The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
The A-Z of Television in the '80s (E)
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(CBS; 9.16.84-7.24.85)
Elliott Gould headlined this half-hour sitcom about a Chicago hospital emergency room. George Clooney -- who would later find fame in another TV series of the same name -- plays an inexperienced young doctor, and Jason Alexander has a recurring role as a hospital administrator. (22 episodes)
Easy Street
(NBC; 9.15.86-5.27.87)
Loni Anderson (of "WKRP in Cincinnati" fame) played a former showgirl who married a playboy and then inherited half of a Beverly Hills estate when he died. The other half went to her stuck-up sister-in-law. Jack Elam appeared as the down-to-earth Uncle Bully, another resident of this odd household. (Half-hour sitcom)
(NBC; 9.21.79-9.2.83)
Joe Don Baker made this hour-long police drama work in the role of a tough-as-nails NYPD chief of detectives who oversaw the work of a special squad of younger cops and answered to a by-the-book deputy commissioner. The series also starred Eddie Egan and Alan Oppenheimer.
Eisenhower & Lutz
(CBS; 3.14.88-6.20.88)
Scott Bakula played a recent law school grad who returned home to Palm Springs to open his own practice. His girlfriend was a cocktail waitress and his high school sweetheart was now an attorney with a high-powered law firm. His father, a sign painter, was the one who came up with the idea of adding a fictitious partner named Eisenhower. (Half-hour sitcom)
The Ellen Burstyn Show
(ABC; 9.20.86-9.12.87)
Ellen Burstyn tried her luck in the situation comedy business with this half-hour series, playing a bestselling author who shares a brownstone with her sharp-tongued mother, her divorced daughter, and her 5-year-old grandson.
Emerald Point N.A.S.
(CBS; 9.26.83-3.12.84)
A primetime soap set on a military base with Dennis Weaver as a rear admiral with three beautiful daughters (Susan Dey, Doran Clark and Stephanie Dunnam) and a sister-in-law (Jill St. John) who got involved with a KGB spy (Robert Loggia). Meanwhile, his girlfriend (Maud Adams) was kidnapped by a deranged get the idea. (Hour-long drama)
(CBS; 1.4.84-2.1.84)
This satire on corporate America focused on the problems of Ben Christian (Dennis Dugan) in trying to handle the scheming board of directors of Empire Industries, chaired by Calvin Cromwell (Patrick Macnee). Other cast members included Christine Belford and Richard Masur. (Half-hour sitcom)
Empty Nest
(NBC; 10.8.88-7.8.95)
Produced by the same people who brought us the Golden Girls, this was another successful half-hour sitcom featuring Richard Mulligan, a widower pursued by mature women. His three grown daughters -- a divorcee, an undercover cop, a nurse and a college coed -- had all moved out but still managed to give him plenty to worry about. (170 episodes)
(CBS; 10.5.80-9.19.81)
Sonny Shroyer reprised his role as the gullible Enos Strate, who moves from Hazzard County (and The Dukes of Hazzard) to join the Special Branch of the LAPD Metro Squad. This naive country bumpkin with a badge tackling the mean city streets formed the basis for most of this 20-episode sitcom's humor. John Dehner also starred, as Enos' superior, Lt. Broggi, while Samuel E. Wright was Turk Adams, his street-smart black partner.
The Equalizer
Featured Series
Esquire: About Men, For Women
(Lifetime; 1989-90)
This half-hour program, which debuted 5.6.89, featured Matt Lauer and Ali McGraw as the regulars of a program that included interviews, commentaries by both men and women, and "confessions" of men sharing their innermost feelings. Lauer was replaced by Esquire editor Guy Martin in 1990 for the show's second season.
Evans & Novak
(CNN; 1982- )
Premiering in September 1982, this half-hour political discussion program featured interviews of VIPs by political commentators Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. They would be joined in the '90s by Mark Shields and Al Hunt, who provided a liberal antidote to the conservative Novak and the moderate Evans.
An Evening at the Improv
(A&E; 1985-1995)
Debuting on 10.6.85, this hour-long program featured taped stand-up comedy from the famous Los Angeles comedy club. (An earlier version had aired in 1981 with host Budd Friedman.) Some of the comics who enjoyed national exposure thanks to this program were Richard Belzer, Michael Keaton and Arsenio Hall.
Everything's Relative
(CBS; 10.3.87-11.7.87)
This half-hour sitcom had Jason Alexander as one of two brothers (the other played by John Bolger) who shared a flat in SoHo. The former was a conservative businessman, the latter a ne'er-do-well construction worker and ladies man. Alexander would have to wait until Seinfeld for his big break, because this one folded relatively quickly.
Eye on Hollywood
(ABC; 8.4.83-7.18.86)
This half-hour gossip-news magazine series reported on the glamour and glitz of Hollywood. It was based on a popular radio program, "Eye on L.A." which was seen on KABC-TV. Hosts included Tawny Schneider (1983-84), Chuck Henry, Paul Moyer and Jann Carl.
Eye to Eye
(ABC; 3.21.85-5.2.85)
An hour-long action series starring Charles Durning as Oscar Poole, an over-the-hill L.A. detective who came out of retirement to work with his ex-partner's beautiful daughter (Stephanie Faracy) in order to solve the mystery of her father's murder. The network terminated the partnership after only a handful of episodes.