The 1980s wasn’t the greatest decade when it came to television entertainment. Sure, we had a few great movies hit the big screen in the 80s, but when it came to TV the attempts at attracting an audience fell severely flat. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, dozens of shows bombed during the decade. Here are 11 that just fell a little bit harder than the others.
1. Slim Goodbody’s Inside Story
John Burnstein played Slim Goodbody on this PBS show. Slim Goodbody was originally the “superhero of health” on a few morning news shows. The character hit its peak in the 80s but that creepy anatomy suit was more likely to scare children than educate them.
Word is that Burnstein still appears as Slim Goodbody (anatomy suit and all) at schools and hospitals. Hang it up man, the 80s are dead.
2. The Powers of Matthew Star
The concept behind this show of an alien prince hiding out in society as a normal high school student had some merit. We have even seen it replicated in books and movies since (Animorphs etc) but apart from the idea the show was a bust. The special effects were ahead of their time, but unfortunately actor Peter Barton was scorched by flame in a pyrotechnics blast gone wrong.
Anytime you see an exclamation point on the end of a title you should be wary of the quality of the product. A poor man’s Quantum Leap, the main characters use a magic pocket watch in order to jump through time and visit different periods throughout history. One word to describe this show, terrible, it wasn’t worth the time it took to change the channel.
4. She’s The Sheriff
Well ahead of its time in regards to gender equality, but not much else can be said about this show. Suzanne Somers stars as the woman who takes over as sheriff in a small Nevada town after her husband passes away. This show has the great distinction of being named to TV Guide’s “50 Worst Shows Of All Time”.
5. It’s Your Move
This is one of those shows that actually had a spark of quality to it, but due to scheduling conflicts (airing at the same time as Dynasty) no one really gave it a chance to succeed. Jason Bateman stars as a teenage hustler who came up with a new scheme each week.
6. Jennifer Slept Here
Right off the bat, the name of the show sounds like a badly written porno. This was an attempt at a sitcom that lacked anything even remotely resembling a joke either on purpose or not. It surrounded the ghost of an actress “haunting” a family’s apartment but who can only be seen by the teenage son. Garbage at best.
7. Life With Lucy
They always warn you against the issues surrounding “too much of a good thing.” In this case Lucille Ball jumped the shark as an entertainer. After I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Here’s Lucy – all wildly successful – ABC took a chance on the fourth coming of Lucy. Unfortunately, it was doomed before it got rolling, people just wanted to watch old re-runs of the classics instead of something new and overdone. Only 8 of 13 recorded episodes ever saw the light of day.
8. Three’s A Crowd
If you weren’t tired of Three’s Company after 8 seasons of the same joke, then you were in luck because this spinoff debuted a week after the original series ended. John Ritter returned but Joyce DeWitt and Suzanna Somers didn’t, so unless you were really invested in Jack Tripper’s new girlfriend Vicky, there was no reason to watch this show.
9. Double Trouble
Katy Sagal (Gemma Teller from Sons of Anarchy) has twin sisters, in real life. The two other Sagals starred in this sitcom about twins with completely different personalities. Apparently the show wasn’t half-bad, except the “twin” humor was a little bit much for anyone who couldn’t actually relate.
10. Archie Bunker’s Place
Another example of “too much of a good thing.” This spin-off from All In The Family actually managed to last four years, and it had good ratings when it first hit the airwaves. This show focused on Archie and his bar but it just wasn’t the same and people lost interest.
Manimal was a show about a man who could transform into any animal in his quest to fight crime. The concept was great and the CGI effects were great for the 80s. The show would have done a lot better a decade later when CGI wasn’t so expensive. Only eight episodes made it to air, but they were reasonably well received. If you are a fan of science-fiction it might be worth taking this trip down memory lane.
Did we miss any 80s gems? Let us know in the comments.