1986–87 United States network television schedule

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This was the United States television schedule on all three commercial television networks for the fall season beginning in September 1986. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with certain exceptions, such as Monday Night Football.

Although FOX debuted as a channel in fall 1986, its first fall season was not until 1987.

PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, was in operation but the schedule was set by each local station.

New series are highlighted in bold.

All times given are in U.S. Eastern Time and Pacific Time (except for some live events or specials). Subtract one hour for Central and Mountain times.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[1]

     Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.
     Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.
     Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

Sunday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC The Disney Sunday Movie The ABC Sunday Night Movie
CBS Fall 60 Minutes (#6/23.3) Murder, She Wrote (#4/25.4) CBS Sunday Movie (#15/18.6)
(Tied with Matlock and The NBC Monday Movie)
Mid-season Designing Women Nothing is Easy Hard Copy
Spring CBS Sunday Movie (#15/18.6)
(Tied with Matlock and The NBC Monday Movie)
Fox Spring
(began April 5)
21 Jump Street Married... with Children The Tracey Ullman Show Mr. President Duet Local Programming
Summer Duet
NBC Fall Our House Easy Street Valerie NBC Sunday Night at the Movies (#20/18.2)
Spring Rags to Riches
Summer Family Ties (#2/32.7) Specials

Monday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall MacGyver Monday Night Football (#18/18.4)
Mid-season The ABC Monday Night Movie
Summer Monday Night Baseball
CBS Fall Kate & Allie (#19/18.3) My Sister Sam (#21/17.4)
(Tied with L.A. Law)
Newhart (#12/19.5) Designing Women Cagney & Lacey
Follow-up The Cavanaughs
Spring Designing Women
NBC Fall ALF (#28/16.5)
(Tied with Hunter)
Amazing Stories NBC Monday Night at the Movies (#15/18.6)
(Tied with Matlock and The CBS Sunday Movie)
Spring Valerie

Tuesday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Who's the Boss? (#10/22.0) Growing Pains (#8/22.7) Moonlighting (#9/22.4) Jack and Mike
Spring Max Headroom
Summer Jack and Mike
CBS Fall The Wizard CBS Tuesday Night Movie
Mid-season Spies
Spring West 57th
Summer The Wizard
Follow-up Simon & Simon Houston Knights Night Heat
NBC Fall Matlock (#15/18.6)
(Tied with The CBS Sunday Movie and The NBC Monday Movie)
Crime Story 1986
Follow-up Hill Street Blues
Mid-season Remington Steele
Spring Gimme a Break! Easy Street Hill Street Blues
Follow-up The Tortellis
Summer NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies

Wednesday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Perfect Strangers Head of the Class (#30/16.4) Dynasty (#24/17.2)
(Tied with Highway to Heaven)
Hotel
Spring Harry
Follow-up Head of the Class (#30/16.4) Mariah
Summer MacGyver Hotel
CBS Fall Together We Stand Better Days Magnum, P.I. The Equalizer
Follow-up The New Mike Hammer
Spring Houston Knights
Follow-up Roxie Take Five
Follow-up The New Mike Hammer
Summer The Equalizer
NBC Fall Highway to Heaven (#24/17.2)
(Tied with Dynasty)
Gimme a Break! You Again? St. Elsewhere
Winter The Tortellis
Spring Night Court (#7/23.2) Easy Street The Bronx Zoo

Thursday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Our World The Colbys 20/20
Spring Jack and Mike
Summer Heart of the City
Follow-up Starman Our World
Follow-up Sledge Hammer! The Charmings
CBS Fall Simon & Simon Knots Landing (#26/16.8)
(Tied with Miami Vice)
Kay O'Brien
Follow-up The Twilight Zone Simon & Simon Designing Women Knots Landing (#26/16.8)
(Tied with Miami Vice)
Mid-season Shell Game Simon & Simon
Follow-up The Wizard
Summer Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Follow-up CBS Thursday Night Movie
NBC Fall The Cosby Show (#1/34.9) Family Ties (#2/32.7) Cheers (#3/27.2) Night Court (#7/23.2) Hill Street Blues
Follow-up L.A. Law (#21/17.4)
(Tied with My Sister Sam)
Spring Nothing in Common
Summer The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd

Friday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Webster Mr. Belvedere Sidekicks Sledge Hammer! Starman
Follow-up Dads Gung Ho
Follow-up Gung Ho Dads
Mid-season The ABC Friday Night Movie
Follow-up The Charmings Webster
Summer Sledge Hammer! Mr. Belvedere
Follow-up Webster
CBS Fall Scarecrow and Mrs. King Dallas (#11/21.3) Falcon Crest (#23/17.3)
Spring Nothing Is Easy The Popcorn Kid
Summer CBS Summer Playhouse
NBC Fall The A-Team Miami Vice (#26/16.8)
(Tied with Knots Landing)
L.A. Law (#21/17.4)
(Tied with My Sister Sam)
Follow-up Crime Story
Follow-up Stingray
Spring Roomies Amazing Stories
Summer Stingray

Saturday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Life With Lucy The Ellen Burstyn Show Heart of the City Spenser: For Hire
Follow-up Sidekicks Sledge Hammer!
Mid-season Ohara
Follow-up Starman
Summer Webster The ABC Saturday Night Movie
Follow-up Animal Crack-Ups The Ellen Burstyn Show The ABC Saturday Night Movie
CBS Fall Downtown The New Mike Hammer The Twilight Zone
Follow-up The CBS Saturday Night Movie
Mid-season Outlaws
Summer The CBS Saturday Night Movie West 57th
Fox Summer
(started Jul. 11)
Down and Out in Beverly Hills The New Adventures of Beans Baxter Werewolf Karen's Song Local Programming
Follow-up Werewolf Down and Out in Beverly Hills
NBC Fall The Facts of Life 227 (#14/18.9) The Golden Girls (#5/24.5) Amen (#13/19.4) Hunter (#28/16.5)
(Tied with ALF)
Spring Sweet Surrender
Summer 227 (#14/18.9) Me & Mrs. C
Follow-up The Facts of Life 227 (#14/18.9)

By network[edit]

ABC[edit]

+ Animal Crack-Ups had a short run in prime time before moving to Saturday mornings in the fall of 1987.

CBS[edit]

+ This was a revival of the 1984-1985 series following star Stacy Keach's release from prison on drug charges.

NBC[edit]

Note: The * indicates that the program was introduced in midseason.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Highest-rated series is based on the annual top-rated programs list compiled by Nielsen Media Research and reported in: Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.