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This was the television schedule on all four networks for the fall season beginning in September 1988. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with certain exceptions, such as Monday Night Football.

New series highlighted in blue.

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]

Note: A writers' strike and the Seoul Olympics hindered the networks' ability to start airing shows in a timely manner. New shows intended for a regular fall launch saw their debuts spread out between September and December. The debut month for each new series is noted as to when it actually premiered.

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

Ratings data from TVTango.com

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 Incredible Sunday (Oct.) #89 7.27 rating Mission: Impossible (Oct.) #68 9.99 rating The ABC Sunday Night Movie #32 15.04 rating
CBS 60 Minutes #6 21.7 rating Murder, She Wrote #7 20.71 rating The CBS Sunday Night Movies #27 16.1 rating
Fox 21 Jump Street #90 7.17 rating America's Most Wanted #74 9.13 rating Married... with Children #63 10.45 rating It's Garry Shandling's Show #101 4.97 rating The Tracey Ullman Show #102 4.21 rating Duet #104 3.56 rating Local
NBC The Magical World of Disney (Oct.) #69 9.86 rating Family Ties #36 14.46 rating Day by Day #49 12.87 rating NBC Sunday Night at the Movies #24 16.3 rating

Monday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC MacGyver #42 13.61 rating Monday Night Football #22 16.93 rating
CBS Newhart #47 13.10 rating Coming of Age #78 8.39 rating Murphy Brown (Nov.) #34 14.60 rating Designing Women #33 14.98 rating Almost Grown (Nov.) #62 10.59 rating
NBC ALF #15 17.74 rating The Hogan Family #30 15.30 rating NBC Monday Night at the Movies #26 16.20 rating

Note: CBS aired local and paid political programming in September and October. On December 12, the final season of Kate & Allie (#48, 12.90 rating) premiered at 8:30 p.m.

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? #8 20.33 rating Roseanne (Oct.) #2 23.78 rating Moonlighting #56 11.25 rating thirtysomething #41 13.91 rating
CBS official High Risk #73 9.16 rating The CBS Tuesday Night Movies #53 12.39 rating
follow-up (Oct.) Local and paid political programming
follow-up (Nov. 29) TV 101 #96 6.12 rating
NBC Matlock #16 17.54 rating In the Heat of the Night #18 17.32 rating Midnight Caller (Nov.) #37 14.42 rating

Note: On NBC, NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies (#29, 15.52 rating) often aired from 8–10 p.m. or 9–11 p.m. from September through November. Moonlighting went on hiatus in February 1989 and returned on Sundays in April.

Wednesday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Growing Pains #13 18.20 rating Head of the Class #21 17.09 rating The Wonder Years #14 17.76 rating Hooperman #60 10.66 rating China Beach #55 11.91 rating
CBS The Van Dyke Show (Oct.) #88 7.30 rating Annie McGuire (Oct.) #86 7.39 rating The Equalizer #61 10.65 rating Wiseguy #54 12.24 rating
NBC official Unsolved Mysteries (Sep.) #19 17.21 rating Night Court #20 17.17 rating Baby Boom #44 13.46 rating Tattingers (Oct.) #70 9.85 rating
follow-up (Jan.) My Two Dads #46 13.19 rating

Note: On CBS, Live! With Dick Clark (#85, 7.63 rating) aired from 8–9 p.m. in September. On NBC, various specials aired from 9:30–10 p.m. from September to November. Then on January 11, the second season of My Two Dads (#46, 13.19 rating) premiered. On ABC, Anything But Love (#11, 18.98 rating) premiered at 9:30 in March 1989. On March 15, Jake and the Fatman (#38, 14.31 rating) premiered an 11 episode second season on CBS at 9:00 p.m. On March 1, Hard Time on Planet Earth (#81, 7.97 rating) premiered at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. On January 25, the American version of Nightingales (#50, 12.86 rating) premiered on NBC at 10:00 p.m. On April 5, The Robert Guillaume Show (#83, 7.96 rating) premiered on ABC at 9:30.

Thursday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Knightwatch (Nov.) #95 6.59 rating Dynasty #64 10.40 rating W5
CBS 48 Hours #67 10.13 rating Paradise (Oct) #66 10.16 rating Knots Landing #25 16.26 rating
NBC The Cosby Show #1 25.81 rating A Different World #3 23.59 rating Cheers #4 23.00 rating Dear John (Oct.) #12 18.73 rating L.A. Law #10 19.05 rating

Note: On ABC, various specials and The ABC Thursday Night Movie (#71, 9.82 rating) aired from 8–11 p.m. from September to early November. On CBS, the CBS Special Movie (#57, 11.16 rating) aired from 9–11 p.m. in September till mid-October. On January 26, the American version of A Fine Romance (#97, 6.03 rating) premiered at 8:00 on ABC, while on January 5, HeartBeat (#91, 7.09 rating) premiered its second and last season at 10:00 p.m. also on ABC.

Friday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Perfect Strangers #39 14.29 rating Full House #28 15.52 rating Mr. Belvedere #43 13.54 rating Just the Ten of Us #51 12.54 rating 20/20 #40 14.07 rating
CBS Beauty and the Beast #65 10.38 rating Dallas #31 15.17 rating Falcon Crest #52 12.42 rating
NBC Something is Out There (Oct.) #75 8.77 rating Miami Vice #58 11.14 rating Dream Street (Apr. 1989) #87 7.35 rating

Note: On March 26, Quantum Leap (#72, 9.23 rating) premiered in a Tuesday night slot before moving to Fridays at 9:00 on March 31. On April 14, The Jim Henson Hour (#100, 5.29 rating) premiered at 8:00. On June 2, Highway to Heaven (#80, 8.06 rating) moved to Friday to air its final 9 episodes. On January 20, Father Dowling Mysteries (#45, 13.29 rating) premiered at 8:00 on NBC. On February 3, Unsub (#59, 10.93 rating) premiered on NBC at 10:00 pm

Saturday Edit

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Murphy's Law (Dec.) #94 6.71 rating Police Story (Oct.) #79 8.16 rating
CBS Dirty Dancing (Oct.) #93 6.94 rating Raising Miranda (Nov.) #98 5.97 rating Simon & Simon #92 6.95 rating West 57th #84 7.78 rating
Fox The Reporters #103 4.08 rating COPS (Mar. 1989) #99 5.54 rating Beyond Tomorrow #105 3.12 rating Local
NBC 227 #35 14.47 rating Amen #23 16.36 rating The Golden Girls #6 21.76 rating Empty Nest (Oct.) #9 19.67 rating Hunter #17 17.46 rating

Note: On ABC, the limited-run series Crime of the CenturyTemplate:Disambiguation needed aired in October and W5 in November, both from 8–9 p.m. On CBS, Live! With Dick Clark, retitled Dick Clark Presents, moved from Wednesday in September to Saturday in October and aired from 8–9 p.m. On January 28, A Man Called Hawk (#77, 8.46 rating) premiered on ABC at 9 p.m, and CBS's The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (#82, 7.97 rating) moved to Saturday at 9 p.m. On January 21, Dolphin Cove (#76, 8.71 rating) premiered on CBS at 8 p.m.

By NetworkEdit

ABCEdit

Returning Series:

  1. 20/20
  2. Dynasty
  3. Full House
  4. Growing Pains
  5. Head of the Class
  6. Heartbeat
  7. Hooperman
  8. Just The Ten of Us
  9. MacGyver
  10. Monday Night Football
  11. Moonlighting
  12. Mr. Belvedere
  13. Perfect Strangers
  14. thirtysomething
  15. Who's The Boss?
  16. The Wonder Years

New Series:

  1. Anything But Love
  2. China Beach
  3. Coach
  4. Crime of the Century
  5. A Fine Romance
  6. Incredible Sunday
  7. Knightwatch
  8. A Man Called Hawk
  9. Mission: Impossible
  10. Murphy's Law
  11. Police Story
  12. The Robert Guillaume Show
  13. Roseanne
  14. War and Remembrance
  15. W5

Not Returning From Last Season

  1. Buck James
  2. The Charmings
  3. Dolly
  4. Family Man
  5. Hotel
  6. Hothouse
  7. I Married Dora
  8. Just In Time
  9. Max Headroom
  10. Once A Hero
  11. Ohara
  12. Probe
  13. Pursuit of Happiness
  14. Sable
  15. The Slap Maxwell Story
  16. Sledge Hammer!
  17. Spenser: For Hire
  18. Supercarrier
  19. The Thorns

CBSEdit

Returning Series:

  1. 48 Hours
  2. 60 Minutes
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Blue Skies
  5. The Cavanaughs
  6. Coming of Age
  7. Dallas
  8. Designing Women
  9. The Equalizer
  10. Falcon Crest
  11. Jake and the Fatman
  12. Kate and Allie
  13. Knots Landing
  14. Murder, She Wrote
  15. Newhart
  16. Simon & Simon
  17. The Smothers Brothers Show
  18. Tour of Duty
  19. West 57th
  20. Wiseguy

New Series:

  1. Almost Grown
  2. Annie McGuire
  3. Dirty Dancing
  4. Dolphin Cove
  5. Hard Time on Planet Earth
  6. High Risk
  7. Live! With Dick Clark
  8. Murphy Brown
  9. Paradise
  10. Raising Miranda
  11. TV 101
  12. The Van Dyke Show

Not Returning From Last Season

  1. Blue Skies
  2. Cagney & Lacey
  3. Eisenhower and Lutz
  4. Everything's Relative
  5. Frank's Place
  6. High Mountain Rangers
  7. Houston Knights
  8. The Law and Harry McGraw
  9. Leg Work
  10. Magnum, P.I.
  11. My Sister Sam
  12. The Oldest Rookie
  13. Trial and Error

FoxEdit

Returning Series:

  1. 21 Jump Street
  2. America's Most Wanted
  3. Duet
  4. It's Garry Shandling's Show
  5. Married…With Children
  6. The Reporters
  7. The Tracey Ullman Show

New Series:

  1. Beyond Tomorrow
  2. COPS
  3. Totally Hidden Video

Not Returning From Last Season

  1. The Dirty Dozen
  2. Family Double Dare
  3. Mr. President
  4. The New Adventures of Beans Baxter
  5. Second Chance (Boys Will Be Boys)
  6. Werewolf
  7. Women In Prison

NBCEdit

Returning Series:

  1. 227
  2. ALF
  3. Amen
  4. Cheers
  5. The Cosby Show
  6. Day By Day
  7. The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
  8. A Different World
  9. Family Ties
  10. The Golden Girls
  11. Hunter
  12. In The Heat Of The Night
  13. L.A. Law
  14. Matlock
  15. Miami Vice
  16. My Two Dads
  17. Night Court
  18. Sonny Spoon
  19. Valerie

New Series:

  1. Baby Boom
  2. Dear John
  3. Empty Nest
  4. Father Dowling Mysteries
  5. The Jim Henson Hour
  6. The Magical World of Disney
  7. Midnight Caller
  8. Nightingales
  9. Quantum Leap
  10. Rage Hard
  11. Something is Out There
  12. Tattingers
  13. Unsolved Mysteries
  14. Unsub

Not Returning From Last Season

  1. Aaron's Way
  2. Beverly Hills Buntz
  3. The Bronx Zoo
  4. Crime Story
  5. The Facts of Life
  6. George Schlatter's Funny People
  7. The Highwayman
  8. J.J. Starbuck
  9. Our House
  10. Private Eye
  11. Rags To Riches
  12. St. Elsewhere
  13. TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes
  14. A Year In The Life

Pickups and ShowsEdit

Full Season ShowsEdit

ABC

  1. 20/20
  2. Anything But Love
  3. China Beach
  4. Crime of the Century
  5. Dynasty
  6. A Fine Romance
  7. Full House
  8. Growing Pains
  9. Head of the Class
  10. HeartBeat
  11. Hooperman
  12. Incredible Sunday
  13. Just The Ten Of Us
  14. Knightwatch
  15. MacGyver
  16. A Man Called Hawk
  17. Mission: Impossible
  18. Mr. Belvedere
  19. Monday Night Football
  20. Moonlighting
  21. Murphy's Law
  22. Perfect Strangers
  23. Police Story
  24. The Robert Guillaume Show
  25. Roseanne
  26. thirtysomething
  27. War and Remembrance
  28. Who's The Boss?
  29. The Wonder Years


CBS

  1. 48 Hours
  2. 60 Minutes
  3. Almost Grown
  4. Annie McGuire
  5. Beauty and the Beast
  6. The Cavanaughs
  7. Coming of Age
  8. Dallas
  9. Designing Women
  10. Dirty Dancing
  11. Dolphin Cove
  12. The Equalizer
  13. Falcon Crest
  14. Hard Time on Planet Earth
  15. High Risk
  16. Kate and Allie
  17. Knots Landing
  18. Live with Dick Clark!
  19. Murder, She Wrote
  20. Murphy Brown
  21. Newhart
  22. Paradise
  23. Raising Miranda
  24. Simon & Simon
  25. This Is America, Charlie Brown
  26. TV 101
  27. The Van Dyke Show
  28. West 57th
  29. Wiseguy


Fox

  1. 21 Jump Street
  2. America's Most Wanted
  3. Cops
  4. Duet
  5. It's Garry Shandling's Show
  6. Married… With Children
  7. The Reporters
  8. Totally Hidden Video
  9. The Tracey Ullman Show


NBC

  1. 227
  2. ALF
  3. Amen
  4. Baby Boom
  5. Cheers
  6. The Cosby Show
  7. Day By Day
  8. Dear John
  9. A Different World
  10. Empty Nest
  11. Family Ties
  12. Father Dowling Mysteries
  13. The Golden Girls
  14. The Hogan Family
  15. Highway to Heaven
  16. Hunter
  17. In The Heat Of The Night
  18. The Jim Henson Hour
  19. L.A. Law
  20. The Magical World Of Disney
  21. Matlock
  22. Miami Vice
  23. Midnight Caller
  24. Nearly Departed
  25. Night Court
  26. Nightingales
  27. Quantum Leap
  28. Rage Hard
  29. Something Is Out There
  30. Tattinger's
  31. Unsolved Mysteries
  32. Unsub

ReferencesEdit

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