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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.

New fall series are highlighted in bold. Series ending their original runs are highlighted in italics.

The highest-rated show for the year is highlighted in lime. The top ten rated programs are highlighted in yellow. The top 20 rated programs are highlighted in cyan. The top 30 rated programs are highlighted in magenta. The top 40 rated programs are highlighted in orange. The top 50 rated programs are highlighted in silver. Rankings determined by Nielsen Media Research.[1]

Although Fox debuted as a network in fall 1986, its first fall season was not until fall 1987. It did not have prime-time programming until April 5, 1987 when its Sunday schedule began, and it added a Saturday schedule on July 11.

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

Fall ScheduleEdit

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 #57 12.7/19 The ABC Sunday Movie
CBS 60 Minutes #6 23.3/37 Murder, She Wrote #4 25.4/37 The CBS Sunday Night Movies
NBC official Our House #53 (tie) 13.0/21 Easy Street #44 (tied) 13.9/20 Valerie #38 14.7/21 NBC Sunday Night Movie
follow-up (Nov.) Valerie #38 14.7/21 Easy Street #44 (tied) 13.9/20

Monday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC MacGyver #39 (tie) 14.6/22 Monday Night Football #16 18.4/30
CBS official Kate & Allie #17 18.3/27 My Sister Sam #18 (tied) 17.4/25 Newhart #12 19.5/28 Designing Women #31 16.1/24 Cagney & Lacey #34 (tie) 15.1/25
follow-up (Dec. 1) The Cavanaughs #29 (tied) 16.2/24
NBC ALF #25 (tied) 16.5/24 Amazing Stories #46 (tied) 13.8/21 NBC Monday Night at the Movies

Tuesday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Who's the Boss? #10 22.0/33 Growing Pains #8 22.7/33 Moonlighting #9 22.4/34 Jack and Mike #56 12.8/22
CBS The Wizard #67 10.3/16 CBS Tuesday Night Movie
NBC official Matlock #15 18.6/28 Crime Story #52 13.1/21 1986
follow-up (Dec. 2) Hill Street Blues #39 (tie) 14.6/24

Wednesday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Perfect Strangers #32 15.8/25 Head of the Class #27 16.4/26 Dynasty #21 (tied) 17.2/26 Hotel #37 14.9/26
CBS official Together We Stand #60 11.7/19 Better Days Magnum, P.I. #29 (tied) 16.2/25 The Equalizer #33 15.4/26
follow-up (Nov. 5) The New Mike Hammer #59 11.9/19
NBC Highway to Heaven #21 (tied) 17.2/26 Gimme a Break! #42 14.3/22 You Again? #53 (tie) 13.0/21 St. Elsewhere #49 13.4/23

Thursday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Our World #79 6.5/10 The Colbys #62 11.5/17 20/20 #43 14.2/24
CBS official Simon and Simon #50 (tied) 13.3/20 Knots Landing #24 16.8/27 Kay O'Brien #58 12.7/22
follow-up (Dec. 4) The Twilight Zone #71 9.7/17 Simon and Simon #50 (tied) 13.3/20 Designing Women #31 15.8/25 Knots Landing #24 16.8/27
NBC official The Cosby Show #1 34.9/53 Family Ties #2 33.4/50 Cheers #3 27.5/41 Night Court #7 23.2/35 Hill Street Blues #39 (tie) 14.6/24
follow-up (Dec. 4) L. A. Law #18 (tied) 17.4/29

Note: The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd was an NBC summer replacement in the 9:30 p.m. time slot.

Friday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Webster #46 (tied) 13.8/23 Mr. Belvedere #44 (tied) 13.9/22 Sidekicks #68 10.2/17 Sledge Hammer! #69 (tied) 10.1/17 Starman #69 (tied) 10.1/18
follow-up (Dec. 5) Dads #74 8.7/14 Gung Ho #75 8.6/14
CBS Scarecrow and Mrs. King #39 (tie) 14.6/24 Dallas #11 21.3/34 Falcon Crest #20 17.3/30
NBC official The A-Team #53 (tie) 13.0/22 Miami Vice #23 16.9/27 L. A. Law #18 (tied) 17.4/29
follow-up (Dec. 5) Crime Story #52 13.1/21

Saturday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Life with Lucy #73 9.0/16 The Ellen Burstyn Show #77 7.6/13 Heart of the City #78 7.2/12 Spenser: For Hire #63 (tied) 10.9/20
follow-up (Nov. 22) Sidekicks #68 10.2/17 Sledge Hammer! #69 (tied) 10.1/17
CBS official Downtown #66 10.4/18 The New Mike Hammer #59 11.9/19 The Twilight Zone #71 9.7/17
follow-up (Oct. 25) The CBS Saturday Night Movie
NBC The Facts of Life #28 16.3/29 227 #14 18.9/32 The Golden Girls #5 24.5/41 Amen #13 19.4/33 Hunter #25 (tied) 16.5/30

Mid-season ScheduleEdit

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 Movie
CBS official 60 Minutes Murder, She Wrote The CBS Sunday Night Movies
follow-up (Feb. 1) Designing Women Nothing Is Easy Hard Copy
follow-up (Mar. 8) The CBS Sunday Night Movies
Fox (starts Apr. 5) 21 Jump Street (debut April 12) Married… with Children The Tracey Ullman Show Mr. President (debut May 3) Duet (debut April 19) local
NBC official Our House Easy Street Valerie NBC Sunday Night Movie
follow-up (Mar. 8) Rags to Riches

Monday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC MacGyver Monday Night Football
CBS official Kate & Allie My Sister Sam Newhart The Cavanaughs Cagney & Lacey
follow-up (Mar. 9) Designing Women
NBC official ALF Amazing Stories NBC Monday Night at the Movies
follow-up (Mar. 9) Valerie

Tuesday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Who's the Boss? Growing Pains Moonlighting Jack and Mike
follow-up (Mar. 31) Max Headroom
CBS official The Wizard CBS Tuesday Night Movie
follow-up (Mar. 3) Spies
follow-up (Apr. 21) West 57th
NBC official Matlock Hill Street Blues Remington Steele
follow-up (Mar. 31) Gimme a Break! Easy Street Hill Street Blues
follow-up (Apr. 28) The Tortellis

Wednesday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Perfect Strangers Head of the Class Dynasty Hotel
CBS official The New Mike Hammer Magnum, P.I. The Equalizer
follow-up (March 11) Houston Knights
follow-up (Apr. 1) Roxie Take Five
follow-up (Apr. 15) The New Mike Hammer
NBC official Highway to Heaven Gimme a Break! The Tortellis St. Elsewhere
follow-up (Mar. 18) Night Court 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 official Our World The Colbys 20/20
follow-up (Apr. 2) Jack and Mike
CBS official Shell Game Simon and Simon Knots Landing
follow-up (Feb. 19) The Wizard
NBC official The Cosby Show Family Ties Cheers Night Court L. A. Law
follow-up (Apr. 2) Nothing in Common

Friday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Webster Mr. Belvedere Dads Gung Ho Starman
follow-up (Feb. 13) The ABC Friday Night Movie
follow-up (Mar. 20) The Charmings Webster
CBS official Scarecrow and Mrs. King Dallas Falcon Crest
follow-up (Mar. 27) Nothing Is Easy The Popcorn Kid
NBC official Stingray Miami Vice Crime Story
follow-up (Mar. 20) Roomies Amazing Stories

Saturday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Sidekicks Sledge Hammer! Ohara Spenser: For Hire
follow-up (Feb. 14) Starman
CBS Outlaws The CBS Saturday Night Movie
NBC official The Facts of Life 227 The Golden Girls Amen Hunter
follow-up (Apr. 18) Sweet Surrender

Summer ScheduleEdit

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 Movie
CBS 60 Minutes Murder, She Wrote The CBS Sunday Night Movies
Fox 21 Jump Street Married… with Children Duet Mr. President The Tracey Ullman Show local
NBC official Our House Rags to Riches NBC Sunday Night Movie
follow-up (Aug) Family Ties Specials

Monday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Monday Night Baseball
CBS Kate & Allie My Sister Sam Newhart Designing Women Cagney & Lacey
NBC ALF Valerie NBC Monday Night at the Movies

Tuesday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Who's the Boss? Growing Pains Moonlighting Jack and Mike
follow-up (Mar. 31) Max Headroom
CBS official The Wizard CBS Tuesday Night Movie
follow-up (Jul. 14) Simon and Simon
follow-up (Aug.) Houston Knights Night Heat (repeats)
NBC Matlock 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 Perfect Strangers Head of the Class MacGyver Hotel
CBS The New Mike Hammer Magnum, P.I. The Equalizer
NBC official Highway to Heaven The Facts of Life Night Court St. Elsewhere
follow-up (Jul.) Night Court Sweet Surrender
follow-up (Aug.) 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 official Our World The Colbys 20/20
follow-up (Jul. 9) Starman Our World
follow-up (Aug. 6) Sledge Hammer! The Charmings
CBS official Scarecrow and Mrs. King Simon and Simon Knots Landing
follow-up (Jul.) The CBS Thursday Night Movie
NBC official The Cosby Show Family Ties Cheers The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd L. A. Law

Friday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Sledge Hammer! Mr. Belvedere The ABC Friday Night Movie
follow-up (Aug. 7) Webster
CBS Summer Playhouse Dallas Falcon Crest
NBC Stingray Miami Vice Crime Story

Saturday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC official Webster The ABC Saturday Night Movie
follow-up (Aug. 8) Animal Crack-Ups The Ellen Burstyn Show The ABC Saturday Night Movie
CBS The CBS Saturday Night Movie West 57th
Fox (starts Jul. 11) official Down and Out in Beverly Hills The New Adventures of Beans Baxter Werewolf Karen's Song Local
follow-up (Aug.) Werewolf Down and Out in Beverly Hills
NBC official 227 Me & Mrs. C The Golden Girls Amen Hunter
follow-up (Jul. 11) The Facts of Life 227

By NetworkEdit

ABCEdit

Returning Series:

  1. 20/20
  2. The Charmings
  3. The Colbys
  4. The Disney Sunday Movie
  5. Dynasty
  6. Growing Pains
  7. Hotel
  8. MacGyver
  9. Mr. Belvedere
  10. Moonlighting
  11. Perfect Strangers
  12. Spenser: For Hire
  13. Webster
  14. Who's The Boss?

New Series:

  1. Animal Crack-Ups
  2. Dads
  3. The Ellen Burstyn Show
  4. Gung Ho
  5. Head of the Class
  6. Jack and Mike
  7. Life With Lucy
  8. Max Headroom
  9. Ohara
  10. Our World
  11. Sidekicks
  12. Sledge Hammer!
  13. Starman

Not Returning From Last Season:

  1. Benson
  2. Diff'rent Strokes
  3. The Fall Guy
  4. Hardcastle and McCormick
  5. He's The Mayor
  6. Hollywood Beat
  7. The Insiders
  8. Joe Bash
  9. Lady Blue
  10. Lime Street
  11. The Love Boat
  12. Mr. Sunshine
  13. Our Family Honor
  14. Ripley's Believe It Or Not!
  15. Shadow Chasers

CBSEdit

Returning Series:

  1. 60 Minutes
  2. Cagney & Lacey
  3. Dallas
  4. The Equalizer
  5. Falcon Crest
  6. Kate and Allie
  7. Knots Landing
  8. Magnum, P.I.
  9. Murder, She Wrote
  10. The New Mike Hammer
  11. Newhart
  12. Scarecrow and Mrs. King
  13. Simon & Simon
  14. The Twilight Zone
  15. West 57th

New Series:

  1. Better Days
  2. The Cavanaughs
  3. Designing Women
  4. Downtown
  5. Houston Knights
  6. My Sister Sam
  7. Hard Copy
  8. Kay O'Brien
  9. Outlaws
  10. Roxie
  11. Shell Game
  12. Take Five
  13. Together We Stand (Nothing Is Easy)
  14. The Wizard

Not Returning From Last Season:

  1. Bridges to Cross
  2. Charlie & Co.
  3. Crazy Like A Fox
  4. Fast Times
  5. Foley Square
  6. George Burns Comedy Week
  7. Hometown
  8. Leo & Liz In Beverly Hills
  9. Mary
  10. Melba
  11. Morningstar/Eveningstar
  12. The Price Is Right (nighttime version)
  13. Stir Crazy
  14. Tough Cookies
  15. Trapper John, M.D.

FoxEdit

New Series:

  1. 21 Jump Street
  2. Down and Out in Beverly Hills
  3. Duet
  4. Karen's Song
  5. Married…With Children
  6. The New Adventures of Beans Baxter
  7. Mr. President
  8. The Tracey Ullman Show
  9. Werewolf

Returning Series:  none

Not Returning From Last Season:  none

NBCEdit

New Series:

  1. ALF
  2. Amen
  3. The Bronx Zoo
  4. Crime Story
  5. The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
  6. Easy Street
  7. L.A. Law
  8. Nothing in Common
  9. Our House
  10. Rags To Riches
  11. Roomies
  12. Sweet Surrender
  13. The Tortellis

Returning Series:

  1. 227
  2. 1986
  3. The A-Team
  4. Amazing Stories
  5. Cheers
  6. The Cosby Show
  7. The Facts of Life
  8. Family Ties
  9. Gimme A Break!
  10. The Golden Girls
  11. Highway to Heaven
  12. Hill Street Blues
  13. Hunter
  14. Me & Mrs. C
  15. Miami Vice
  16. Night Court
  17. Remington Steele
  18. St. Elsewhere
  19. Stingray
  20. Valerie
  21. You Again?

Not Returning From Last Season:

  1. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  2. Blacke's Magic
  3. Dalton's Code of Vengeance
  4. Fathers and Sons
  5. Hell Town
  6. Knight Rider
  7. The Last Precinct
  8. Misfits of Science
  9. Punky Brewster
  10. Riptide
  11. Silver Spoons
  12. TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes

Pickups and CancellationsEdit

Full Season PickupsEdit

ABC

  1. 20/20
  2. The Charmings
  3. The Disney Sunday Movie
  4. Dynasty
  5. Growing Pains
  6. Head of the Class
  7. Hotel
  8. MacGyver
  9. Max Headroom
  10. Mr. Belvedere (originally cancelled, but revived early next season to fill a gap in the schedule)
  11. Moonlighting
  12. Ohara
  13. Perfect Strangers
  14. Sledge Hammer!
  15. Spenser: For Hire
  16. Who's The Boss?


CBS

  1. 60 Minutes
  2. Cagney & Lacey
  3. The Cavanaughs (in summer 1988)
  4. Dallas
  5. Designing Women
  6. The Equalizer
  7. Falcon Crest
  8. Houston Knights
  9. Kate and Allie
  10. Knots Landing
  11. Magnum, P.I. (originally to end, but brought back due to fan protests of the intended ending)
  12. My Sister Sam
  13. Simon & Simon (in mid-season)
  14. West 57th


Fox

  1. 21 Jump Street
  2. Duet
  3. Married…With Children
  4. Mr. President
  5. The New Adventures of Beans Baxter
  6. The Tracey Ullman Show
  7. Werewolf


NBC

  1. 227
  2. ALF
  3. Amen
  4. The Bronx Zoo (mid-season)
  5. Cheers
  6. Crime Story
  7. The Cosby Show
  8. The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
  9. The Facts of Life
  10. Family Ties
  11. Highway to Heaven
  12. Hunter
  13. L.A. Law
  14. Matlock
  15. Miami Vice
  16. Night Court
  17. Our House
  18. St. Elsewhere
  19. Valerie

Cancellations and EndingsEdit

ABC

  1. Animal Crack-Ups (to move to Saturday mornings)
  2. The Colbys
  3. Dads
  4. The Ellen Burstyn Show
  5. Gung Ho
  6. Jack and Mike
  7. Life With Lucy
  8. Our World
  9. Sidekicks
  10. Starman

Change of Network Affiliation:

  1. Webster: (to First-run syndication)


CBS

  1. Better Days
  2. Downtown
  3. Hard Copy
  4. Kay O'Brien
  5. The New Mike Hammer
  6. Outlaws
  7. Roxie
  8. Scarecrow and Mrs. King
  9. Shell Game
  10. Take Five
  11. Together We Stand (Nothing Is Easy)
  12. The Wizard

Change of Network Affiliation:

  1. The Twilight Zone: (to First-run syndication)


Fox

  1. Down and Out in Beverly Hills
  2. Karen's Song


NBC

  1. 1986
  2. The A-Team
  3. Amazing Stories
  4. Easy Street
  5. Gimme A Break!
  6. Hill Street Blues
  7. Me & Mrs. C
  8. Nothing in Common
  9. Rags to Riches
  10. Sweet Surrender
  11. The Tortellis
  12. You Again?

References Edit

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