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October 1984 TV Adverts: Miami Vice to Knight Rider in the Halloween Season of ’84

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TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984

It’s time to delve into the stacks of yellowing pages of TV Guides from the year 1984 – specifically the October editions. It’s the Halloween Season, and there’s plenty of cheesy specials and godawful sitcoms to enjoy. Let’s have a look!

TV Guide Oct 6_12 1984 (1)

Yes, it definitely was “tough being a kid” on 1980s sitcoms.  These kids were constantly being molested, kidnapped and scarred-for-life.  For more on the surprisingly horrific nature of 80s “comedies” check out: TV Nightmares.

TV Guide Oct 6_12 1984 (2)

The Hoff in a creepy monastery?  It’s sort of like The Name of the Rose… but retarded.

TV Guide Oct 6_12 1984

Wait.. that doesn’t look like George Clooney.  Oh, yes – this is a different “ER”… the terrible “comedic” predecessor to the 90s drama, starring Elliott Gould (who, it’s important to note, would be declaring bankruptcy shortly thereafter).

TV Guide Oct 6_12 1984 It’s getting near Halloween, so they’re playing up the ghost bit…. spoiler alert: it’s not really a ghost.

TV Guide Oct 6_12 1984

The Dukes of Hazzard was never exactly high-brow entertainment, but a robot Rosco was insanely stupid, even by the show’s low standard.  Suffice it to say, by 1984 it had long since jumped the shark.

And now a word from our sponsor:

TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984 Bud Light advert

TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984 TJ Hooker

Because murdering prostitutes is always hot! (Yeesh.  Something tells me this wouldn’t pass the politically correct censors of today.)

Miami Vice TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984

Miami Vice was new in October 1984, but it didn’t take long before it was a phenomenon.  Pastel colors, white jackets, cocaine, sports cars, to the tune of “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins… who could resist?

Bill Cosby TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984

As someone who grew up with Bill Cosby – from I Spy to Fat Albert to The Cosby Show – I find what became of Cosby’s reputation and legacy tremendously sad… perhaps well deserved, but still sad.

V series TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984

These days we take for granted high-production television like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.  So, it’s hard to appreciate the awesomeness of a show like V, which, for the time, seemed absolutely epic.

TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984

As today, it was election season in October 1984 – it was Reagan (going for a second term) versus Walter Mondale, the former vice president under Jimmy Carter.  Reagan mopped the floor with Mondale (in electoral votes, but not by much in popular votes) in an election that was nowhere near as low-down and dirty as Trump-Clinton race.

Also take note that we have yet another sitcom kid in peril.  Damn those 80s sitcom kids were in a perpetual state of horrific tragedy!

TV Guide Oct 20_26 1984 (6)

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, a Halloween classic.. Garfield in the Rough, not so much.

TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984

I wonder if “The City Killer” is any relation to TJ Hooker’s “Boulevard Strangler”?

TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984 murder she wrote

Dear God, everywhere this woman went, someone dies!  My advice to you: if you see Angela Lansbury coming, run in the opposite direction as fast as your little legs will carry you.

TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984

Another glorious TJ Hooker advert for October ’84.  The flames under the exclamation mark are slightly different than before – but most definitely still HOT!

TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984

In that classic episode of Community, the professor poses the question to his “Communication Studies” class: “Who’s the Boss?”… to which Abed replies: “Angela”.  Thus igniting perhaps the most important debate of our time: Who really was the boss?  Angela, Mona or Tony? Talk among yourselves.

TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984 (7)

Three years after the premier of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, she was everywhere on TV in 1984 – from The Tonight Show to The Fall Guy.  For more pictures and information on Elvira that you could dream of, check out Elvira: An Illustrated History of the Mistress of the Dark.

TV Guide Oct 27_Nov 2 1984

Well, it’s time to step away from Joan Collins’ giant puffy shoulder pads, and end our tour of October 1984.  Cheers!

TV Guide October 21_27 1989

  • Tillinger

    First, thank you for these (and thank you for all your other posts. So glad you are still posting). I really miss the old TV Guide and TV Guide ads (and weirdly old tv in general. I have way more selection, far more shows that I want to watch, easier access easy recording, yet there is something somehow missing, somehow it feels like less?).

    Only because you mentioned George Clooney, and I never saw the show, but wasn’t he on that E/R also?

    • timdub70

      According to IMDB, he was in at least 8 episoedes.

    • Sal Vation

      yes Tillinger i understand. i get that same feeling about the old school tv days.something is missing.

    • Freakanatcha

      To me, it feels like less because entire networks are nothing but “reality” shows. They should have stopped with “Cops” – nothing appeared scripted, no retakes. I will not forget the time my hometown was featured and I felt some pride because my town’s white trash was clearly the season’s trashiest.

    • joseph powell

      Yes, he was on several eps, but wasn’t on it in the beginning.

  • Freakanatcha

    Have you ever wondered who had the write the copy for the TV Guide ads and how many times did they have to write “Hit New Series” before they punched the clock at 2 pm and got drunk? Did they crank out a month’s worth of ads in 45 minutes, or did they pour their soul into every last “Murder She Wrote” blurb?

  • bobbych

    From the Salt Lake City edition of TV Guide. Very cool.

  • Stevechang64

    How I loved those days

  • Christopher Logan

    These starting times are pretty early, what part of the U.S were these taken from? Except Night Rider, I used to watch that on Sunday nights after my bath. No way it was on at 9:00pm! I remember when the A-team was on from 8-9pm and my bedtime was 8:30… I had to ask my friends the next day what happened for the second half. I wonder if that’s why I work the late shift now and go to bed at 6:00am. Hmmm.

    • joseph powell

      Depends on your time zone – Knight Rider probably started at 8pm Central time, 9pm Eastern.

  • joseph powell

    Interesting how Klinger form MASH and AfterMASH was married to Keiko O’Brien from Star Trek!

    Note how there was a Knight Rider episode about a freaking monastery! They really did get desperate for stories, and would over-hype KITT’s abilities (“Hey, KITT – that volcano’s going off – time to get into LAVA MODE, buddy!”).

    Also Three’s a Crowd apparently had an episode centered on impotence. I used to always watch Three’s Company, but apparently Three’s A Crowd kind of lost my attention.

    I have memories of being a teenager and coming home from lifting weights early on a Saturday evening, all pumped up with endorphins (what your body releases when you exercise), and my Dad was grilling up some tasty burgers on the back porch, with TJ Hooker playing on the TV.
    Of course, in our house, Airwolf started to take over Saturday nights – Airwolf was AWESOME!

    I (and all young American boys) had a big crush on Justine Bateman (Mallory from Family Ties).

    Also, V: The Series really fell flat compared to the two mini-series that preceded it – it was like the writers just didn’t care.

    I wish I could go back to the fall of 1984.