The 1980s were a time of big hair, neon colors, and wide-leg jeans. The decade was full of television shows that reflected society’s obsession with these trends. Here are 10 classic 1980s kids TV shows that will make your big hair feel brand new and your parachute pants take sail …
Description: “Punky Brewster” was a live-action TV sitcom about an orphan girl who moves in with her foster father, Henry. She and her best friend Brandon (the dog) have adventures with her friends and solves mysteries around their neighborhood. The show ran from September 16, 1984 to May 27, 1988 and starred Soleil Moon Frye as the title character Punky.
“Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” was a Saturday morning children’s television series that aired on CBS from 1986 to 1990. It starred Pee-wee Herman, an eccentric human boy who has adventures in his own playhouse with various puppet friends and acquaintances. The show is one of the most popular 1980s kids TV shows and even today it still airs often on cable networks like Cartoon Network or Boomerang.
“Reading Rainbow” was a children’s TV series that aired for 26 seasons on PBS from 1983 to 2006. The show featured various educational games and stories designed to promote the love of reading in young viewers. Reading Rainbow has been called “one of television’s most successful shows,” winning over 200 awards, including an Emmy Award, two Peabody Awards, and 27 Parents’ Choice Awards. The host and star of the show was LeVar Burton.
“Ghostwriter” is a kids’ book mystery-adventure program created by Buena Vista Television which originally aired between 1992-1996 with 65 episodes spanning four seasons. It starred Max Casella as Tom Corbett (ghost writer), Michael Jeter as Mr Waverly (a library ghost who mentors him) & Leslie Jordan as Mr. Bloomsberry (a teacher).
The show was a mix of comedy, mystery and suspense geared towards children aged eight to ten. The premise revolves around Tom Corbett’s search for the identity of his father who vanished without explanation just before he went off to college. In each episode there is one or more “clues” given by Mr Waverly that are used in solving mysteries where something has gone missing at school or elsewhere in town.
“Inspector Gadget” is an animated TV series that aired in 1983, 1985-1988 with 78 episodes spanning four seasons. It had two different cartoon series due to its popularity: one from the 1980s and a new one beginning in 1999. The show was about Inspector Gadget who is a bumbling detective with seemingly endless gadgets at his disposal which he uses indiscriminately on cases.
The premise of Inspector Gadget involves him solving crimes using these assorted technological devices while also trying to protect his niece Penny and their home from Dr. Claw’s constant attempts on them both by sending out semi-regular attacks such as earthquakes or building demolitions!
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” is an all-time classic TV show, airing from 1968-2001. Mister Rogers talks with children about their feelings, daily activities, shows them how to do simple tasks together like gardening or cooking a meal, has lots of discussions on the topic of death and grieving in light of its inevitability for all living beings – while also being so very open about his own personal losses!
The premise behind this show is to provide an environment where both adults and children can understand each other better by exploring topics relevant to everyday life in an understanding manner not just through words but also through visuals and music.
“Sesame Street” is a TV show made for preschoolers that originally aired in 1969 and continues to this day. It was initially created as an educational program to help kids who are in school get ready for the challenges of learning and reading, but it eventually evolved into much more than just teaching important foundational skills like math, language arts, science and social studies – all while creating strong friendships through music and dance!
The premise behind this show is to provide children with supportive role models who teach them how to be confident learners.
Degrassi Junior High
This show aired on a Canadian channel called CTV between 1987 and 1991. The Degrassi Junior High series is actually the first in what’s now known as “The Degrassi Franchise” which includes four generations of students, two high schools, and one community college..
Several actors from the original cast went on to play major roles in the next generation shows such as “Degrassi: The Next Generation”.
This show aired on PBS beginning in 1983 and was broadcast for five seasons. It’s an animated series about a world inhabited by small, furry creatures called Fraggles who live underground with their caretaker, Uncle Traveling Matt (who is actually human).
The main characters are the self-proclaimed “Doers of Good” Gobo along with Red , Mokey and Wembley . Their goals revolve around caring for each other as well as protecting the environment they call home.
This show aired on PBS for one season, in 1987. The premise is about a man who tells stories to children, using puppets to relay obscure folk stories that many in the west have never heard before.