Max: Shows & Episodes

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Max Headroom has appeared in several different television productions, all of which are loosely linked and part of the same general continuity.

This list does not include any of Max's many television appearances in advertising or as an interview or cameo guest.

Show & Episode Listing

  • A Note on Show Numbering: This site uses a consistent numbering system for all of the commercially-produced shows starring Max Headroom. This system is intended to simplify references and citations and is an attempt to replace 30 years of inconsistent and erroneous information.
Show numbers in bold indicate completed listings. Updates are always possible, but "completed" entries contain all presently-available information.
  • A Note on Show Air Dates: All dates given in this page are premiere dates in either the US (on Cinemax or ABC) or UK (Channel Four). Most of the shows were re-shown across both channels, sometimes repeatedly, and the ABC series was rebroadcast in the US at a much later date, on the Bravo and TechTV cable channels. Only the first air date in the US or UK is listed here.
Thanks to some new and diligent research, all show and date listings below can be considered authoritative. Also, as all shows (except for the first 12 of season 1) are in the MaxRchives, all show descriptions, guest lists and video content can be considered definitive.

Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future

The 57-minute origin telefilm, shown on the UK's Channel Four on 4 April 1985 (4/4, get it?)
Episode Title UK Air Date US Air Date Notes
CH4.0.1 "Max Headroom" 4 April 1985 14 Apr 1985
The origin telefilm with 26 minutes of added videos and scenes, shown in segments on Cinemax in 1986.
Episode Title UK Air Date US Air Date Notes
CMX.0.1 "Max Headroom" NA? 16 Oct 1986 Shown as four episodes (16, 23 & 30 Oct; 6 Nov)

The Max Headroom Show

The very first season of the UK show on Channel Four had no set and consisted of music videos presented (and frequently interrupted) by Max. This show is the original purpose for which Max was created: to serve as a bizarre, attention-getting host and "talking head" VJ for a video show on the then-new Channel Four. The first episode ran two days after the premiere of the origin telefilm.

There is very little information about this 13-week season except the air dates, especially as the first 12 shows are considered "lost," with no recordings (even bootleg) readily available. Many prior listings and show sites are blank about any shows before the second season (which is thus usually referred to as the first.)

Episode Guests UK Air Date US Air Date Notes
CH4.1.1 None 6 Apr 1985 NA The Season 1 shows 1-12 are not available for review.

However, there is a Season 1 Summary page.

CH4.1.2 13 Apr 1985
CH4.1.3 20 Apr 1985
CH4.1.4 27 Apr 1985
CH4.1.5 4 May 1985
CH4.1.6 11 May 1985
CH4.1.7 18 May 1985
CH4.1.8 25 May 1985
CH4.1.9 1 Jun 1985
CH4.1.10 8 Jun 1985
CH4.1.11 15 Jun 1985
CH4.1.12 22 Jun 1985
CH4.1.13 Sting 29 Jun 1985 Includes first version of Sting interview.
The second season of the show, identifiable by its "bar room" set, ran first on Cinemax and evolved to have guests along with the videos. Some of these shows may have re-used material from the first season - as did the first, which essentially reprised the last show of the prior season. The shows were edited slightly in some places for their later UK run.
Episode Guests US Air Date UK Air Date Notes
CH4.2.1 Sting 13 Nov 1985 15 Jul 1986 Revised version of Sting interview.
CH4.2.2 (No guests) 20 Nov 1985 29 Jul 1986 Shows 2.2 and 2.3 were shown in reverse order in the UK.
CH4.2.3 Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes 27 Nov 1985 22 Jul 1986 LeBon & Rhodes of Duran Duran were appearing to promote music from their follow-up band, Arcadia.
CH4.2.4 Roger Daltrey 4 Dec 1985 5 Aug 1986
CH4.2.5 (No guests) 11 Dec 1985 12 Aug 1986
CH4.2.6 Boy George 18 Dec 1985 19 Aug 1986
The third season of the show, now a formal joint production of Channel Four and Cinemax, is identifiable by its much larger "talk show" set. The show's repertoire was also extended by having Max regularly sing songs, as he had done to close the last show of the prior season. As with that second season, the shows premiered in the US and ran later in the UK.

(Note: Identification of this or any other season as "The Max Talking Headroom Show" appears to be in error.)

Episode Guests US Air Date UK Air Date Notes
CH4.3.1 Michael Caine 1 Aug 1986 6 Jan 1987
CH4.3.2 Vidal Sassoon 15 Aug 1986 13 Jan 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.3 Oliver Reed 29 Aug 1986 20 Jan 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.4 Tracey Ullman 12 Sep 1986 27 Jan 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.5 Rutger Hauer 26 Sep 1986 3 Feb 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.6 David Byrne 10 Oct 1986 10 Feb 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.7 Howie Mandel 24 Oct 1986 17 Feb 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.8 Jack Lemmon 7 Nov 1986 24 Feb 1987 New update 11/2015!
CH4.3.9 Jackson Browne 21 Nov 1986 3 Mar 1987
CH4.3.10 Jackie Collins 5 Dec 1986 10 Mar 1987

Max Headroom's Giant Christmas Turkey

The full-length Christmas special, produced as an additional episode of the third season. It premiered in the US as "The Max Headroom Christmas Special" but retained the UK title within the show.

UK viewers saw this special as the lead-in to the third season episodes.

Episode Guests US Air Date UK Air Date Notes
CH4.3.11 Dave Edmunds, Bob Geldof, Robin Williams, Tina Turner 18 Dec 1986 26 Dec 1986

The Original Max Talking Headroom Show

The talk/video/interview show as continued by Cinemax in the US. There was one season of these original shows for Cinemax that followed the three seasons of shared material from Channel Four. The later shows overlapped in the same season as the ABC series. This series never aired in the UK.
Episode Guests US Air Date UK Air Date Notes
CMX.1.1 Jerry Hall, Penn & Teller 23 Jul 1987 NA
CMX.1.2 Mary Tyler Moore, Robin Leach 6 Aug 1987 NA
CMX.1.3 Ron Reagan Jr, Paul Shaffer 20 Aug 1987 NA
CMX.1.4 Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Bobby McFerrin 3 Sep 1987 NA
CMX.1.5 Don King, Emo Philips, Madeline Kahn 17 Sep 1987 NA
CMX.1.6 William Shatner, Grace Jones, Gilbert Gottfried 1 Oct 1987 NA

Max Headroom

The most famous and widely known appearance of Max, in an ABC series that ran for 14 episodes, most of which were eventually shown at the time. It's not clear when, if ever, these shows appeared in the UK.
Episode Title US Air Date UK Air Date Notes
ABC.1.1 "Blipverts" 31 Mar 1987 An almost shot-for-shot remake of the original telefilm, but with some surprising differences to accommodate the story line to a new setting.
ABC.1.2 "Rakers" 7 Apr 1987 Production number 1.3. (Rushed to air and easily the weakest of the ABC episodes.)
ABC.1.3 "Body Banks" 14 Apr 1987 Production number 1.2
ABC.1.4 "Security Systems" 21 Apr 1987 Production number 1.6
ABC.1.5 "War" 28 Apr 1987 Production number 1.4
ABC.1.6 "Blanks" 5 May 1987 Production number 1.5. Not "The Blanks."
ABC.2.1 "Academy" 18 Sep 1987 Production number 2.3
ABC.2.2 "Deities" 25 Sep 1987
ABC.2.3 "Grossberg's Return" 2 Oct 1987 Production number 2.1
ABC.2.4 "Dream Thieves" 9 Oct 1987
ABC.2.5 "Whacketts" 16 Oct 1987 The last episode shown in the original run. Not "Whackets."
ABC.2.6 "Neurostim" 28 Apr 1988 Shown as late-season filler.
ABC.2.7 "Lessons" 5 May 1988 aka "Lost Tapes"; Shown as late-season filler.
ABC.2.8 "Baby Grobags" 10 Sep 1995 Never shown on ABC. Premiered on Bravo. Not "Growbags."