fairly OddParents)
December 10 Raven-Symoné Actress (The Cosby Show, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Kim Possible, That's So Raven, The Cheetah Girls)
December 26 Beth Behrs Actress (2 Broke Girls)
December 28 Taryn Terrell Actress and former ECW personality
December 30 Anna Wood Actress (Reckless)


Date Name Age Notability
February 12 Nicholas Colasanto 61 Actor (Coach Ernie Pantusso on Cheers)
February 28 Charita Bauer 62 Soap opera actress (Bert Bauer on Guiding Light)
May 8 Dolph Sweet 64 Actor (Chief Carl Kanisky on Gimme a Break!)
May 13 Selma Diamond 64 Actress (Selma Hacker on Night Court)
August 2 Bob Holt 56 Voice actor, (Dr. Seuss television special)
October 2 Rock Hudson 59 Actor (Commissioner Stuart McMillan on McMillan & Wife)
October 15 Ted Steele 68 Host (The Ted Steele Show)
October 12 Johnny Olson 75 Game show announcer (The Price Is Right)
November 1 Phil Silvers 74 Actor, comedian (Sgt. Bilko on You'll Never Get Rich)
November 29 Bill Scott 65 Voice actor (Bullwinkle J. Moose)
December 31 Ricky Nelson 45 Actor (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), musician


  1. ^ Kleinfield, N.R. "ABC is being sold for $3.5 billion; 1st network sale." The New York Times, March 19, 1985.
  2. ^ "Capcities + ABC." Broadcasting, March 25, 1985, pp. 31-32.
  3. ^ "In brief." Broadcasting, July 15, 1985, pg. 80