New Series 1981
Hill Street Blues (1981–1987).
The Smurfs (1981–1990)
Entertainment Tonight (1981–present).
The Fall Guy (1981–1986).
Gimme a Break (1981–1987).
Simon & Simon (1981–1989).
Falcon Crest (1981–1990).
Family Reunion, starring Bette Davis
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, starring Simon Jones and David Dixon
A Town Like Alice, starring Helen Morse and Bryan Brown
Brideshead Revisited, including Anthony Andrews, Jeremy Irons and Laurence Olivier
Most Watched List 1981-1982
2. 60 Minutes
3. The Jeffersons
4. Three's Company
6. The Dukes of Hazzard
7. Too Close for Comfort
8. ABC Monday Night Movie
10. One Day at a Time
11. Monday Night Football
12. Archie Bunker's Place
13. Falcon Crest
14. The Love Boat
15. Hart to Hart
Television News 1981
The MTV network debuts on cable television, playing music videos 24 hours a day.
Walter Cronkite signs-off as anchorman of CBS Evening News Dan Rather becomes primary anchorman of CBS-TV News After a 19-year run, Walter Cronkite resigns as head anchor of The CBS Evening News and is succeeded the following Monday by Dan Rather.
"Nightline with Ted Koppel" premieres on ABC
Tom Snyder interviews Charles Manson on "Tomorrow
Comedian Andy Kaufman ruins sketches and starts a brawl live on the air during ABC's Fridays.
Van Halen's lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen marries One Day at a Time actress Valerie Bertinelli.
Fred Silverman is fired as president of NBC, after failing to improve that network's third-place standing, and is replaced by Grant Tinker.
The Enemy's 1981 - 1982
Outstanding Drama Series - Hill Street Blues
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Daniel J. Travanti, Hill Street Blues
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series - Michael Learned, Nurse
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Michael Conrad, Hill Street Blues
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Nancy Marchand, Lou Grant
Outstanding Comedy Series - Barney Miller
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Alan Alda, M*A*S*H
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Carol Kane, Taxi
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series - Christopher Lloyd, Taxi
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series - Loretta Swit, M*A*S*H
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program - Night of 100 Stars (ABC)
Outstanding Limited Series - Marco Polo (NBC)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special - Mickey Rooney, Bill
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special - Ingrid Bergman, A Woman Called Golda
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special - Laurence Olivier, Brideshead Revisited
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special - Penny Fuller, The Elephant Man Penny Fuller
Outstanding Informational Series - Creativity with Bill Moyers (PBS)
Outstanding Informational Special - Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (PBS)
Outstanding Children's Program (Prime Time) - The Wave (ABC)
Outstanding Children's Entertainment Series (Daytime)Children's Entertainment - Captain Kangaroo (CBS)
Outstanding Game or Audience Participation Show - Password Plus
Series End List 1981
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979–1981).
Charlie's Angels (1976–1981).
The Waltons (1972–1981).
Eight is Enough (1977–1981).
Match Game PM (1975–1981).
The Mike Douglas Show (1961–1981).
TV Guide Schedule 1981