Get a blast from the past with National Geographic’s new unscripted series, THE ’80s: TOP TEN with Rob Lowe, on Saturday, Jan. 1, at 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. On Friday, December 31, all episodes of the series will be available to stream exclusively for Disney+ subscribers. The series, produced by Lowe and the Emmy Award-winning team at Nutopia, will feature pop culture icon Lowe as he takes viewers down memory lane with six fun and nostalgic top 10 countdowns of the 1980s. The countdowns were decided by a panel of experts, including author and financial educator Alvin Hall, pop culture biographer Brian Jay Jones, pop culture critic and author Jen Chaney, TV host Katie Puckrik, music professor Jason King, senior editor of Adweek and author Robert Klara, chef and TV host Carla Hall and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Lowe revisits the most memorable moments, gadgets, toys, fast foods, commercials and streetwear of this iconic decade to see which items our panel of experts put at the top of each list. From the launch of MTV and the Apple Macintosh to the tale of Teddy Ruxpin and Wendy’s Super Bar, go back in time with new interviews with iconic stars and industry mavens; including Ridley Scott, Tony Hawk, Amber Riley, Kevin Smith, Joan Collins, Tiffani Thiessen and Meat Loaf; as they take viewers to the heart of the ’80s action. Get firsthand insight and hear little-known stories on iconic ’80s moments and fixtures like why Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial nearly didn’t air, the Cabbage Patch Kids craze, how there was a secret second wedding dress made for Princess Diana and more. THE ’80s: TOP TEN will remind you why the aftershocks of the ’80s are still felt today. –
Episodes include the following:
Jan. 1 at 9/8c
Rob Lowe relives the most memorable watercooler moments of the ’80s. From Charles and Diana’s wedding, the mystery of who shot J.R. and Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance to the desperate fight to save Baby Jessica and Madonna’s unabashed performance at MTV’s first “VMAs,” Rob reveals the stories behind the events that defined the era.
Jan. 1 at 10/9c
Rob Lowe looks back at the greatest streetwear fashions of the ’80s, revealing the inside stories behind Air Jordans, Ray-Bans, shoulder pads, Vans sneakers, Spandex, the “Miami Vice” look and other styles that exploded during the decade.
Jan. 2 at 9/8c
Rob Lowe reveals the fascinating stories behind the creation of the top 10 fast foods of the 1980s. Learn how the sizzling success of the Hot Pocket relied on cutting-edge ’80s technology, why Domino’s 30-minute guarantee was a risky gamble, and how the McDonald’s Happy Meal got its start.
Jan. 2 at 10/9c
Rob Lowe runs through the 10 greatest commercials of the ’80s as he explores how the global marketing success of MTV owes a nod to one great idea from 1956, learns why Apple’s iconic “1984” ad nearly didn’t make it to air, and uncovers the origin of one of the most famous slogans ever, Nike’s “Just Do It.”
Jan. 3 at 9/8c
Rob Lowe explores the 10 best gadgets of the ’80s, including iconic inventions like the Apple Macintosh, Sony Walkman, Nintendo Gameboy, mobile phone and camcorder and how they helped shape the trajectory of the modern world.
Jan. 3 at 10/9c
Rob Lowe counts down the top 10 toys of the 1980s, revealing the surprising origin stories behind He-Man, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cabbage Patch Kids and more. Inventors, insiders and consumers explore why toys like the Rubik’s Cube and Transformers are still a big part of life today, while others, like Teddy Ruxpin and Care Bears, stayed in the ’80s.
THE ’80S: TOP TEN is executive produced by Jane Root, Matt Edmonds, Nicola Moody and Sara Brailsford for Nutopia. Lowe is also executive producer.
# # #
About National Geographic Partners LLC:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 133 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Nutopia is known for creating award-winning, factual series on a global scale, and a new genre of television, the “mega-doc,” which combines epic cinematography with action-driven drama or high-end documentary and A-list talent. The company, which was founded in 2008 by Jane Root, former President of Discovery Channel US and Controller of BBC2, and co-founder of Wall to Wall TV, has become synonymous with creating high-quality, notable content for buyers that include Netflix, Disney+, CNN, National Geographic, BBC, PBS, HBO Max, and A+E Networks. Recent projects include “Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth” for Disney+ and Nat Geo’s Shark Fest; “Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer” for PBS; “A World of Calm” for HBO Max, “Babies” for Netflix, and Emmy Award-nominated “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.” Nutopia also produced the much-honored National Geographic series “One Strange Rock” Emmy Award-winning series “How We Got to Now” and “America: The Story of US.” Upcoming projects include “Limitless,” with Chris Hemsworth, and “Welcome to Earth” with Will Smith for Disney+.