The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
The A-Z of Television in the '80s (C)
A B  D E  F G H I J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
CBS Summer Playhouse
(CBS; 6.12.87-8.22.89)
For three summers this anthology series offered a look at pilots of series that the network had decided not to pick up for the fall schedule. In the first summer viewers could vote on whether they liked what they say. Hosted by Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid.
Cagney & Lacey
(CBS; 3.25.82-8.25.88)
Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly starred as two female detectives in this history-making cop show. Originally a made-for-TV movie with Loretta Swit as Cagney, and then a limited-run series with Meg Foster taking over for Swit. Fans protested so loudly when CBS cancelled the show that it was brought back with Sharon Gless in the role of Det. Chris Cagney.
Call to Glory
(ABC; 8.13.84-2.12.85)
Set in the '60s at the height of the Cold War, this one-hour drama focused on a military family headed by an air force colonel (played by Craig T. Nelson) who commanded a group of jet pilots and managed to get involved in little things like the Cuban Missile Crisis. (24 episodes)
Cassie & Company
(NBC; 1.29.82-8.20.82)
This detective drama starred Angie Dickenson, of Police Woman fame, as a police officer turned private detective who used her sex appeal, along with plenty of smarts, to solve cases. Also starring John Ireland, A Martinez and Alex Cord, the latter playing Cassie's ex-husband, a DA.
The Cavanaughs
(CBS; 12.1.86-7.27.89)
Bernard Hughes played "Pop" Cavanaugh in this half-hour sitcom, with Christine Ebersole as his daughter Kit, a former showgirl now raising her widowed brother's family. Pop and Kit didn't always see eye-to-eye, but in the end love prevailed. Art Carney made guest appearances as Pop's brother.
(26 episodes)
Charles in Charge
(CBS; 10.3.84-7.24.85; syndication from 1/87-12/90))
Teen hearthrob Scott Baio starred in this half-hour sitcom as a male governess working for a busy couple and trying to keep some semblance of control over his employers' three children. When the series returned in syndication, Charles had a new couple for employers, and a whole new batch of kids to watch over, too.
(126 episodes)
The Charmings
(ABC; 3.20.87-2.11.88)
Imagine Snow White and Prince Charming falling asleep in the Enchanted Forest -- and waking up in modern-day California. The prince became a writer of children's books and Snow White became a dress designer. They had two children, a dwarf to help around the house, and the wicked Queen Lillian,.Snow White's stepmother, living with them. (21 half-hour episodes)
Check It Out
(USA; 1985-1988)
This sitcom starred Don Adams as a supermarket manager and was based on a British series entitled Tripper's Day. Produced jointly by USA and CTV Television Network (Canada), it was filmed in Toronto and ran for 66 episodes. As had been the case in Get Smart!, Adams's character was bumbling but loveable.
Checking In
(CBS; 4.9.81-4.30.81)
A half-hour sitcom and spin-off from The Jeffersons, this show had Florence (Marla Gibbs) leaving the employ of the Jeffersons and becoming executive housekeeper at one of Manhattan's finest hotels. Larry Linville -- Major Burns in M*A*S*H -- played Florence's stuffy boss.
(NBC; 9.30.82-8.19.93)
This long-running half-hour sitcom featured the gang at a small Boston pub called Cheers. Sam, the bartender (Ted Danson) and his co-workers Diane (Shelley Long), Woody (Woody Harrelson), Carla (Rhea Perlman) and Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) served up the drinks and jokes with aplomb through 275 episodes.
Chicago Story
(NBC; 3..682-8.27.82)
This ensemble cast starring Maud Adams, Dennis Franz, Daniel Hugh-Kelly, Craig T. Nelson and others followed the professional and private lives of doctors, lawyers and police officers whose paths frequently crossed. Despite the talent, the 90-minute show never caught on and was cancelled after 13 episodes.
Chicken Soup
(ABC; 9.12.89-11.7.89)
A middle-aged Jewish man met and fell in love with an Irish Catholic woman in this highly-touted half-hour sitcom. But Jackie Mason and Lynn Redgrave lacked chemistry, and the series was quickly cancelled.
China Beach
(ABC; 4.26.88-7.22.91)
A one-hour war drama about nurses at an evacuation hospital on a beach in Vietnam. Starring Dana Delaney, Nan Woods and Chloe Webb, the series was part anti-war treatise and part-soap opera with plenty of '60s rock 'n' roll thrown in for good measure. (The theme was "Reflections" by The Supremes.) 64 episodes.
Church Street Station
(The Nashville Network; 1984-87 & 1989-92)
This 30-minute program was TNN's first concert series, filmed at the Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House in Orlando, FL, and featuring such acts as Garth Brooks and Asleep at the Wheel.
Club MTV
(MTV; 8.31.87-1992)
This daily dance show was hosted by MTV veejay Downtown Julie Brown and aired live from the Palladium in New York City.
Code Name: Foxfire
(NBC; 1.27.85-3.22.85)
Joanna Cassidy played Liz "Foxfire" Towne, an ex-con turned leader of a trio of counter-espionage agents that also included Maggie "The Cat" -- a reformed thief, and a driver named Danny. (One-hour adventure)
Code Red
(ABC; 9.20.81-9.12.82)
Lorne Greene played the patriarch of a family of fire fighters in this hour-long drama that also featured Andrew Stevens, Sam Jones and Julie Adams. (19 episodes)
The Colbys
Featured Series
Comedy Break
(Syndicated; 1985-86)
This half-hour show was hosted by Mack Dryden and Jamie Alcroft and featured comedy skits and stand-up routines. Guests included Arte Johnson and John Larroquette. (125 episodes)
Comedy Tonight
(Syndicated; 1985-86)
Big Apple talk-show celebrity Bill Boggs hosted this showcase for standup comedians like Rita Rudner, Yakov Smirnoff, Eric Bogosian and Sinbad. There were 65 episodes of the half-hour show.
Comedy Zone
(CBS; 8.17.84-9.7.84)
Mark-Linn Baker (Perfect Strangers) and Joe Mantegna were among the regulars of this short-lived, hour-long collection of short sketches written by Broadway and off-Broadway comedy writers.
Concrete Cowboys
(CBS; 2.7.81-3.21.81)
A countrified hour-long version of Route 66, with Jerry Reed (who also wrote the theme, "Breakin' Loose") as one of two cowpokes who drifted around the country looking for adventure. (The other one was played by Geoffrey Scott.)
(ABC; 2.10.83-6.16.83)
McLean Stevenson played the head of a WASPish family forced by a turn in fortune to move into a small condominium where his next-door neighboor was a Chicano from the barrio who had moved up in the world thanks to his landscaping business. Needless to say, a major culture clash insued.
The Contender
(CBS; 4.2.80-5.1.80)
Johnny Captor (Marc Singer) decided to quit college and pursue a boxing career to support his family after his father committed suicide. Though blessed with the considerable talents of Moses Gunn as Johnny's trainer and Katherine Cannon as his girlfriend Jill, the series folded quickly.
Cop Talk
(Syndicated, 1989)
There were 26 episodes of this 60-minute program hosted by former cop Sonny Grosso, who talked to law enforcement officers from around the country about their work and how it affected them both on the street and at home.
The Cosby Show
(NBC; 9.20.84-9.17.92)
One of the most successful sitcoms of the decade, this one featured Bill Cosby as the head of a family that included Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe and Lisa Bonet. The Huxtables seemed as real as they were lovable, and the chemistry between the talented stars made this one an instant favorite among critics and viewers alike. (201 episodes)
Counterattack: Crime in America
(ABC; 5/2/82-5.23.82)
George Kennedy hosted this unusual program that provided a national hotline for the resolution of real-life crimes. Much like the later -- and more successful -- America's Most Wanted, Kennedy profiled recent cases, aided by reenactments, and urged viewers to call in if they possessed information that might lead to an arrest.
Cover Story
(USA; 1984-89)
Premiered on 3.2.84, this 30-minute program ran for a total of 106 episodes and profiled celebrities like Anthony Quinn and Dennis Weaver with film clips and interviews.
Cover Up
(CBS; 9.22.84-7.6.85)
Posing as a globe-hopping fashion photographer and her handsome male model, Danielle and Mac (Jennifer O'Neill and Jon-Erik Hexum) were actually freelance secret agents working for the U.S. After Hexum died after accidentally shooting himself on the set, he was replaced by Anthony Hamilton.
Crazy Like A Fox
(CBS; 12.30.84-9.4.86)
This hour-long detective drama had veteran actor Jack Warden perfectly cast as a wily con artist and private eye who helped his son, a strait-laced district attorney played by John Rubenstein, solve crimes.Warden's Harry Fox was a realistic character, and the chemistry between him and Rubenstein was a plus for the show. (35 episodes)
Crime Story
(NBC; 9.18.86-5.10.88)
This gritty crime drama had Dennis Ferina as Lt. Mike Turello, head of Chicago's Major Crime Unit in the Sixties. Farina had been a real cop in Chicago for 18 years, and added to the authenticity of this gritty, unconventional cop show, a kind of updated Untouchables.
Crimes of the Century
(Syndicated; 1988)
Mike Connors of Mannix fame hosted the 28 episodes of this half-hour program in which strange and sometimes violent crimes across the country were highlighted. There were interviews with some of the people involved, as well as dramatizations of the crimes themselves.
A Current Affair
(Syndicated; 1986-96)
This hugely successful "tabloid news show" was launched 7.28.86 and was hosted (1986-90) by Maury Povich. The stories tended towards sensationalism -- but sometimes made real news, as when it acquired a videotape showing Robert Chambers joking about the murder of his girlfriend Jennifer Levin during a party.
Cutter to Houston
(CBS; 10.1.83-12.31.83)
Shelley Hack starred as Dr. Beth Gilbert, serving an apprenticeship in a small Texas town's clinic, while Alec Bladwin played Dr. Hal Wexler, who was serving his probation in the same clinic after being caught writing illegal prescriptions.