We’ve moved back to 1985 to continue the journey through the history of television. Compared to now, 1985 is a completely different world of television. Cable existed, but was still relatively new. I mean, in 1985 VH1 debuted. This was the first year of Nick at Nite, which was huge for my childhood. I spent so much time watching old sitcoms on Nick at Nite. It was my first taste of classic television, something I still have an affinity for to this day. That’s not surprising, I imagine, given that I am currently traveling back through time to check in on TV’s history. Nick at Nite was showing classic sitcoms in 1985, but what new stuff was debuting and what shows were ending? Let’s find out!
While it’s not new TV, it’s worth noting that 1985 was the year Lorne Michaels returned to Saturday Night Live after a disastrous stretch without him that gave us Eddie Murphy and not much else. Welcome back, Lorne! You’re a prick for letting Donald Trump host an episode while he was running for President!
The popular, but largely overlooked, show Moonlighting debuted in January. It was an hour-long comedy/procedural about a couple of mismatched detectives. One of those detectives? An up and comer by the name of Bruce Willis. MacGyver started getting out of his sticky situations with whatever was around him. Two notable sitcoms debuted. One was Growing Pains, and the other was Golden Girls. Now, I know a lot of people love Golden Girls. Betty White rules. Personally, I’ve never gotten into it. It’s fine, but there are better multi-cam sitcoms of the era.
In terms of shows that ended, we lost The Jeffersons, which seems late for that show. I always think of it as being a very ‘70s show. The Dukes of Hazzard also ended which, you know, who cares? Short shorts fans, perhaps. Also in 1985 we got the debut, and the end, of the worst Scooby-Doo show; 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. Flim Flam? Ugh. They had real ghosts on that show! Heretical!
Just for the addition of Nick at Nite, 1985 is a big year for television. That was a massive sea change for TV and eventually paved the way for TV Land. No show debuted I like all that much, and no shows that we lost are ones I particularly miss. Nick at Nite, though, is one of the biggest things in TV history in my mind. Way to go, 1985.