The 80s: Golden Era for the Television Mini-Series

The extreme success of Alex Haley’s Roots in the late 1970s ushered in the golden era of the television network Mini-Series in the 1980s.  The final episode of Roots still stands as the 3rd most watched television series show of all time, behind the final episode of M*A*S*H* and the “Who Shot JR” episode of Dallas.  Capitalizing on the success of Roots, the big three networks used the mini-series format often for their made-for-TV movies in the early to mid 1980s.  Below we will look at some of the more successful ones..

North and South – 1985
This Mini-Series about the civil war had something for everybody.  For the guys it had some great battle scene action and for the girls it had Patrick Swayze!


The Thorn Birds – 1983
This Mini-Series took place on a ranch in Australia and centered on the forbidden love between Meggie (Rachel Ward) and a priest (Richard Chamberlain).

Lace – 1984

This 80s Mini-Series starred the beautiful Phoebe Cates who played a young actress searching for her mother.

Shogun -1980

Richard Chamberlain was the king of the 80s Mini-Series.  In this one he played an Englishman who’s ship is wrecked on the coast of Japan in the early 17th century.

Which one was your favorite?

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