On The Grid
Back in the 80s, 90s and even the early 2000s, I lived on The Grid. A large part of my life was centered around television. I watched a variety of television channels and shows over the years, but Primetime was what marked time, place and culture.
Growing up, we didn’t subscribe the TV Guide. Occasionally, my Mom would buy a copy for me. She didn’t much care what was on, but I had a lot of TV shows I wanted to keep track off. I always made a point to get the Fall Preview TV Guide. I kept the articles that described of Renewed and New shows. But the real prize was the Grid. There was always a page that showed the Primetime shows in their time blocks. I would hang the Grid up on my fridge, so I could know when to catch my favorite shows.
I was re-watching some of my favorite old shows via Netflix and Hulu. This led me to wonder what shows were on what days. If you could go back in time and catch me, say on a Friday, what shows would have been on? I have made lists of favorite TV shows and TV shows that I was aware of even if I wasn’t a huge fan. I have never broken down the shows by days of the week though. So, here it is:
One of my earliest memories is watching The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985), Dallas (1978-1991) and Falcon Crest (1981-1990) on Friday Nights. My Mom and I would go down to my Grandmother’s house around dinner time and she would make Chef Boyardee Pizza from a box. We’d sit down to eat and watch TV together. Around 1985 or 1986, we stopped doing that. My Aunt went off to college and my Grandmother began working.
Later, Friday Night I would watch TV at home either with Mom or alone. I vaguely remember catching Webster (1985-1987), Mr. Belvedere a(1985-1987) and The Facts of Life (1979-1988) on Fridays. In the late 80s and early 90s, Fridays became dominated by Full House (1987-1995), Perfect Strangers (1986-1993) and Family Matters (1989-1997). The Facts of Life is probably the only one I have watched in re-runs. I wasn’t a huge fan of the other shows. Full House is was probably second favorite show, but I didn’t really connect with it. However, I liked the short lived show Just The Ten of Us (1988-1990). Much later, there was Last Man Standing (2011-2019) and the Grimm (2011-2017)
Of course I watched Saturday Morning Cartoons as kid. Some of my favorites include: Scooby-Doo (1969-1991), The Smurfs (1981-1989), The Snorks (1984-1988), Shirt-Tails (1982-1983) and many othersHowever, it was the live action show Saved By The Bell (1989-1993) that had the most impact. I also watched the live action show California Dreams (1992-1996).
As a kid, I watched Diff’rent Strokes (1979-1985), Silver Spoons (1982-1986) and Gimme Me A Break (1981-1997)on Saturday Night. As a teen, I remember being home alone in the early 90s and watching TV. I would dance and write for a bit and then settled down to watch The Golden Girls (1985-1992), Empty Nest (1988-1995)and sometimes Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (1993-1998) and then Sisters (1991-1996).
When I was little I watched a lot of The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. My Grandma was a huge fan of Murder She Wrote (1984-1996) and so I watched that show sometimes on Sunday. Later, I watched McGyver (1985-1992) on both Sunday and Monday. I made sure to catch The Simpsons (1989-Present). I also watched King of The Hill (1996-2009). I loved Futurama (1999-2003). Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006) was fun to watch. Sometimes I caught The X-Files (1993-2002), but I often had to tape it or watch it in reruns. In 2001, I stumbled upon Alias (2001-2006) and fell in love! I enjoyed Brothers and Sisters (2006-2011) and later, Revenge (2011-2015). Then came The Game of Thrones (2011-2019)and The Walking Dead (2010 to Present). And, I was fond of Once Upon A Time (2011-2018) My new love is Good Girls (2018 to Present).
Monday I watched Kate and Allie (1984-1989) Punky Brewster (1984-1986) Alf (1986-1990), Murphy Brown (1988-1998)and Designing Women (1993). I got hooked on Party of Five (1994-2000). Ally McBeal (1997-2002) was fun to watch. Later, I enjoyed the show Heroes (2006-2010). Another favorite was How I Met Your Mother (2005-2013) Later, I would watch 2 Broke Girls (2011-2017) on Mondays before they were moved to Thursdays. I also watched Mom (2013-2021) on Mondays before it moved to Thursdays as well. I watched Revolution (2012-2013) on Monday before it moved to Wednesdays.
Tuesday I watched Remington Steele with my Mom (1982-1987). Then I watched Who’s The Boss (1984-1992), Growing Pains (1985-1992) and Moonlighting (1985-1989). Not to mention Doogie Howser, MD (1989-1993). Later, I would catch Rosanne (1988-1997) and Home Improvement (1991-1999). And then there was Blossom (1990-1995) For a while, That 70s Show (1998-2006) was on Tuesdays, but then it moved to Wednesdays.I liked the short lived show Dark Angel (2000-2002). Then there was the popular 24 (2001-2010). And who could forget House MD (2004-2012)? Fringe was a favorite for a while (2008-2013). Then I got into The Flash (2014-2021), but lost interest after about 4 seasons. I loved Raising Hope (2011-2014). The only show I watch now is Mixed-ish.
Wednesday my mother and I would watch Highway To Heaven (1984-1989). I watched Growing Pains (1985-1992) when it moved to from Tuesday to Wednesday. I caught Head of the Class (1986-1991) and The Wonder Years (1988-1993). I also enjoyed Quantum Leap (1989-1993). Later I watched, Grace Under Fire (1993-1998) and The Drew Carey Show (1995-2004). Who could forget Dharma and Greg (1997-2002)? Of course, there was Charmed (1998-2006). Sometimes I caught CSI (2000-2017) Then I began watching Lost (2004-2010)and was hooked. For awhile, I watched Arrow (2012-2020). Currently, I watched The Goldberg’s (2013-to present). I also enjoyed the brief spin-off of that show, Schooled (2019-2020). And, of course, now there is the Rosanne Reboot, which is The Connors (2018-to the Present) and Call You Mother (2020).
Thursday was always a huge Television Day. NBC came up with the slogan, “Must See TV.” Family Ties (1982-1989) Cosby (1985-1992), Different World (1987-1993) and Mad About You (1992-1999) were frequently watched. I was never a huge fan of The Cosby Show, but I did watch it sometimes.
Seinfeld (1989-1998) was another show that I watched occasionally, but it wasn’t my favorite show. I watched Beverly Hills 90210 for the first couple of seasons. (1990-2000) but soon lost interest.
Friends(1994-2004) I always looked forward to watching. Two shows that I watched, that were only one season were My So-Called Life (1994-1995),The Naked Truth (1996-1997) and Veronica’s Closet (1998-1999) And who could forget the TV show ER (1994-2009) Later, I watched My Name is Earl (2006-2009) and Grey’s Anatomy (2005- to Present). Bones (2005-2017) was a favorite, although it also aired on Tuesdays and Mondays. I was hooked on The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017). For a while I got into Person of Interest (2011-2016) and Elementary (2012-2019) was good. I also watched The Big Bang Theory (2009-2019) on Thursdays, but it aired on Monday originally. Now I watch Young Sheldon (2016-to present) and Superstore (2015 to present). I just started watching Call Me Kat (2020).
As a kid, I watched a lot of re-runs of older shows as well. Some of it was on Nick at Night, while others aired on TBS. I watched The Andy Griffith Show, The Donna Reed Show, Leave It To Beaver, Lost in Space, Hazel, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Little House on The Prairie and many others.