1980–81 United States network television schedule

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The following is the 1980–81 network television schedule for the three major English language commercial broadcast networks in the United States. The schedule covers primetime hours from September 1980 through August 1981. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series cancelled after the 1979–80 season. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with certain exceptions, such as Monday Night Football .

Contents

New series are highlighted in bold.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research. [1]

  Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.
  Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.
  Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

PBS is not included; member stations have local flexibility over most of their schedules and broadcast times for network shows may vary.

Note: An actors' strike hindered the ability to start airing shows in a timely manner. The shows in the schedule were the first to air new episodes in their respective time periods as they bowed in between late August and December 31, 1980. Some of the new shows intended for a fall launch did not debut until 1982 or 1983, if at all.

Sunday

Network7:00 PM7:30 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall Those Amazing Animals (Sep.)Local and paid political programming The ABC Sunday Night Movie (24/19.4)
(Tied with CHiPs )
Follow-up Charlie's Angels
SpringSpecials
CBS 60 Minutes (3/27.0) Archie Bunker's Place (13/21.4) One Day at a Time (11/22.0) Alice (7/22.9) The Jeffersons (6/23.5) Trapper John, M.D. (17/20.7)
(Tied with Fantasy Island and Diff'rent Strokes )
NBC Disney's Wonderful World CHiPs (24/19.4)
(Tied with The ABC Sunday Night Movie)
The Big Event

Note: On ABC, local and paid political programming aired in the 8-9 p.m. hour from September till November.

Monday

Network8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall That's Incredible! (22/20.5) Monday Night Football (20/20.6)
(Tied with Laverne & Shirley )
Winter Dynasty Foul Play
Spring Soap
SummerSpecials Monday Night Baseball
CBS Fall Flo Ladies' Man (Oct.) M*A*S*H (4/25.7) House Calls (8/22.4)
(Tied with Three's Company )
Lou Grant (27/19.1)
Spring Private Benjamin
Summer The Tim Conway Show
NBC Fall Little House on the Prairie (10/22.1) NBC Monday Night at the Movies (29/18.8)
Summer Flamingo Road The Last Convertible

Note: Private Benjamin premiered April 6, 1981, at 8:00-8:30 pm on CBS.
Soap ran for three-and-a-half seasons on ABC in a 30-minute format. It was pulled from the Wednesday night schedule in January 1981 and returned on Mondays from March to April, when the final 12 episodes of the series ran as six 60-minute installments.

Tuesday

Network8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall Happy Days (15/20.8)
(Tied with Too Close for Comfort )
Laverne & Shirley (20/20.6)
(Tied with Monday Night Football )
Three's Company (8/22.4)
(Tied with House Calls )
Too Close for Comfort (Nov.) (15/20.8)
(Tied with Happy Days )
Hart to Hart (23/19.9)
Summer It's a Living
CBS FallLocal and paid political programming The CBS Tuesday Night Movies
Follow-up The White Shadow
Winter That's My Line
Spring Palmerstown, U.S.A.
Summer Checking In Flo
NBC Fall NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies The Steve Allen Comedy Hour (Oct.)
Follow-up Lobo B. J. and the Bear
Winter Flamingo Road
Spring Nero Wolfe

Note: On CBS, local and paid political programming aired in the 8-9 p.m. hour between September and November. On NBC, NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies aired 8-10 p.m. from September till November.

Wednesday

Network8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall Eight Is Enough Taxi Soap Vega$
Spring The Greatest American Hero (Mar.) Aloha Paradise (Feb.) American Dream (May)
Summer Charlie's Angels The ABC Summer Movie
Follow-up/Post-Season Vega$ Dynasty
CBS Enos (Nov.) The CBS Wednesday Night Movies
NBC Fall Real People (12/21.5) Movie of the Week
Follow-up Diff'rent Strokes (17/20.7)
(Tied with Fantasy Island and Trapper John, M.D. )
The Facts of Life (26/19.3) Quincy, M.E.

Note: The Greatest American Hero Debuts on March 18, 1981, at 8:00pm on ABC

Note: NBC's Movie of the Week aired 9-11 p.m. between September and November.

Note: The Facts of Life Season 2 begins Wednesday, November 19, 1980, at 9:30 on NBC.

Thursday

Network8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Fall Mork & Mindy Bosom Buddies (Nov.) Barney Miller It's a Living (Oct.) 20/20
Winter Taxi
CBS Fall The Waltons (30/18.6) CBS Thursday Movie Special
Follow-up Magnum, P.I. (Dec.) (14/21.0) Knots Landing (28/19.0)
Spring Checking In Park Place
Follow-up The Waltons
NBC Fall Games People Play NBC Thursday Night at the Movies
Winter Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Note: CBS Thursday Movie Special aired 9-11 p.m. from September till the end of November. Magnum, P.I. had a 2-hour premiere on December 11, 1980.

Friday

Network8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC Benson I'm a Big Girl Now (Oct.) The ABC Friday Night Movie
CBS The Incredible Hulk The Dukes of Hazzard (2/27.3) Dallas (1/34.5)
NBC Fall NBC Friday Night at the Movies NBC Magazine with David Brinkley (Sep.)
Follow-up Marie (Dec.) Number 96 (Dec.)
Winter Nero Wolfe
Follow-up Harper Valley PTA Sanford
Spring The Facts of Life

Note: NBC Friday Night at the Movies aired 8-10 p.m. through October and November.

Saturday

Network8:00 PM8:30 PM9:00 PM9:30 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM
ABC FallLocal and paid political programming The Love Boat (5/24.3) Fantasy Island (17/20.7)
(Tied with Trapper John, M.D. and Diff'rent Strokes )
Follow-up Breaking Away (Nov.)
Winter Charlie's Angels
Follow-up 240-Robert
Spring Eight Is Enough
CBS Fall WKRP in Cincinnati The Tim Conway Show The CBS Saturday Night Movies
Follow-up Freebie and the Bean (Dec.) Secrets of Midland Heights (Dec.)
Spring Riker
Summer Enos
NBC Fall Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters (Nov.) NBC Saturday Night at the Movies
Winter Walking Tall Hill Street Blues

Note: The CBS Saturday Night Movies aired 9-11 p.m. through the end of November.

By network

ABC

CBS

NBC

Note: The * indicates that the program was introduced in midseason.

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References

  1. Highest-rated series is based on the annual top-rated programs list compiled by Nielsen Media Research and reported in: Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN   978-0-345-49773-4.