1988 in television
1987 in television,
other events of 1988,
1989 in television and the
list of 'years in television'.
For the American network television schedule, please see 1988-89 American network television schedule.
- February 26 - Tom Hardy marries Simone Ravelle on General Hospital. It is a milestone for the genre as it is the first interracial wedding between two characters on American daytime television.
- April 28 - ITV in the UK broadcasts Death on the Rock, a hugely controversial episode of Thames Television's This Week current affairs strand, investigating Operation Flavius, which resulted in the SAS assassinating three members of the IRA in Gibraltar.
- July 19 - The Bill broadcasts the first episode of its fourth season and switches to a year-round serial format.
- September 1 - YTV launches in Canada.
- October 4 - Following in Cher's footsteps, actress Shirley MacLaine calls David Letterman an "asshole", on the air during a taping of Late Night with David Letterman.
- October 27 - The last of Harding Lemay's "comeback" episodes air on Another World. In the final minutes of the episode, Australian actress Carmen Duncan took over the role of the legendary bitch Iris Cory Wheeler, after the role had been vacated for many years by Beverlee McKinsey.
- The song "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" experiences a surge in popularity sparked by television commercials featuring claymation raisin figures. The California Raisins version of the song peaks at No. 84 on Billboard's Hot 100.
- Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart is the focus of a sex scandal, and later admits to being with prostitutes and steps down from his television ministry.
- The Young and the Restless tops the daytime ratings (deposing longtime winner General Hospital), starting an unbeaten streak of #1 victories that still continue to this day.
- Ana Alicia's character, Melissa Agretti, dies in a house fire on Falcon Crest.
- Meet the Press (1947-present).
- Candid Camera (1948-present).
- American Bandstand (1952-1989).
- Guiding Light (1952-present).
- The Today Show (1952-present).
- Panorama (UK) (1953-present).
- Face the Nation (1954-present).
- The Tonight Show (1954-present).
- This Is Your Life (UK) (1955-2003).
- As the World Turns (1956-present).
- What the Papers Say (UK) (1956-present).
- The Sky at Night (UK) (1957-present).
- Blue Peter (UK) (1958-present).
- Grandstand (UK) (1958-present).
- Coronation Street (UK) (1960-present).
- Four Corners (Australia) (1961-present).
- The Late Late Show (Ireland) (1962-present).
- Doctor Who (UK) (1963-1989, 1996, 2005-present).
- General Hospital (1963-present).
- Another World (1964-1999).
- Crossroads (UK) (1964-1988, 2001-2003).
- Top of the Pops (UK) (1964-present).
- Days of Our Lives (1965-present).
- Play School (1966-present).
- The Money Programme (UK) (1966-present).
- 60 Minutes (1968-present).
- One Life to Live (1968-present).
- Hee Haw (1969-1993).
- Sesame Street (1969-present).
- The Benny Hill Show (UK) (1969-1989).
- All My Children (1970-present).
- Monday Night Football (1970-present).
- Masterpiece Theatre (1971-present).
- Soul Train (1971-present).
- Emmerdale Farm (UK) (1972-present).
- John Craven's Newsround (UK) (1972-present).
- The Price Is Right (1972-present).
- Last of the Summer Wine (UK) (1973-present).
- The Young and the Restless (1973-present).
- Derrick (1974-1998).
- Wish You Were Here...? (UK) (1974-present).
- Good Morning America (1975-present).
- Jim'll Fix It (UK) (1975-1994).
- Ryan's Hope (1975-1989).
- Saturday Night Live (1975-present).
- the fifth estate (Canada) (1975-present).
- Wheel of Fortune (1975-present).
- 20/20 (1978-present).
- Dallas (1978-1991).
- Grange Hill (UK) (1978-present).
- Knots Landing (1979-1993).
- You Can't Do That on Television (Canada) (1979-1990).
- Dynasty (1981-1989).
- Entertainment Tonight (1981-present).
- Falcon Crest (1981-1990).
- Cheers (1982-1993).
- Family Ties (1982-1989).
- Late Night with David Letterman (1982-1993).
- Newhart (1982-1990).
- The Journal (Canada) (1982-1992).
- Loving (1983-1995).
- Webster (1983-1989).
- Highway to Heaven (1984-1989).
- Jeopardy! (1964-1975, 1984-present).
- Kate and Allie (1984-1989).
- Miami Vice (1984-1989).
- Mother and Son (Australia) (1984-1994).
- Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996).
- Night Court (1984-1992).
- Santa Barbara (1984-1993).
- The Bill (UK) (1984-present).
- The Cosby Show (1984-1992).
- Who's the Boss? (1984-1992).
- 227 (1985-1990).
- EastEnders (UK) (1985-present).
- Growing Pains (1985-1992).
- It's a Living (1980-1982, 1985-1989).
- MacGyver (1985-1992).
- Moonlighting (1985-1989).
- Mr. Belvedere (1985-1990).
- Neighbours (Australia) (1985-present).
- Only Fools and Horses (UK) (1981-1983, 1985-1993, 1996-1997, 2001-2003) (the only episode aired this year was the Christmas special Dates).
- Sally (1985-2002).
- The Golden Girls (1985-1992).
- The Twilight Zone (1959-1964, 1985-1988, 2002).
- ALF (1986-1990).
- Amen (1986-1991).
- Designing Women (1986-1993).
- Double Dare (1986-1993).
- Hey Dad...! (1986-1994).
- L.A. Law (1986-1994).
- Mama's Family (1983-1984, 1986-1990).
- Matlock (1986-1995).
- Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986-1991).
- Perfect Strangers (1986-1993).
- The Disney Sunday Movie (1986-1988) ends on September 11 to resume as The Magical World of Disney (1988-1990) on October 9.
- The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986-present).
- A Different World (1987-1993).
- Full House (1987-1995).
- Inspector Morse (1987-2000).
- Married... with Children (1987-1997).
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994).
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996).
- The Bold and the Beautiful (1987-present).
- The Tracey Ullman Show (1987-1990).
- thirtysomething (1987-1991).
- Family Feud (1976-1985, 1988-1995, 1999-present).
Ending this year
- February 1 - Heather O'Rourke, actress, age 12.
- March 10 - Andy Gibb, 30, actor/songwriter of the Bee-Gees.
- May 8 - Daws Butler, prolific voice actor.
- July 31 - Trinidad Silva , actor on Hill Street Blues, in a car accident.
- October 31 - John Houseman, actor.
- December 12 - Dick Clair , television comedy writer, who asked to be cryogenically frozen.
- December 20 - Max Robinson, ABC News correspondent, from AIDS.
- December 27 - Jess Oppenheimer, comedy writer credited as having created I Love Lucy.
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