1987 in American television

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The year 1987 in television involved some significant events. This is a list of notable events in the United States.

Events[edit]

Date Event
January 5 Remington Steele is resumed by NBC after a six-month hiatus during which series main actor Pierce Brosnan won the movie role of James Bond, only to lose it when NBC unexpectedly renewed the television series. Remington Steele adopts a TV-movie length format but only runs for a few installments before being canceled permanently.
January 22 R. Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself at a televised press conference. The decision by some companies to broadcast the footage results in a debate concerning journalistic ethics.
February 2 PBS broadcasts the critically acclaimed series Eyes on the Prize.
February 15 Amerika, the science-fiction drama miniseries, showing life ten years after the United States is defeated and occupied by the USSR, was broadcast on ABC.
March 9 KETK-TV in Jacksonville, Texas signs on the air, giving the Tyler market its first full-time NBC affiliate. (NBC had previously been shared on KLTV with CBS (until KLMG-TV signed on in 1984), and later ABC which KLTV retains as a full-time affiliate.)
March 19 Televangelist Jim Bakker resigns as the host of The PTL Club after involvement in a sex scandal.
March 27 On CBS, The Price Is Right surpasses Concentration as the longest-running daytime game show in history.
April 5 The Fox TV network makes its prime-time debut, marking the first time since 1955 that there were four U.S. networks with prime-time programming. The network debuted two shows, Married... with Children and The Tracey Ullman Show, which are broadcast three times each during the night so that viewers watching other networks can switch over and sample the shows.
April 6 During an episode of the ABC late-night news program Nightline devoted to the upcoming 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in Major League Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Al Campanis makes racially insensitive comments when asked about the scarcity of black field or general managers in MLB. Campanis would be fired two days later.
April 19 Matt Groening's The Simpsons debuts as a series of short animated segments as part of The Tracey Ullman Show on Fox.
May 3 The fledgling Fox network enters the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee when independent station WETO in Greeneville begins airing their programming.
May 6 Mr. Belvedere is canceled after three seasons. Criticism caused ABC executives to rethink the decision and resume the series. (Since the fall programming schedules were already set, Mr. Belvedere would not premiere until late October.)
May 15 Pamela Ewing's car speeds out of control, crashes into a tanker, and explodes on the season finale of the CBS drama Dallas.
June 4 CBS becomes the last American network to cease a chime intonation at the beginning of telecasts; satellite feeds have made the tones obsolete (their function was to signal to the affiliates to start broadcasting the network feed in synchronization with the others).
June 30 U.S. daytime television was interrupted for the Iran-Contra hearings.
July 15 Genie Francis, of General Hospital fame, starts a new soap opera role as Diana Colville on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, which she will play until 1989.
July 31 Movietime, forerunner to E!, goes on the air.
August 1 ABC affiliate KRCR-TV in Redding, California launches full-time satellite KAEF-TV in Arcata, California, giving the Eureka market its first full-time ABC affiliate.
September 5 Dick Clark's American Bandstand was broadcast for the 2,751st and last time by ABC, after 30 years on the network. (It continued in syndication for 2 more years.)
September 11 Dan Rather of the CBS Evening News leaves the newscast when a televised tennis match runs two minutes over. He is missing for six minutes.
September 19 NBC debuts a weekday package of sitcoms for ts owned-and-operated stations called "Prime Time Begins at 7:30". The shows include are Marblehead Manor (airing Mondays), She's the Sheriff (airing Tuesdays), a series adapted from the George S. Kaufman play You Can't Take It with You (airing Wednesdays), Out of This World (airing Thursdays), and a revival of the short-lived 1983 NBC series We Got It Made closing out the week on Fridays.
October 12 Valerie Harper files a lawsuit against NBC and Lorimar for breach of contract after being dismissed from her sitcom Valerie.
October 15 Bob Barker stops dyeing his hair brown and appears on The Price is Right for the first time with white hair. He is given a minute-long standing ovation by the audience.
October 24 ABC allows Game 6 of the World Series between the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals to be played at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) on Saturday afternoon – the only day game of the series, and the last World Series game to date to be played in the daytime (although as the game was played in the Metrodome, the game took place under artificial illumination all the same).
November 13 Sonny & Cher reunite for a performance on NBC's late-night talk show Late Night with David Letterman.
November 22 During a showing of the Doctor Who story "Horror of Fang Rock", PBS member station WTTW-TV Channel 11 in Chicago is interrupted for 88 seconds by a pirate television transmitter overriding the station's transmission signal to broadcast a video of himself in a Max Headroom mask being spanked.
December 27 Through a short stint with NBC Sports, Gayle Sierens became the first woman to do play-by-play for an NFL regular season football game when she called a game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Programs[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Date Show Network
January 3 Unsolved Mysteries NBC
January 17 Ohara ABC
January 21 The Tortellis NBC
January 26 Square One TV PBS
February 9 Rescue 911 CBS
March 11 Houston Knights
March 13 Rags to Riches NBC
March 18 The Bronx Zoo
March 19 Roomies
March 20 The Charmings ABC
March 23 The Bold and the Beautiful CBS
March 31 Max Headroom ABC
April 2 Nothing in Common NBC
April 5 Married... with Children Fox
The Tracey Ullman Show
April 12 21 Jump Street
April 18 Sweet Surrender NBC
April 19 Bionic Six Syndication
Duet Fox
April 26 Down and Out in Beverly Hills
May 3 Mr. President
May 21 The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd NBC
June 15 Home Shopping Game Syndication
July 11 Werewolf Fox
July 18 Karen's Song
The New Adventures of Beans Baxter
August 8 Animal Crack-Ups ABC
September 7 Geraldo Syndication
September 12 My Pet Monster ABC
I'm Telling! NBC
The New Archies
Popeye and Son CBS
September 14 Dinosaucers Syndication
Maxie's World
The Wil Shriner Show
Frank's Place CBS
September 16 Wiseguy
September 17 Out of This World Syndication
September 18 DuckTales (Original series)
September 19 Marblehead Manor
She's the Sheriff
Once a Hero ABC
September 20 The Highwayman NBC
My Two Dads
September 21 Beverly Hills Teens Syndication
Spiral Zone
September 22 Full House ABC
I Married Dora
September 23 Hooperman
The Slap Maxwell Story
September 24 A Different World NBC
Tour of Duty CBS
September 25 Beauty and the Beast
September 26 Jake and the Fatman
ALF: The Animated Series NBC
J.J. Starbuck
Second Chance (aka Boys Will Be Boys) Fox
September 27 Dolly ABC
The Law & Harry McGraw CBS
September 28 Star Trek: The Next Generation Syndication
September 29 thirtysomething ABC
October 3 Everything's Relative CBS
Leg Work
Friday the 13th: The Series Syndication
October 11 Women in Prison Fox
November 2 Finders Keepers Nickelodeon
November 5 Beverly Hills Buntz NBC
November 7 Sable ABC
November 30 CBS This Morning CBS
December 7 Remote Control MTV
December 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Syndication
December 11 The Wilton North Report Fox

Returning this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network Retitled as/Same New/Same network Return date
Charles in Charge 1985 CBS Same Syndication January 3
Blockbusters 1982 NBC Same January 5
Concentration 1978 Syndication Classic Concentration NBC May 4
We Got it Made 1984 NBC Same Syndication September 11
Snorks 1985 Same September 12
High Rollers 1980 Syndication September 14
The Jetsons 1985 WTBS October 19

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 10 Heart of the City 1986
February 7 Too Close for Comfort 1980
February 27 The Love Boat 1977
March 1 The New Adventures of Jonny Quest 1986
March 3 Silver Spoons 1982
March 8 The A-Team 1983
March 12 The Wizard 1986
March 20 Capitol 1982
March 26 The Colbys 1985
March 27 Zoobilee Zoo 1986
March 30 You Again?
Fraggle Rock 1983
April 10 Amazing Stories 1985
April 17 Remington Steele 1982
April 24 Together We Stand 1986
April 29 Easy Street
May 1 Blockbusters 1980
May 2 Starman 1986
May 12 Gimme a Break! 1981
The Tortellis 1987
May 13 The New Mike Hammer 1986
May 15 Roomies 1987
May 18 Fame 1982
May 19 Hill Street Blues 1981
May 28 Scarecrow and Mrs. King 1983
Our World 1986
June 3 Nothing in Common 1987
June 13 Sidekicks 1986
June 19 Nightlife
June 27 Gung Ho
July 8 Sweet Surrender 1987
August 7 Airwolf 1984
September 7 The Ellen Burstyn Show 1986
September 12 Down and Out in Beverly Hills 1987
Karen's Song
September 23 My Little Pony 1984
October 3 Once a Hero 1987
October 25 Maxie's World
November 7 Everything's Relative
Leg Work
Teen Wolf 1986
November 11 The Transformers 1984
November 12 The Jetsons 1962
November 28 The New Adventures of Beans Baxter 1987
December 11 Dinosaucers
December 12 Popeye and Son
The P.T.L. Club 1976
December 18 Beverly Hills Teens 1987
Spiral Zone
December 19 My Pet Monster
Pound Puppies 1986

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
Airwolf NBC USA Network
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Candid Camera CBS
We Got it Made Syndication
High Rollers
Punky Brewster
Charles in Charge CBS
Webster ABC
American Bandstand
Concentration Syndication NBC

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Title Network Premiere date
Amerika ABC February 8
The Facts of Life Down Under NBC February 15
LBJ: The Early Years February 1
Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story November 16
Roman Holiday December 28

Births[edit]

Date Name Notability
January 2 Lauren Storm Actress (Flight 29 Down)
Shelley Hennig Actress (Days of Our Lives, The Secret Circle, Teen Wolf)
January 5 Kristin Cavallari Actress (Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, The Hills)
January 7 Lyndsy Fonseca Actress (The Young and the Restless, How I Met Your Mother, Nikita, Agent Carter)
January 12 Naya Rivera Actress (The Royal Family, The Bernie Mac Show, Glee)
January 16 Carrie Keranen Voice actress (Mitsuki from Kappa Mikey)
January 20 Evan Peters Actor (American Horror Story)
January 24 Ruth Bradley Irish actress (Humans)
January 27 Kylie Sparks Actress (Squaresville)
January 28 Misha Crosby British actor (The Lying Game)
January 29 Alex Murrel Actress (Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County)
February 1 Heather Morris Actress (Glee) and singer
February 2 Martin Spanjers Actor (8 Simple Rules, Good Luck Charlie)
February 5 Darren Criss Actor (Glee, A Very Potter Musical) and singer
February 9 Rose Leslie Scottish actress (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey)
February 21 Ashley Greene Actress
Ellen Page Actress (Pit Pony, hosted Saturday Night Live, 2008)
February 24 Ulysses Cuadra Voice actor (Twister on Rocket Power)
February 25 Natalie Dreyfuss Actress (Rita Rocks)
March 1 Kesha American singer
March 9 Bow Wow Rapper (host of 106 & Park)
March 17 Rob Kardashian Actor (Keeping Up with the Kardashians)
March 28 Mary Kate Wiles Actress (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Squaresville) and singer
April 1 Mackenzie Davis Actress (Halt and Catch Fire)
April 3 Rachel Bloom Actress and singer (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
April 4 Sarah Gadon Canadian actress (Ruby Gloom, Friends and Heroes)
April 9 Jesse McCartney Actor (All My Children, Summerland, Young Justice, Young & Hungry) and singer
April 10 Jamie Renée Smith Actress (Ask Harriet)
Shay Mitchell Canadian actress (Pretty Little Liars)
April 12 Brooklyn Decker Actress (Friends with Better Lives, Grace and Frankie) and model
Mike Manning Actor (The Real World: D.C.)
April 15 Samira Wiley Actress (Orange is the New Black)
April 17 Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Actress (The Bold and the Beautiful)
April 18 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley English actress
April 19 Courtland Mead Actor (Kirk, Recess)
April 26 Jessica Lee Rose Actress (Lonelygirl15, Sorority Forever, Hooking Up)
April 27 William Moseley English actor (The Royals)
May 7 Aidy Bryant Actress and comedian (Saturday Night Live, Danger & Eggs)
May 10 Eileen April Boylan Actress (South of Nowhere, Greek)
May 13 Candice Accola Actress (The Vampire Diaries) and singer
May 19 Jayne Wisener Irish actress (6Degrees)
May 27 Bella Heathcote Australian actress (Neighbours)
May 31 Curtis Williams Actor (The Parent 'Hood)
Shaun Fleming Voice actor (Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch: The Series)
Meredith Hagner Actress (As the World Turns, Men at Work)
June 3 Lalaine Actress (Lizzie McGuire)
June 16 Diana DeGarmo Actress (The Young and the Restless)
Kelly Blatz Actor (Aaron Stone, Glory Daze)
Abby Elliott Actress (Saturday Night Live, Odd Mom Out) and daughter of Chris Elliott
June 17 Rebecca Breeds Australian actress (The Originals)
June 23 Haley Strode Actress (Wendell & Vinnie)
June 27 Ed Westwick English actor (Gossip Girl)
July 3 Chris Hunter Actor (South of Nowhere)
July 6 Matt O'Leary Actor (Spy Kids)
July 7 Julianna Guill Actress (My Alibi, Glory Daze, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce)
July 14 Sara Canning Canadian actress (The Vampire Diaries)
July 16 AnnaLynne McCord Actress (American Heiress, 90210)
July 24 Mara Wilson Actress
July 31 Brittany Byrnes Australian actress (H2O: Just Add Water)
August 8 Katie Leung Actress
August 10 Ari Boyland New Zealand actor (Power Rangers RPM)
August 11 Jemima West Anglo-American actress (15/Love, Maison Close, Indian Summers)
August 18 Mika Boorem Actress (The Tom Show)
August 21 Cody Kasch Actor (Desperate Housewives)
August 25 Blake Lively Actress (Gossip Girl)
August 30 Johanna Braddy Actress (Greek, Video Game High School, UnREAL, Quantico)
September 7 Evan Rachel Wood Actress (Once and Again, Westworld) and singer
September 8 Wiz Khalifa Actor and rapper
September 9 Clayton Snyder Actor (Lizzie McGuire)
September 11 Elizabeth Henstridge Actress (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Tyler Hoechlin Actor (7th Heaven, Teen Wolf)
September 13 Erin Way Actress (I Heart Vampires, Alphas)
September 16 Daren Kagasoff Actor (The Secret Life of the American Teenager)
September 19 Danielle Panabaker Actress (Shark, The Flash)
September 28 Hilary Duff Actress (Lizzie McGuire, Younger) and singer
September 29 David Del Rio Actor (The Troop)
October 1 Matthew Daddario Actor (Shadowhunters)
October 2 Christopher Larkin Actor (The 100)
Erika Lauren Wasilewski Actress (The Real World: D.C.)
October 9 Melissa Villaseñor Actress (Saturday Night Live)
October 13 Ashley Newbrough Actress (Privileged)
October 14 Jay Pharoah Actor (Saturday Night Live)
October 18 Zac Efron Actor (Summerland, High School Musical)
November 5 Kevin Jonas Actor (Jonas, Married to Jonas) and singer (Jonas Brothers)
November 7 Rachele Brooke Smith Actress
November 10 Jessica Tovey Australian actress (Home and Away)
November 11 Giles Matthey British-Australian actor (Once Upon a Time)
November 25 Dolla American rapper (d. 2009)
November 28 Karen Gillan Scottish actress (Doctor Who)
November 30 Christel Khalil Actress (The Young and the Restless)
December 3 Michael Angarano Actor (Cover Me)
December 4 Orlando Brown Actor (Family Matters, Two of a Kind, Fillmore!, That's So Raven) and rapper
December 6 Jack DeSena Actor (All That, Avatar: The Last Airbender, 100 Things to Do Before High School)
December 7 Aaron Carter Actor (House of Carters), singer and brother of Nick Carter
December 12 Kate Todd Canadian actress
December 13 Michael Socha English actor (Once Upon a Time)
December 16 Hallee Hirsh Actress (ER, Flight 29 Down)
Michael Lohan Jr. Actor (The Parent Trap, Living Lohan) and son of Michael Lohan
December 28 Taylor Ball Actor (Still Standing)
Hannah Tointon English actress (Kerching!, Dream Team, Hollyoaks) and sister of Kara Tointon
Thomas Dekker Actor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Secret Circle, Backstrom)
Adam Gregory Actor (90210, Winx Club, The Bold and the Beautiful)
December 29 Iain De Caestecker Actor (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 1 Lloyd Haynes 52 Actor (Room 222)
February 22 David Susskind 66 Commentator and producer (The David Susskind Show)
February 25 James Coco 56 Actor
March 3 Danny Kaye 76 Actor & comedian (The Danny Kaye Show)
March 21 Dean Paul Martin 35 Actor (Misfits of Science)
March 28 Patrick Troughton 67 Actor (the Second Doctor on Doctor Who from 1966 to 1969)
April 17 Dick Shawn 63 Actor
April 19 Milt Kahl 78 Animator
May 4 Cathryn Damon 56 Actress (Mary on Soap)
May 14 Rita Hayworth 68 Actress and singer
May 31 Roy Winsor 75 Soap opera writer (Search for Tomorrow)
June 22 Fred Astaire 88 Actor and singer
June 24 Jackie Gleason 71 Actor (The Honeymooners, The Jackie Gleason Show)
August 11 Clara Peller 85 Wendy's spokesperson (Where's the Beef? ad campaign)
August 19 Hayden Rorke 76 Actor (Dr. Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie)
September 5 Quinn Martin 65 Executive producer (The Fugitive and many others)
September 11 Lorne Greene 72 Actor (Ben Cartwright on Bonanza)
September 22 Dan Rowan 65 Comedian (co-host of Laugh-In)
September 25 Mary Astor 81 Actress


See also[edit]