The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
The A-Z of Television in the '80s (I, J)
A B  C  D E  F G H  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

I Had Three Wives
(CBS, 8.14.85-9.13.85)
Victor Garber played Jackson Beaudine, an L.A.-based private eye with three ex-wives -- an attorney, a martial arts expert, and a newspaper report -- who regularly helped him solve his cases in this hour-long summer replacement series.
I Married Dora
(ABC, 9.22.87-8.19.88)
Fresh from his success on Hardcastle & McCormick, Daniel Hugh-Kelly tried his luck with this half-hour sitcom in which he played a single father who married the illegal alien housekeeper, Dora (Elizabeth Pena) to keep her from being deported. It didn't seem to bother ABC that the show's premise centered around the commission of a federal offense!
I'm A Big Girl Now
(ABC, 10.31.80-7.24.81)
Danny Thomas and Diana Canova played a father and daughter, both of them divorced, who found themselves living under the same roof again, and of course Dad reverted to trying to run his little girl's life, only his little girl, all grown up, had other ideas. Canova sang the Tipton/Bricusse theme song.
In Person From the Palace
(CBS, 6.12.87-8.21.87)
Dick Clark produced, and Bobby Colomby (formerly with the rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears) hosted, this late-night show that featured interviews of and concerts by pop singers and rock bands -- Jody Watley, Anita Baker, The Heaters, and Level 42, to name a few.
In the Heat of the Night
(NBC, 3.6.88-1992; CBS, 1992-1994)
This television version of the Oscar-winning movie starring Sidney Poitier cast Carroll O'Connor as the sheriff of a Southern town who teamed up with a black detective (Howard Rollins) from up North to solve crimes. The series was initially filmed in and around Hammond, LA and later in Covington, GA.
Inside America
(ABC, 4.4.82-4.25.82)
Dick Clark produced and hosted this short-lived TV "magazine" that focus on the show business scene.
.The Insiders
(ABC, 9.25.85-6.23.86)
Nicholas Campbell and Stoney Jackson starred as a pair of waycool investigative reporters for a national magazine. Supposedly it helped that Nick Fox (Campbell) looked like David Bowie, while James Mackey (Jackson) bore a striking resemblance to Rick James -- but not enough, as the hour-long drama was cancelled after just 13 episodes
Island Son
(CBS. 9.19.89-3.29.90)
Richard Chamberlain, of Dr. Kildare fame, returned to series television in this hour-long drama as a physician who gave up a lucrative practice on the mainland to return to his Hawaiian home and work with the poor and needy. He also spent a lot of quality time with his troubled 18-year-old son, Sam (William McNamara).
It Takes Two
(ABC, 10.14.82-9.1.83)
Richard Crenna and Patty Duke Astin starred in this half-hour sitcom as a married couple who found they have little time to spend together or with their two teenagers, since he was chief of surgery at a Chicago hospital and she was an assistant district attorney. Busy, busy, busy....
It's A Living
(ABC, 10.30.80-9.10.82)
This half-hour sitcom was all about the lives and loves of five pretty waitresses who worked at a posh Los Angeles restaurant. Though it had poor ratings in its first season, the series was renewed for a second with a new title, Making A Living. After cancellation, the show returned to syndication from 1985-1989 under the original title. (119 episodes)
It's Garry Shandling's Show
(FOX, 3.6.88-3.18.90)
This unconventional, slice-of-life sitcom starred Shandling as himself -- a somewhat neurotic and insecure stand-up comic for whom things seldom went right. Shandling would often pause to directly address the studio audience, and the scripts were written to make fun of the traditional conventions of situation comedy. (72 half-hour episodes)
It's Not Easy
(ABC, 9.29.83-10.27.83)
Ken Howard and Jayne Meadows played a divorced couple who lived across the street from one another and shared custody of their two children. Her new husband and stepson and his meddling mother were added to the mix in this short-lived half-hour sitcom.
It's Showtime at the Apollo
(Syndication, 1987- )
This variety show was taped before a live audience at Harlem's famous Apollo Theatre. Celebrity hosts included Melba Moore, Natalie Cole, Bill Cosby, Al Jarreau, Expose, and the Beastie Boys. There were amateur night and Apollo Kids segments, as well.
It's Your Move
(NBC, 9.26.84-8.10.85)
Jason Bateman starred as Matthew Burton, a smooth-talking 14-year-old conman engaged in a clash of wills with his next-door neighbor, writer Norman Lamb (David Garrison), who was dating Matt's single mom Eileen (Caren Kaye) -- a relationship Matt wanted desperately to break up.
J.J. Starbuck
(NBC, 9.26.87-8.17.88)
Eccentric Texas billionaire Starbuck (Dale Robertson) drove a '61 Caddy with steer horns on the hood and solved crimes with the help of sidekick "Tenspeed" Turner (Ben Vereen, who played the same character in the 1980 series Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.) Jimmy Dean also starred in this hour-long adventure.
Jack and Mike
(ABC, 9.16.86-5.28.87)
This yuppie comedy-drama had Shelley Hack playing a newspaper columnist while hubby Mike (Tom Mason) was a successful restauranteur. Of course, the problem for this upwardly-mobile couple was to balance making money and making romance. There was a total of 16 hour-long episodes.
Jake and the Fatman
(CBS, 9.26.87-9.12.92)
McCabe (William Conrad of Cannon fame) was the tough-as-nails D.A. and Jake (Joe Penny, fresh from Riptide) was his flashy investigator in this successful hour-long crime drama. McCabe retired as D.A. and moved to Hawaii to fight crime on the islands in the second season. The third season found him and his sidekick back at their old jobs.
(106 episodes)

The Jeffersons
(CBS, 1.18.75-7.23.85)
Sherman Helmsley starred as George Jefferson, a black Archie Bunker, who turned a dry-cleaning business into a successful franchise and moved his family into a luxurious Manhattan highrise. Isabel Sanford starred as George's wife Louise, while Marla Gibbs played Florence, the wisecracking maid who could be counted on to put George in his place.(253 half-hour episodes)
Jennifer Slept Here
(NBC, 10.21.83-9.5.84)
George and Susan Elliott and their two children moved into a Beverly Hills mansion, only to find it haunted by the beautiful prior owner, movie star Jennifer Farrell (Ann Jillian), who decided to take 14-year-old Joey (John P. Navin, Jr.) under her wing, which meant only Joey could see her. (Half-hour sitcom)
Jesse Hawkes
(CBS, 4.22.89-5.27.89)
Robert Conrad and sons Christian and Shane reprised their roles from the short-lived High Mountain Rangers; in this one they relocated to San Francisco, where they worked as bounty hunters, using their wilderness skills to track down the criminals -- for five weeks anyway. (Hour-long adventure)
Jessica Novak
(CBS, 11.5.81-12.3.81)
Helen Shaver starred in the title role, a news reporter whose editor sent her out to do lightweight pieces even while she was determined to get the Big Scoop. CBS had high hopes for this hour-long drama, but it only lasted half a season.
(ABC, 9.18.84-11.13.84)
Jessie Hayden (Lindsay Wagner) was the staff psychiatrist for a police department in Southern California. Her methodology when handling mentally unstable criminals put her at odds with Lt. Arcoli (Tony Lo Bianco) -- and sometimes put her in harm's way, too. The series was based on the book Psychologist with a Gun by Det. Harvey Schlossberg.
The Jim Henson Hour
(NBC, 4.14.89-7.30.89)
Henson, the creator of The Muppets, hosted this hour-long series, with the first half a variety show featuring various of his characters mixing it up with human guests in skits and songs, and the second half reserved to The Storyteller, whose tales of magic were enacted by a cast of actors and Henson's creations.
Jimmy Breslin's People
(ABC, 9.25.86-1.2.87)
Gruff syndicated columnist Breslin hosted this hour-long talk show that aired on Thursday and Friday nights -- at least he hosted it until he "cancelled the show" after three months due to the fact that the program was often delayed or preempted by local affiliates.
Joe Bash
(ABC, 3.28.86-5.10.86)
Peter Boyle played the title role, a cynical New York street cop nearing the end of his career who was partnered with the young idealistic Off. Willie Smith (Andrew Rubin), who had his hands full keeping Bash from breaking the laws he was sworn to protect. A dark and unappealing half-hour sitcom, soon cancelled.
Just in Time
(ABC, 4.6.88-5.18.88)
Harry Stadlin (Tim Matheson) was an aggressive editor hired to  resuscitate a struggling magazine. In the process, he often found himself at odds with Joanna (Patricia Kelember), a smart and serious political columnist. (Half-hour sitcom)
Just Our Luck
(ABC, 9.20.83-12.27.83)
About a genie named Shabu (T.K. Carter) whose bottle fell into the hands of young TV reporter Keith Barrow (Richard Gilliland), who needed all the help he could get just to keep his job. Unfortunately for Keith, Shabu often went a little overboard in wielding his magic.
(Half-hour sitcom)
Just the Ten of Us
(ABC, 4.26.88-7.27.90)
In this Growing Pains spinoff, Coach Lubbock (Bill Kirchenbauer) took a job at a Catholic boys' school, only to discover that the entire student body wanted to date his five daughters. The half-hour sitcom lasted two seasons on the basis of writing that focused on family and faith.