1987–88 United States network television schedule

This was the television schedule on all four United States commercial television networks for the fall season beginning in September 1987. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with certain exceptions, such as Monday Night Football.

Note: This is the first fall season for Fox, and the first year since 1958-59 that a fourth commercial television network (NTA) was broadcasting. Fox would air only two days a week until 1989.

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

New series are highlighted in bold.

All times given are in U.S. Eastern Time and Pacific Time (except for some live events or specials). Subtract one hour for Central and Mountain times. From February 13 to 28, 1988, all of ABC's primetime programming was preempted in favor of coverage of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[1]

     Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.
     Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.
     Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.


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 Fall The Disney Sunday Movie Spenser: For Hire Dolly Buck James
Winter The Disney Sunday Movie The ABC Sunday Night Movie
Spring The Disney Sunday Movie Supercarrier
Follow-up Specials
Summer MacGyver
CBS 60 Minutes (#8/20.6) Murder, She Wrote (#9/20.2) CBS Sunday Movie (#18/17.2)
Fox Fall 21 Jump Street Werewolf Married... with Children The Tracey Ullman Show Duet Local Programming
Spring It's Garry Shandling's Show The Tracey Ullman Show Local Programming
Follow-up America's Most Wanted
NBC Fall Our House Family Ties (#17/17.3) My Two Dads (#20/16.9)
(Tied with Valerie's Family)
NBC Sunday Night at the Movies (#23/16.7)
(Tied with Head of the Class)
Spring Day by Day (#28/16.2)
Summer Rags to Riches My Two Dads (#20/16.9)
(Tied with Valerie's Family)


Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall MacGyver Monday Night Football (#16/17.4)
Mid-season The ABC Monday Night Movie
Summer Monday Night Baseball
CBS Fall Frank's Place Kate & Allie Newhart (#25/16.5) Designing Women Cagney & Lacey
Follow-up Kate & Allie Frank's Place
Mid-season Designing Women Frank's Place Wiseguy
Spring Eisenhower and Lutz
Follow-up Cagney & Lacey
Summer Blue Skies Kate & Allie Designing Women Wiseguy
NBC ALF (#10/18.8)
(Tied with The Wonder Years)
Valerie's Family (#20/16.9)
(Tied with My Two Dads)
NBC Monday Night at the Movies (#26/16.4)


Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Who's the Boss? (#6/21.2) Growing Pains (#5/21.3) Moonlighting (#12/18.3)
(Tied with L.A. Law)
Mid-season The Wonder Years (#10/18.8)
(Tied with ALF)
Spring Just the Ten of Us
Summer Perfect Strangers
Follow-up Full House
CBS Fall Houston Knights Jake and the Fatman The Law & Harry McGraw
Mid-season 48 Hours Cagney & Lacey
Spring My Sister Sam Trial and Error Frank's Place Coming of Age
Follow-up Houston Knights The CBS Tuesday Night Movie
Summer CBS Summer Playhouse
NBC Fall Matlock (#14/17.8) J.J. Starbuck Crime Story
Follow-up Hunter (#28/16.1)
Spring In the Heat of the Night (#19/17.0)
Follow-up NBC Tuesday Night at the Movies
Summer J.J. Starbuck NBC Summer Showcase
Follow-up In the Heat of the Night (#19/17.0)

Note: The Dictator was supposed to premiere March 15, 1988 at 8:30-9:00 on CBS, but My Sister Sam replaced it at the last minute due to the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike.


Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Perfect Strangers Head of the Class (#23/16.7)
(Tied with The NBC Sunday Night Movie)
Hooperman The Slap Maxwell Story Dynasty
Mid-season Growing Pains (#5/21.5)
Spring HeartBeat
Follow-up Just in Time
Follow-up China Beach
Summer Just the Ten of Us The Slap Maxwell Story Spenser: For Hire
CBS Fall The Oldest Rookie Magnum, P.I. The Equalizer
Mid-season The Law & Harry McGraw
Spring The Smothers Brothers Show Jake and the Fatman
Summer Jake and the Fatman The Equalizer Wiseguy
NBC Fall Highway to Heaven A Year in the Life St. Elsewhere
Spring Aaron's Way (#30/16.0) Highway to Heaven A Year in the Life
Follow-up St. Elsewhere
Summer Highway to Heaven The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Sara The Bronx Zoo
Follow-up George Schlatter's Funny People St. Elsewhere

Note: Sara consisted entirely of reruns of the 1985 series.


Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Sledge Hammer! The Charmings The ABC Thursday Night Movie
Mid-season The Charmings Various programming
Spring Probe Hotel Buck James
Follow-up Max Headroom
Summer The ABC Thursday Night Movie Hothouse
CBS Fall Tour of Duty Wiseguy Knots Landing
Mid-season Simon & Simon
Spring 48 Hours
Summer Cagney & Lacey
NBC Fall The Cosby Show (#1/27.8) A Different World (#2/25.0) Cheers (#3/23.4) Night Court (#7/20.8) L.A. Law (#12/18.3)
(Tied with Moonlighting)
Spring The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
Follow-up Night Court (#7/20.8)


Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Full House I Married Dora Max Headroom 20/20
Follow-up Mr. Belvedere Pursuit of Happiness
Winter Mr. Belvedere The Thorns Sledge Hammer!
Follow-up Perfect Strangers Full House Mr. Belvedere The Thorns
Spring Family Man
Summer I Married Dora
CBS Fall Beauty and the Beast Dallas (#22/16.8) Falcon Crest
Summer CBS Friday Movie
NBC Fall Rags to Riches Miami Vice Private Eye
Winter Specials Sonny Spoon
Spring The Highwayman
Follow-up Night Court (#7/20.8) Beverly Hills Buntz Miami Vice
Midseason TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes The Highwayman
Summer Sonny Spoon
Follow-up Blacke's Magic

Note: Full House premiered Tuesday September 22, 1987 at 8:30 pm on ABC.


Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Once a Hero Ohara Hotel
Follow-up Sable
Follow-up Ohara Sable
Winter Dolly Ohara Spenser: For Hire
Summer Hotel
CBS Fall My Sister Sam Everything's Relative Leg Work West 57th
Follow-up The CBS Saturday Night Movie
Winter High Mountain Rangers Houston Knights
Follow-up Tour of Duty
Summer Kate & Allie Frank's Place
Fox Fall Werewolf The New Adventures of Beans Baxter Second Chance Duet Local Programming
Follow-up Mr. President Women in Prison The New Adventures of Beans Baxter Second Chance
Winter Boys Will Be Boys Mr. President
Spring Family Double Dare Boys Will Be Boys Werewolf
Follow-up Dirty Dozen: The Series
Summer Family Double Dare
Follow-up The Reporters Various programming
NBC Fall The Facts of Life 227 (#27/16.3) The Golden Girls (#4/21.8) Amen (#15/17.5) Hunter (#29/16.1)
Follow-up J.J. Starbuck
Spring Hunter (#28/16.1)

By networkEdit


An ^ indicates a show that came back in first-run syndication after a network cancellation.




Note: The * indicates that the program was introduced in midseason.

+ These shows returned as "backup" programming in midseason

@ Formerly Valerie.


  1. ^ Highest-rated series is based on the annual top-rated programs list compiled by Nielsen Media Research and reported in: Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.