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Atari on TV - Page 1 - The Atari Times

Atari on TV - Page 1

Page one of our exhaustive list
by Atari Fans

May 6, 1997

During its lifetime, Atari was in many prominent television shows due to the fact that they were owned by a very large movie company: Warner Communications. While there is no doubt there are dozens of more examples, here are some of the better known. Also, check out the Atari On Film section that covers Atari's forays into movies!

Also, if you happen to have any screen captures of Atari on TV, please send them to me! Thanks!


The later (crappy) version of Airwolf that was picked up and produced by some Canadian TV company that didn't have Hawk and Dom in it, in the "Lair" there are ST's and in the "Company" office, in a few scene's and ST is on some desktops. - Curt Vendel


There is a 2600 in this show. Ironically enough, it appears to be a Vader model and the show was on in the late 80's. Anyhow, one one episode ALF and Brian are playing Space Invaders, ALF makes a shot and comments "Easy shot! No wonder the Martians are extinct!"

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

In the cartoon on the Cartoon Network, there are several episodes centering around "Space Invader" (boxy and pastel) looking aliens. The aliens curse, shoplift, drink, and shoot extremely slow square bulllets! - Will Bausch

A-Team, The

I saw a rerun of the A-Team yesterday where Murdoch was playing on an Atari (he was hauledaway by the bad guys - still playing.)

Murdock also used to have an arcade in his room at the nuthouse, don't know if it was anAtari brand or not, just thought it was worth mentioning.

CSI Miami

On a recent episode of CSI Miami, the investigators rummage through a "time capsule" to help them solve the crime. Inside (under the Rubik's Cube) is an Atari 2600.

Davis Rules

Randy Quaid and Jonathan Winters starred in this short-lived show about an elementary school principal. I distinctly saw a faculty member walking down the hallway with an Atari 1040 ST under her arm!!

Diff'rent Strokes

In the episode "Shootout at the O.K. Arcade," which first aired in fall 1982, there are several arcade games; the only Atari game I remember is a cabaret Centipede but there may have been others.

Do Over

I don't know how many people watch the show "Do Over" on the WB, but there was an Atari 2600 game in the episode called, "Rock 'n' Roll Parking Lot." During one part of the show when the guy, his buddy, and sister were in the living room they were playing on an Atari 2600. They didn't show the system but all during the scene you can hear the sound effects from one of Atari worst games: That's right it was Pac-Man and you can see either the guy hold the 2600 joystick or the sister holding the joystick.

In one episode, Joel had a 2600 on top of his TV in his room and his old man came in and took it away.

Growing Pains

This show often used Atari ST's for their computer needs. One episode where Carol gets a "serious" job, she has a Mega (I think) on her desk.

Family Guy

I know of at least two references to Atari in Family Guy. The first is in the episode entitled "Mind Over Murder" Peter is under surveillance after he was put under house arrest. You see him running side to side in the living room. It cuts to a screen that looks like the surveillance video, but in reality the surveillance people are just slacking off and playing Pong.

The second is in the episode "Stuck Together Torn Apart" Peter says to Lois splitting up didn't help Pac-Man and his wife. You then see Pac-Man sitting in his home with the ghosts trying to cheer him up. They go I know what will cheer you up and turn blue and start saying things like "watch out, he's gonna eat us, we're turning blue" As they start to fade back to their original colors one of them says, "it's not working, let's go over to Q-Berts."

Freaks and Geeks

A show set in the early eighties showed one of the lead actors in a department store surrounded by Atari 2600 and 5200 games! Too bad most of those games wouldn't actually be out for another 3 or 4 years if the show is set in 1981. The kids are also seen later playing a 2600, although the game shown on the screen is obviously the ARCADE version of Asteroids, not the 2600 version. The episode is called The Garage Door.

Images courtesy of Esc.

Full House

In one episode Danny Tanner goes to a house where his daughter Stephanie is staying for co-ed slumber party. One of the boys there is playing a model II Lynx, and Danny picks it up off the coffee table and messes around with it, without ever actually powering it on.


In "Anthology of Interest II," the Fry asks the Professors "What If?" machine what life would be like if it were a video game. This segment is about how our world must defend against the evil "Nintendo 64" empire who is out for our quarters so they can do their laundry.

To start the episode, a full game of Asteroids is being played. The Asteroids ship lands and we see Richard Nixon's head signing a treaty with the aliens from the planet Nintendo 64. (And if you watch the original animatic, they were going to be from the planet Atari 2600!) However, Donkey Kong breaks the treaty, climbs to the top of the building, and knocks down the girders! Mario pursues.

Afterwards, our heroes are taken to "Milatari HQ" that is guarded by several BattleZone tanks. As the cast is being lead down the halls, there are several doors with different games on them. Missile Command, Secretary of Defender, and Moon Patrol. Once they reach the command center, they are greeted by General Pac-Man! (In the animatic, General Pac-Man even says to Fry, "What do you know about the Atarians?") The video screens in the background have Centipede running on them instead of radar scopes!

General Pac-Man leads them through the maze, and soon afterwards Fry blasts the aliens in a Space Invaders type scene. Tragedy ensues as General Pac-Man is killed by blaster fire. He disappears in his trademark fashion from the game. Ms. Pac-Man is terribly distraught!

The last alien ship makes it past Fry, who says he was never able to destroy it. The evil Nintendo 64 aliens emerge, including Donkey Kong, a Berzerk robot, Q*Bert, Mr. Egg (from Burgertime), and the Brain from Robotron 2048!

All in all, a great episode for Atari (and all-around classic) gamers. (You can see this clip now on YouTube.)

Get A Life

Another show that had a 2600 was "Get A Life." I remember seeing it on the set but I don't remember how well it could be seen in any of the episodes. It was on a dresser to the left of Chris's bed. - Bill

Home Improvement

There was a 7800 seen several times and they actually play it once in a while, in the earlier years.

In the episode "Up Your Alley," which first aired on January 7, 1992, there are some scenes set in an arcade and in the last arcade scene a Lunar Lander coin-op briefly appears.

It's Gary Shandling's Show

I remember distinctly that the Atari 8-bit line was used as a prop on this show. It was on the desk in the neighbor kid's bedroom.

Katts and Dog

This Canadian show was about a cop and his K9 unit dog buddy. On the closing credits it said "Computers supplied by Atari (Canada) Corp."

King of Queens

I caught a King of Queens rerun last night, that featured a cameo by an Atari 7800! Doug and Arthur were playing Video Olympics on it...weirdly enough, they showed the screen, and it was in black and white. Just thought that was interesting that they used a 7800.

Knight Rider

  • In one episode KITT needs the help of a Computer - most probably an Atari 800XL.

  • I saw a video game played in an episode of Knight Rider. Titled: "Nobody Does it Better" (April 1983) episode: 57331. The game was called Space Cadet. But I don't know if it really exits. We see it near the beginning of the episode for almost 4 minutes. Other games seen in an office are arcades of Jungle Hunt, Alpine Ski, and Q*bert.

  • At the start of the episode of Knight Rider title: "Soul Survivor" (Nov. 1983) David Hasselhoff is playing the arcade version of Pac-Man, but he's not using an Atari joystick to play it. It's hard to make out but it looks like he as a high score of 6290(?). And 1up 3240 is flashing in the top left corner. The sound effects are authentic. Later on we see a computer hacker using a computer keyboard with a Joystick from Atari 2600 to drive KITT the car. He also plays Pac-Man with the same (Atari 2600) Joystick.

Knots Landing

There is a episode of Knott's Landing where Karen's children are playing 2600 Space Invaders.

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