The Browns have officially made a quantum leap from unwatchable to must-see TV.

After improving from 1-31 during the 2016-17 seasons to 7-8-1 with quarterback Baker Mayfield thriving as a rookie last year and then trading for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in March, the Browns are getting star treatment from the NFL and its television partners.

The Browns have four prime-time games on their 2019 regular-season schedule, plus two other matchups slated to be broadcast across the country. The four scheduled prime-time games are the most for the Browns since 2008, when they had five coming off a record of 10-6 in 2007, their last winning season.

The league released the schedules of all 32 teams Wednesday night, and it was the most highly anticipated unveiling for the Browns in decades.

Ten teams have the maximum of five scheduled prime-time games this year. The Browns are one of three teams with four scheduled prime-time games.

Mayfield, Beckham and Co. will open the regular season against the Tennessee Titans (9-7 last season) at 1 p.m. Sept. 8 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns haven't won an opener since 2004 and are 1-18-1 in Week 1 since their rebirth in 1999.

Their long-suffering but reinvigorated fan base won't need to wait long for the national spotlight. After the opener, three of the Browns' next four games will be in prime time.

In Week 2, they will visit the New York Jets at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 16 for an ESPN "Monday Night Football" showdown. The Browns and Jets (4-12) played the first "MNF" game on Sept. 21, 1970, so their upcoming matchup is a nod to the program celebrating its 50th season.

It'll also be Beckham's return to MetLife Stadium, his NFL home the past five seasons with the New York Giants. Beckham tweeted last week he had seen the schedule and told New York Jets safety Jamal Adams on Instagram, "See u week one." As it turns out, Beckham was one week off, and Adams reminded him Wednesday by writing on Instagram, "See you week 2!"

In Week 3, the Browns will have a second consecutive prime-time game for just the second time in franchise history and first time since 2008 when they host the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams (13-3) on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" at 8:20 p.m. Sept. 22.

After the Browns begin AFC North play with a Week 4 road game against the defending division champion Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at 1 p.m. Sept. 29, they'll go back under the lights in Week 5 when they visit the San Francisco 49ers (4-12) at 8:15 p.m. Oct. 7 on "Monday Night Football."

They'll return to Cleveland in Week 6 for their 1 p.m. Oct. 13 kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks (10-6) and then get the luxury of a Week 7 bye preceding their Week 8 road game against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (11-5). Most of the country will have a chance to watch Mayfield versus Tom Brady in CBS' late afternoon window at 4:25 p.m. Oct. 27.

In Week 9, the Browns will attempt to defeat the Denver Broncos (6-10) on the road for the second consecutive year when they kick off at 4:25 p.m. Nov. 3. A 1 p.m. Nov. 10 kickoff at home against the Buffalo Bills (6-10) in Week 10 could be significant, because that's when controversial running back Kareem Hunt is scheduled to return from his eight-game suspension.

Five of the final seven games and three of the last four will be against AFC North foes.

In Week 11, the Browns will host the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1) on "Thursday Night Football," appearing on Fox, NFL Network and Amazon Prime, at 8:20 p.m. Nov. 14. They'll play their third consecutive home game when the Miami Dolphins (7-9) come to town in Week 12 for a 1 p.m. Nov. 24 kickoff. Then the Browns will travel to Pittsburgh in Week 13 for a 4:25 p.m. Dec. 1 game that CBS will broadcast to a majority of the nation, meaning Cleveland will encounter the same opponent twice in a span of three weeks for the first time since the AFC North was formed in 2002.

The Browns will host the Cincinnati Bengals (6-10) in Week 14 at 1 p.m. Dec. 8 and visit the Arizona Cardinals (3-13) in Week 15 at 4:05 p.m. Dec. 15. Their home finale will be in Week 16 against the Ravens at 1 p.m. Dec. 22, and their season finale will be on the road against the Bengals at 1 p.m. Dec. 29.

"It’s great to get the schedule but honestly it really doesn’t matter where the games fall. It’s our job to be ready, regardless of when or what time we play," Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said in a news release. "We know our fans are very excited about the season and we know they will carry that excitement into the season opener. Right now, our focus must be on ourselves and not on any other team. For us, it’s about coming to work every day, intent on improvement.

"We appreciate the atmosphere our fans create for us on game day. That is very important to our success but we definitely want that energy to reach another level at homes games this season. We want fans in their seats early and we want the building to be very, very loud. We plan on doing our part to help create more excitement, so we are going to continue to work hard to individually and collectively improve as football team during the offseason."

The combined 2018 records of the Browns' upcoming opponents is 123-131-2 (.484 win percentage). Based on those records, the Browns have the sixth-easiest schedule in the league. They'll face four teams that qualified for the playoffs last year: the Patriots, Rams, Ravens and Seahawks.

But this is a new year, and teams can change dramatically in an offseason. The Browns are a prime example. Just ask Las Vegas oddmakers.

According to gambling website BetOnline.ag, the Browns' over-under win total is nine, a reminder they're favored to win the AFC North. The Steelers are at 8.5, Ravens eight and Bengals six.

As for the Browns' other opponents, the Bills are at 6.5, Broncos seven, Cardinals 5.5, Dolphins five, 49ers eight, Jets seven, Patriots 11, Rams 10.5, Seahawks 8.5 and Titans 8.5.

The Browns' preseason schedule was finalized, too. They'll open at home against Washington at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8, visit the Indianapolis Colts at 4 p.m. Aug. 17 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23 and host the Detroit Lions at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 29. They'll hold joint practices with the Colts for a few days in Indiana leading up to the exhibition game between the two teams.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.