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1984 in American television

This article is a list of television-related events during 1984.


Date Event
January 9 Wendy's "Fluffy Bun" advertisement is first broadcast, which gains Clara Peller and her "Where's the beef?" catchphrase national fame.
Something About Amelia, a story concerning incest, is broadcast by ABC. Glenn Close, Ted Danson, and Roxana Zal are the main actors.
January 22 During CBS's broadcast of Super Bowl XVIII, Apple Computer Company heralds the introduction of its Apple Macintosh personal computer with the famous advertisement "1984", the only time it is broadcast on national television.
January 23 Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan defeats The Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation championship at Madison Square Garden; the match is televised by the MSG Network.
January 27 Michael Jackson's hair catches fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.
February 28 At the 26th Grammy Awards telecast by CBS, Michael Jackson wins a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards.
May 18 Character Bobby Ewing finds himself in the crossfire as a rival tries to gun down his brother J.R. on the season finale of the series Dallas.
May 19 CBS tapes the Michael Larson episodes of Press Your Luck in which Larson wins $110,237 cash and prizes. (The episodes, which are split into two parts, would air on June 8 and 11.)
July 14 In what became known as Black Saturday, Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation takes over Superstation WTBS' Saturday evening time period once occupied by Georgia Championship Wrestling.
September 10 The game show Jeopardy! returns to television by daily syndication with new host Alex Trebek.
September 14 Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler host the first MTV Video Music Awards at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, an event which included Madonna's performance of the song "Like a Virgin".
September 24 The game show Super Password premieres on NBC at 12:00 noon EST. The new version of the classic game show is one of the few shows to survive at a time period that normally broadcasts news on any of the three major networks, running for 4 1/2 years.
October 1 Montana, the last state in the Union without its own Public Broadcasting Service station, gains one when Montana PBS launches.
October 8 NBC broadcasts The Burning Bed, which features Farrah Fawcett as a woman who kills her abusive husband. The fact-based film is the highest-rated entertainment event of the 1984–1985 season.
October 27 Turner Broadcasting System initiates the Cable Music Channel in the U.S., only to end it one month later.
November 12 Theresa Saldana appears as herself in the NBC movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, a retelling of her 1982 stabbing incident and its aftermath.
December 17 George C. Scott plays Ebenezer Scrooge in a new version of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, broadcast by CBS.
One Life to Live changes its opening sequence and theme song, which lasted until 1991.
ABC purchases a majority stake of ESPN from Getty Oil Corp.


Date Show Network
January 4 Night Court NBC
January 6 Blue Thunder ABC
January 20 The Master NBC
January 22 Airwolf CBS
January 28 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer
March 6 a.k.a. Pablo ABC
March 19 Kate and Allie CBS
March 20 Shaping Up ABC
March 31 Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Syndication
April Video Music Box WNYC-TV
April 4 Double Trouble NBC
April 12 The Duck Factory
April 14 My Little Pony Syndication
June 2 Leo the Lion CBN
July 2 Scrabble NBC
July 13 Brothers Showtime
July 30 Santa Barbara NBC
August 13 Call to Glory ABC
September 4 Thomas and Friends CITV
September 5 Heathcliff Syndication
September 7 Kids Incorporated
September 8 Dragon's Lair ABC
Mighty Orbots
Pink Panther and Sons NBC
September 10 Voltron: Defender of the Universe Syndication
September 15 Snorks NBC
The Get Along Gang CBS
Muppet Babies
Pole Position
Pryor's Place
September 16 E/R
Punky Brewster NBC
September 17 The Transformers Syndication
September 18 Hunter NBC
September 19 Highway to Heaven
September 20 The Cosby Show
Who's the Boss? ABC
September 22 Cover Up CBS
September 23 Paper Dolls ABC
September 25 Three's a Crowd
September 26 It's Your Move NBC
September 27 Partners in Crime
September 28 Miami Vice
September 30 Tales from the Darkside Syndication
Murder, She Wrote CBS
October 3 Charles in Charge
October 8 Trivia Trap ABC
October 10 Dreams CBS
October 26 V NBC
December 30 Crazy Like a Fox CBS

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries

Fatal Vision
V: The Final Battle
Eureka Stockade
The Last Bastion

Television shows













Returning this year

Show Last Aired Previous Network Retitled as/Same New/Returning/Same Network Returning
People are Funny 1960 NBC Same Same March 24
Jeopardy! 1979 Syndication September 10
Let's Make a Deal 1981 Syndication The All-New Let's Make a Deal! Same September 17
Password Plus 1982 NBC Super Password September 24

Ending this year

Date Show Debut
March 10 We Got It Made 1983
April 2 Automan
April 10 a.k.a. Pablo 1984
April 16 Blue Thunder
April 27 Masquerade 1983
April 30 That's Incredible! 1980
May 15 Oh Madeline 1983
May 19 Fantasy Island 1978
May 22 Hart to Hart 1979
May 28 One Day at a Time 1975
June 1 Tattletales 1982
June 2 Whiz Kids 1983
July 4 Real People 1979
June 14 Lottery! 1983
July 11 The Duck Factory 1984
July 12 Happy Days 1974
August 11 Boone 1983
September 5 Jennifer Slept Here
September 18 Three's Company 1977
December 1 The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show 1983
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast 1973
December 8 Captain Kangaroo 1955
December 11 AfterMASH 1983
December 28 The Edge of Night 1956


Date Name Cinematic Notability
March 20 Christy Carlson Romano actress
April 8 Taran Noah Smith actor (Home Improvement)
May 29 Carmelo Anthony American basketball player
June 13 Phillip Van Dyke voice actor ("Arnold" from Hey Arnold! in 1997–1999)
September 23 Anneliese van der Pol actress
November 22 Scarlett Johansson American actress


Date Name Age Notability
March 1 Jackie Coogan 69 actor (Uncle Fester on The Addams Family)
March 24 Sam Jaffe 93 actor (Dr. Zorba on Ben Casey)
March 31 Jack Howarth 88 actor (Albert Tatlock in Coronation Street, 1960–1984)
May 2 Jack Barry 66 game show host/producer (The Joker's Wild)
May 16 Andy Kaufman 35 comedian (Latka Gravas on Taxi)
June 15 Ned Glass 78 actor
August 8 Richard Deacon 63 actor (Fred Rutherford on Leave It to Beaver and Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show)
October 18 Jon-Erik Hexum 26 actor (gunshot wound from accident on set of TV series Cover Up)
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