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1988 in American television

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Title: 1988 in American television  
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Subject: 46th Golden Globe Awards, 1988–89 United States network television schedule (Saturday morning), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1988 in American television

For the American TV schedule, see: 1988-89 United States network television schedule.

The year 1988 in television involved some significant events. This is a list of notable events in the United States.


Date Event
January 4 Nick Jr. begins as a block of Nickelodeon programming for younger children.
Blackout, hosted by Bob Goen, premieres on CBS.
February 2 Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, involved with a sex scandal, admits to being with prostitutes and temporarily ends his television ministry.
February 5 Wrestlers Hulk Hogan and André the Giant compete on The Main Event on NBC, marking the return of professional wrestling to network prime-time for the first time since 1955.
February 23 Future Grammy Award-winning recording artist Lauryn Hill (The Fugees frontwoman) makes her television debut on Showtime at the Apollo as a contestant of Amateur Night, where the 13-year-old Hill performed "Who's Lovin' You" by Motown Records singer Smokey Robinson, and gets booed by the audience.
February 26 Tom Hardy marries Simone Ravelle on the series General Hospital, the first interracial wedding on American daytime television.
March 1 Nickelodeon debuts the first Kids Choice Awards ceremony.
March 19 "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" experiences a surge of popularity caused by television commercials featuring claymation raisin figures. The California Raisins version of the song maximizes at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100.
April 8 Ana Alicia's character, Melissa Agretti, dies in a house fire on Falcon Crest.
April 13 Geraldo Rivera's live special Murder: Live from Death Row is broadcast in syndication; a highlight is Rivera's pre-taped interview with Charles Manson.
May 1 Magnum, P.I. broadcasts its 2-hour series finale on CBS.
May 13 In the season finale of Dallas, character J.R. Ewing pushes over the railing of his high-rise office building the character Nicholas Pierce, and Sue Ellen is so enraged that she fires three shots at Ewing.
May 30 After rejecting an offer to join CBS News, Peter Mansbridge replaces Knowlton Nash as anchorman of CBC Television's series The National.
June 14 The Young and the Restless tops the daytime ratings (deposing longtime winner General Hospital), starting an unsurpassed series of #1 victories that still continues through 2014.
July 4 Three years after its cancellation by ABC, CBS resurrects Family Feud for its daytime lineup, featuring new host Ray Combs. A syndicated nighttime version would premiere later in the autumn.
September 19 Square One TV returns for its second season.
October 3 TNT, the fourth cable network owned by Turner Broadcasting, commences programming with a broadcast of the movie Gone with the Wind.
October 4 As did Cher, actress Shirley MacLaine calls David Letterman an "asshole" during a taping of Late Night.
October 8 A young Countess Vaughn (winner of Star Search) joins the cast of the series 227 as Alexandria DeWitt, a young 11-year old talented college student, whom the Jenkins' have as a houseguest for a year.
October 27 The last of Harding Lemay's "comeback" episodes are broadcast on Another World. In the final minutes of the episode, Australian actress Carmen Duncan assumed the role of the legendary bitch Iris Cory Wheeler, after the role had been vacated for many years by Beverlee McKinsey.
November 3 Talk show host Geraldo Rivera's nose is broken during a taping of his show when a fight begins on the set between guests. The theme of the episode was "Young Hate Mongers," and the fight originated between white supremacist Tom Metzger and liberal activist Roy Innis.
November 21 CBS broadcasts Inside the Sexes, a documentary produced by The Body Human's Alfred R. Kelman that features explicit content about human sexuality (including detailed visuals inside human reproductive organs), which prompts several CBS affiliates to broadcast the program with a parental warning at the beginning of the program, at a later time of the day. Some affiliates canceled their broadcast of the program.
December 8 Tichina Arnold (of Martin and Everybody Hates Chris fame) joins the cast for the final season of Ryan's Hope on ABC.


Debuting this year

The following is a list of shows that premiered in 1988.

Date Show Channel
January 2 High Mountain Rangers CBS
January 4 Blackout
January 31 The Wonder Years ABC
January 17 The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Disney Channel
January 19 48 Hours CBS
February 7 America's Most Wanted Fox
February 29 Day by Day NBC
March 6 In the Heat of the Night
Supercarrier ABC
March 7 Probe
March 9 Aaron's Way NBC
March 14 Eisenhower and Lutz CBS
March 15 Coming of Age
Trial and Error
April 1 Denver, the Last Dinosaur Syndication
April 6 Just in Time ABC
April 26 China Beach
Just the Ten of Us
August 6 Yo! MTV Raps MTV
September 5 Fun House Syndication
Relatively Speaking
September 10 A Pup Named Scooby Doo ABC
Alf Tales NBC
Baby Boom
The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
Police Academy Syndication
September 12 Wipeout
September 17 Garfield and Friends CBS
Hey Vern, It's Ernest!
September 19 Dirk Niblick of the Math Brigade from Square One TV PBS
C.O.P.S. Syndication
October 1 Monsters
October 2 Marvel Action Universe
October 4 The American Experience PBS
High Risk CBS
October 6 Dear John NBC
October 8 Empty Nest
The Adventures of Superboy Syndication
Freddy's Nightmares
The Munsters Today
Triple Threat
October 9 Tattingers NBC
October 10 War of the Worlds Syndication
October 18 Roseanne ABC
October 21 Something Is Out There NBC
October 23 Mission: Impossible ABC
October 25 Midnight Caller NBC
October 26 Tattingers
Annie McGuire CBS
The Van Dyke Show
October 27 Paradise
October 29 Dirty Dancing
November 2 Murphy's Law ABC
November 11 Knightwatch
November 14 Murphy Brown CBS
November 23 Raising Miranda
November 24 Mystery Science Theater 3000 KTMA-TV
November 29 TV 101 CBS

Returning this year

Show Last aired Previous network New/Same network Return date
Family Feud 1985 ABC CBS July 4
The Gong Show 1980 Syndication Same September 12

Ending this year

Date Show Debut
February 12 Sledge Hammer! 1986
February 13 Mr. President 1987
February 20 Women in Prison
March 26 What's Happening Now!! 1985
March 28 Yogi's Treasure Hunt
May 1 Magnum, P.I. 1980
Truth or Consequences 1950
May 2 Jem 1985
May 3 Hotel 1986
May 5 Max Headroom 1987
May 7 The Facts of Life 1979
May 14 Second Chance (aka Boys Will Be Boys) 1987
May 16 Cagney and Lacey 1982
May 25 St. Elsewhere
May 27 Punky Brewster 1984
May 28 Marblehead Manor 1987
July 23 Solid Gold 1980
Tales from the Darkside 1984
August 21 Werewolf 1987
September 3 Dennis the Menace 1986
The Flintstone Kids
October 22 Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures 1987
December 3 The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley 1988
December 24 Hey Vern, It's Ernest!

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries

Dadah is Death
War and Remembrance


Date Name Notability
April 10 Haley Joel Osment Actor (The Jeff Foxworthy Show)
May 5 Brooke Hogan Actress (Hogan Knows Best)
August 26 Evan Ross Actor
August 27 Alexa Vega Actress
September 24 Kyle Sullivan Actor (The War at Home)
November 15 Zena Grey Actress
November 28 Scarlett Pomers Actress (Reba)


Date Name Age Notability
February 1 Heather O'Rourke 12 Actress (Poltergeist, Happy Days)
March 10 Andy Gibb 30 Singer (Solid Gold)
April 5 Alf Kjellin 68 Actor, director
May 15 Andrew Duggan 64 Character actor (Lancer)
May 18 Daws Butler 71 Voice actor (The Jetsons, several animated commercials)
May 27 Florida Friebus 78 Actress (The Bob Newhart Show, Dobie Gillis)
July 21 Jack Clark 62 Game show announcer (Wheel of Fortune)
July 25 Judith Barsi 10 Child actress
July 31 Trinidad Silva 38 Actor (Jesus Martinez on Hill Street Blues), in a car accident
September 11 John Sylvester White 68 Actor (Welcome Back, Kotter)
September 29 Charles Addams 76 Cartoonist whose drawings inspired (The Addams Family)
October 11 Wayland Flowers 48 Puppeteer (Madame's Place)
October 31 John Houseman 86 Actor (The Paper Chase, Silver Spoons)
December 6 Timothy Patrick Murphy 29 Actor (Dallas)
December 12 Dick Clair 57 Comedy writer (The Carol Burnett Show, The Facts of Life)
December 20 Max Robinson 49 ABC World News Tonight correspondent
December 27 Jess Oppenheimer 75 Comedy writer who created (I Love Lucy)
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