The 1980 WGA strike caused some shows to delay their premieres. CBS takes Walt Disney away from NBC. ABC dominates on Tuesday and CBS dominates on Sunday, while Thursday lays fallow. CBS adds a news brief at 9:58, imitating ABC, which started theirs in 1977. Late Night with David Letterman debuts on February 1, 1982. Fred Silverman gets fired as NBC President in the Summer of 1981.
|ABC||Code Red (Nov.)||Today’s F.B.I. (Oct.)||The ABC Sunday Night Movie|
|CBS||60 Minutes||Archie Bunker’s Place||One Day at a Time||Alice||The Jeffersons||Trapper John, M.D.|
|NBC||Father Murphy (Midseason)||CHiPs||NBC Sunday Night at the Movies|
|ABC||Sep||That’s Incredible!||Monday Night Football|
|Jan||ABC Monday Night Movie|
|CBS||Sep||Private Benjamin||The Two of Us||M*A*S*H||House Calls||Lou Grant|
|Mid||Mr. Merlin||Private Benjamin|
|Apr||Private Benjamin||Report to Murphy|
|NBC||Little House on the Prairie||NBC Monday Night at the Movies|
|ABC||Happy Days||Laverne & Shirley||Three’s Company||Too Close for Comfort||Hart to Hart|
|CBS||Simon & Simon (Nov.)||The CBS Tuesday Night Movies|
|NBC||Sep||NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies|
|Nov||Father Murphy||Bret Maverick||Flamingo Road|
|Mar||Bret Maverick||Flamingo Road||Cassie & Co.|
|ABC||The Greatest American Hero||The Fall Guy||Dynasty|
|CBS||Sep||Mr. Merlin (Oct)||WKRP in Cincinnati||The CBS Wednesday Night Movies|
|Mid||WKRP in Cincinnati||The Two of Us||The CBS Wednesday Night Movies|
|Mar||Herbie the Love Bug||WKRP in Cincinnati||Baker’s Dozen||Shannon|
|Apr||The Incredible Hulk||The CBS Wednesday Night Movies|
|NBC||Sep||Real People||NBC Wednesday Night at the Movies|
|Mid||The Facts of Life||Love, Sidney||Quincy, M.E.|
|ABC||Sep||Mork and Mindy||Best of the West||Barney Miller||Taxi||20/20|
|CBS||Sep||Magnum, P.I.||Nurse||Knots Landing|
|Nov||Knots Landing||Nurse (Dec.)|
|Mar||Simon & Simon (May 2)||Knots Landing|
|NBC||Sep||Harper Valley||Lewis & Clark (Oct.)||Diff’rent Strokes||Gimme a Break! (Oct. 29)||Hill Street Blues|
|ABC||Sep||Benson||Making a Living||The ABC Friday Night Movie|
|Nov||Bosom Buddies||Darkroom||Strike Force|
|Mid||Open All Night||Best of the West||Making a Living|
|Mar||Maggie (April 30)||The Phoenix|
|CBS||Sep||The Incredible Hulk||The Dukes of Hazzard||Dallas|
|Dec||The Dukes of Hazzard||Dallas||Falcon Crest|
|NBC||Sep||NBC Magazine||NBC Friday Night at the Movies|
|Nov||McClain’s Law||Cassie & Co. (Mid.)|
|Feb||NBC Friday Night at the Movies|
|Apr||specials||Chicago Story||McClain’s Law|
|ABC||Sep||Open All Night (Nov. 28)||Making a Living||The Love Boat||Fantasy Island|
|CBS||Walt Disney||The CBS Saturday Night Movies|
|NBC||Sep||Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters||NBC Saturday Night at the Movies / various|
|Mid||One of the Boys||Harper Valley||Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters||The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour|
|Mar||Chicago Story||McClain’s Law|
|Apr||Harper Valley||One of the Boys||Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters||NBC Magazine|
ABC: Police Squad! ran Thursdays at 8pm-8:30, March 4-25. Joanie Loves Chachi ran at 8:30-9pm Tuesdays, March 23-April 13. Specials ran on Wednesdays 9-10pm until The Fall Guy debuted on November 4. Open All Night was initially scheduled for 8:30-9pm on Fridays. King’s Crossing was initially scheduled for the Fall. T.J. Hooker ran Saturdays at 8-9pm, March 13-April 10. Barney Miller ran Fridays at 8:30-9pm, March 19-April 23. 9 to 5 ran at 9pm Thursdays, March 25-April 15. Maggie ran Saturdays at 8pm-8:30 until November 28. No Soap Radio ran Thursdays at 8pm-8:30, April 15-May 13.
CBS: Specials ran Tuesday at 8-9pm until Simon & Simon debuted on November 24. Bosom Buddies ran on Thursdays at 9pm until October 29. Cagney & Lacey ran Thursdays at 9-10pm, in April. Jessica Novak ran Thursdays at 10-11pm, Nov. 5-Dec. 3.
NBC: Q.E.D. ran Tuesdays at 8-9pm, March 23-April 27. The Book of Lists ran Tuesdays at 8-9pm, May 4-25. The Devlin Connection, initially scheduled for Fridays at 10-11pm, was delayed one season due to Rock Hudson’s heart surgery, and local programming filled the slot until Midseason. The Powers of Matthew Star, initially scheduled for Sundays at 7-8pm, was delayed one season due to Peter Barton’s injury, and local programming filled the slot until Midseason. Pat Sajak replaced Chuck Woolery and taped his first Wheel of Fortune on December 28. The Smurfs premiered on September 12.
Syndication: Mary Hart was hired as a reporter for Entertainment Tonight in early 1982.
Cable: MTV launched on August 1, 1981. Showtime went full-time on July 4. CNN Headline News launched on January 1, 1982 as CNN2. The Weather Channel launched on May 2.