The Eighties (2016)
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Raised on Television 

VCRs, remote controls, family sitcoms, adult dramas, and prime-time soaps all changed TV enjoyment.


Airs Sat. Aug. 31, 11:00 PM on CNN


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Episode credited cast:
Willie Aames ... (archive footage)
Garth Ancier Garth Ancier ... Himself - President of Entertainment, Fox (archive footage)
Harry Anderson ... (archive footage)
Ken Auletta ... Himself - Author, 'Three Blind Mice'
Scott Baio ... (archive footage)
James Baker III ... Himself - Fmr White House Chief of Staff (as James A. Baker III)
John Barbour ... Himself - Host, 'Real People' (archive footage)
David Bianculli ... Himself - Television Critic, 'Fresh Air' (as David Bianculi)
Larry Bird ... Himself (archive footage)
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason Linda Bloodworth-Thomason ... Herself - Creator, 'Designing Woman' (archive footage)
Steven Bochco ... Himself - Co-Creator, 'Hill Street Blues'
Björn Borg ... Himself (archive footage)
H.W. Brands ... Himself - Author, 'Masters of Enterprise'
Tom Brokaw ... Himself - NBC News (archive footage)
Bob Brown Bob Brown ... Himself - 20 / 20


VCRs, remote controls, family sitcoms, adult dramas, and prime-time soaps all changed TV enjoyment.

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Release Date:

31 March 2016 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


After mentioning the fact that the 1983-4 season had no sitcoms in the Top 10 (true) they go on to speak as if shows like Cheers (1982) were a response to fill that void. The fact is that Cheers was in its second season at that time (finishing #35, after being #74 the first season). See more »


Features Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

A modest (but not boring) first step into the '80s
13 March 2017 | by Mr-FusionSee all my reviews

And here I'd thought I'd seen my fair share of TV shows in the '80s; evidently not the important ones. 'Raised on Television' covers everything from even TV ("Who Shot JR?" and the M*A*S*H finale) to the rebirth of the sitcom to the daytime talk show explosion (the material on both Donahue and Oprah was enlightening, and Morton Downey Jr. was a trip). The time devoted to "Miami Vice" was a pleasant surprise, but the other adult dramas were also interesting ("Hill Street Blues", "St. Elsewhere", etc).

I see now why they chopped this into two parts; it's a wealth of material.

To that end, the second half proves even more interesting. In discussing the retirement of trustworthy Walter Conkite (giving way to a younger generation of newscasters) there's a great talking head quote:

"The '80s may have been the last time where people watching the media liked and trusted the media"

It's a very relevant statement, which funnily enough precedes the segment on the birth of CNN (ugh, cable news; tell me that's not a pivot point in media history). But the episode also highlights how television started going in different directions during the '80s. I haven't seen a lot of the shows profiled here, so it made for a curious history lesson. It's interesting how you can trace our thirst for celebrity culture back to the premiere of "Entertainment Tonight".


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