Last updated

Cheers intro logo.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Where Everybody Knows Your Name" by Gary Portnoy
Composer(s) Craig Safan
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons11
No. of episodes275 (including three double-length episodes and a triple-length finale)(list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network NBC [1]
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Audio format
Original releaseSeptember 30, 1982 (1982-09-30) 
May 20, 1993 (1993-05-20)
Followed by Frasier (1993–2004)
Related shows
External links

Cheers is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from September 30, 1982, to May 20, 1993, with a total of 275 half-hour episodes for eleven seasons. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television. The show was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in a bar named Cheers in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, and socialize. The show's main theme song, co-written and performed by Gary Portnoy, lent its refrain "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" as the show's catchphrase. [2]

A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

Paramount Television company

Paramount Television is an American television production/distribution company, that is a division of Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom.


After premiering on September 30, 1982, it was nearly canceled during its first season when it ranked almost last in ratings for its premiere (74th out of 77 shows). Cheers, however, eventually became a highly rated television show in the United States, earning a top-ten rating during eight of its eleven seasons, including one season at number one. The show spent most of its run on NBC's Thursday night "Must See TV" lineup. Its widely watched series finale was broadcast on May 20, 1993, and the show's 275 episodes have been successfully syndicated worldwide. Nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for all eleven of its seasons on the air, it earned 28 Primetime Emmy Awards from a record of 117 nominations. The character Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) was featured in his eponymous spin-off show, which aired until 2004 and included guest appearances by virtually all of the major and minor Cheers characters.

Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems operated by Nielsen Media Research that seek to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States using a rating system.

Must See TV

Must See TV is an advertising slogan that was used by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) to brand its prime time blocks during the 1990s, and most often applied to the network's Thursday night lineup, which featured some of its most popular sitcoms and drama series of the period, allowing the network to dominate prime time ratings on Thursday nights in the 1980s and 1990s. Ratings for NBC's lineup fell during the mid-to-late 2000s, and today the network ranks behind Fox, ABC and CBS on Thursday nights. In 2015, the network canceled comedy programming on Thursdays and switched entirely to dramas. However, the branding returned for the 2017–18 TV season.

A series finale refers to the last installment of an episodic entertainment series, most often the final episode of a television series. It may also refer to a final theatrical sequel, the last part of a television miniseries, the last installment of a literary series, or any final episode.

During its run, Cheers became one of the most popular series of all time and has received critical acclaim from its start to its end. In 1997, the episodes "Thanksgiving Orphans" and "Home Is the Sailor", aired originally in 1987, were respectively ranked No. 7 and No. 45 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time. [3] In 2002, Cheers was ranked No. 18 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. [4] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the eighth best written TV series [5] and TV Guide ranked it No. 11 on their list of the 60 Greatest Shows of All Time. [6]

Thanksgiving Orphans 9th episode of the fifth season of Cheers

"Thanksgiving Orphans" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of the American television sitcom Cheers, co-written by Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkeller and directed by James Burrows. It aired originally on November 27, 1986, on NBC. The characters do not have families or friends to spend time with, and some of their plans backfire. They gather for a Thanksgiving feast which degenerates into a food fight. Burrows filmed the food-fight scene twice. The episode had a generally positive reception. TV Guide ranked it number seven on its 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time list while The Huffington Post included the food fight sequence in a list of the 10 Most Awkward Thanksgiving Scenes of All Time from movies and television.

"Home is the Sailor" is the sixth-season premiere of the American television sitcom Cheers. It originally aired on September 24, 1987 on NBC. It is also the first episode including the fictional character Rebecca Howe, portrayed by Kirstie Alley, as the permanent female lead. It follows "I Do, Adieu", which was Shelley Long's last of her regular appearances as the female lead, Diane Chambers, who also left Boston on the show.

<i>TV Guide</i>s 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time

100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time (1997) and Top 100 Episodes of All Time (2009) are lists of the 100 best television show episodes in U.S. television history. TV Guide published both lists: the first, published on June 28, 1997, was produced in collaboration with Nick at Nite's TV Land. A revised list was published on June 15, 2009. The lists excluded game shows and variety shows, but included situation comedies and drama series.


Before the Cheers pilot "Give Me a Ring Sometime" was completed and aired in 1982, the series originally consisted of four employees in the first script. [7] Neither Norm Peterson nor Cliff Clavin, regular customers of Cheers, were featured; later revisions added them as among the regular characters of the series. [8]

"Give Me a Ring Sometime" is the first episode of the American situation comedy Cheers. Written by Glen and Les Charles and directed by James Burrows, the episode first aired September 30, 1982 on NBC. The pilot episode introduces the employees of bar Cheers: Sam Malone, Diane Chambers, Coach Ernie Pantusso, and Carla Tortelli; and regular customers Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin. In this episode, Diane, brought in by fiancé Sumner Sloan, meets the employees and patrons of the bar. When she realizes that her fiancé has left her alone in the bar, Diane accepts Sam's offer to be the bar's waitress to start over.

Norm Peterson Fictional character from the show Cheers

Hilary Norman "Norm" Peterson is a fictional character on the American television show Cheers. The character was portrayed by George Wendt, and is named Hilary after his grandfather.

Cliff Clavin Fictional character in the series Cheers

Clifford C. Clavin, Jr., is a fictional character on the American television show Cheers co-created by John Ratzenberger. A postal worker, he is the bar's know-it-all and was a contestant on the game show Jeopardy! Cliff was not originally scripted in the series' pilot episode, "Give Me a Ring Sometime", but the producers decided to add a know-it-all character and Ratzenberger helped flesh it out. The actor made guest appearances as Cliff on The Tortellis, St. Elsewhere, Wings and Frasier.

In later years, Woody Boyd replaces Coach, who dies off-screen in season four (1985–86) due to actor Nicholas Colasanto's death. Frasier Crane starts as a recurring character and becomes a permanent character. In season six (1987–88), they added a new character Rebecca Howe, who was written into the show after the finale of the previous season (1986–87). Lilith Sternin starts as a one-time character in an episode of season four, "Second Time Around" (1985). After she appears in two episodes in season five, she becomes a recurring character, and later featured as a permanent one for season ten (1991–92).

Woody Boyd Fictional character in the series Cheers

Woodrow Huckleberry Tiberius "Woody" Boyd is a character on the American television show Cheers, portrayed by Woody Harrelson. Woody came to Cheers at the beginning of the fourth season of Cheers in 1985 in the episode "Birth, Death, Love and Rice".

Nicholas Colasanto actor

Nicholas Colasanto was an American actor and television director, known for his role as "Coach" Ernie Pantusso in the American sitcom Cheers. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, and later attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the 1950s.

Frasier Crane Fictional character in the television series Frasier and Cheers

Dr. Frasier Winslow Crane is a fictional character on the American television sitcoms Cheers and Frasier, portrayed by Kelsey Grammer. The character debuts in the Cheers third-season premiere, "Rebound " (1984), as Diane Chambers's love interest, part of the Sam and Diane story arc. Intended to appear for only a few episodes, Grammer's performance for the role was praised by producers, prompting them to expand his role and to increase his prominence. Later in Cheers, Frasier marries Lilith Sternin and has a son, Frederick. After Cheers ended, the character moved to a spin-off series Frasier, the span of his overall television appearances totaling twenty years. In the spin-off, Frasier moves back to his birthplace Seattle after his divorce from Lilith, who retained custody of Frederick in Boston, and is reunited with a newly-created family: his estranged father Martin and brother Niles.

Original main characters

Cast of seasons one through three: left to right: (top) Shelley Long, Ted Danson; (middle) Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Colasanto; (bottom) George Wendt, John Ratzenberger Cheers original cast 1982-86 (1983).jpg
Cast of seasons one through three: left to right: (top) Shelley Long, Ted Danson; (middle) Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Colasanto; (bottom) George Wendt, John Ratzenberger
Ted Danson American comedian and actor

Edward Bridge Danson III is an American actor and producer who played the lead character Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, Jack Holden in the films Three Men and a Baby and Three Men and a Little Lady, and Dr. John Becker on the CBS sitcom Becker. He also starred in the CBS dramas CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Cyber as D.B. Russell. Additionally, he plays a recurring role on Larry David's HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, starred alongside Glenn Close in legal drama Damages, and was a regular on the HBO comedy series Bored to Death. In 2015 he starred as Hank Larsson in the second season of FX's black comedy-crime drama anthology Fargo. Since 2016, he has played the afterlife "architect" Michael in the NBC sitcom The Good Place.

Sam Malone Fictional character in the series Cheers

Samuel "Mayday" Malone is a fictional character on the American television show Cheers, portrayed by Ted Danson and created by Glen and Les Charles. The central character of the series, Sam, a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox baseball team, is the owner and bartender of the bar called "Cheers". He is also a recovering alcoholic and a notorious womanizer. Although his celebrity status was short-lived, Sam retains that standing within the confines of Cheers, where he is beloved by the regular patrons. Along with Carla Tortelli and Norm Peterson, he is one of only three characters to appear in all episodes of Cheers. Sam has an on-again, off-again relationship with the bar waitress Diane Chambers for the series' first five seasons until her departure from the series. Then he tries to seduce Diane's replacement, Rebecca Howe, who frequently rejects his advances. Sam also appears in "The Show Where Sam Shows Up", a crossover episode of the spin-off Frasier.

Bartender person who serves usually alcoholic beverages behind the bar in a licensed establishment

A bartender is a person who formulates and serves alcoholic or soft drink beverages behind the bar, usually in a licensed establishment. Bartenders also usually maintain the supplies and inventory for the bar. A bartender can generally mix classic cocktails such as a Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Mojito.

Subsequent main characters

Cast of Cheers since season six. (left to right): (top) Perlman, Woody Harrelson, Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth; (bottom) Wendt, Kirstie Alley, Danson, Ratzenberger Cheers cast 1991.jpg
Cast of Cheers since season six. (left to right): (top) Perlman, Woody Harrelson, Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth; (bottom) Wendt, Kirstie Alley, Danson, Ratzenberger
NameActress / ActorRole at CheersOccupationSeasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Sam Malone Ted Danson Owner, BartenderFormer baseball player Main
Diane Chambers Shelley Long WaitressGraduate student, writer Main Guest
Ernie "Coach" Pantusso Nicholas Colasanto BartenderFormer baseball player and coach Main
Carla Tortelli Rhea Perlman WaitressMother, divorcee Main
Norm Peterson George Wendt CustomerAccountant; house painter; interior decorator Main
Cliff Clavin John Ratzenberger Mailman Recurring Main
Woody Boyd Woody Harrelson Assistant Bartender [19] Actor; politician Main
Frasier Crane Kelsey Grammer Customer Psychiatrist Recurring Main
Rebecca Howe Kirstie Alley Manager Superintendent [20] Main
Lilith Sternin Bebe Neuwirth Customer Psychiatrist Guest Recurring Main *

Before production of season 3 was finished, Nicholas Colasanto died. Therefore, his character Coach was written out as deceased in season 4. [11]
*In season 11, Bebe Neuwirth is given "starring" credit only when she appears.

Recurring characters

Although Cheers operated largely around that main ensemble cast, guest stars and recurring characters did occasionally supplement them. Notable repeat guests included Dan Hedaya as Nick Tortelli and Jean Kasem as Loretta Tortelli, who were the main characters in the first spin-off The Tortellis , Fred Dryer as Dave Richards, Annie Golden as Margaret O'Keefe, Derek McGrath as Andy Schroeder (also referred to as Andy Andy), interchangeably Joel Polis and Robert Desiderio as rival bar owner Gary, Jay Thomas as Eddie LeBec, Roger Rees as Robin Colcord, Tom Skerritt as Evan Drake, Frances Sternhagen as Esther Clavin, Richard Doyle as Walter Gaines, Keene Curtis as John Allen Hill, Anthony Cistaro as Henri, Michael McGuire as Professor Sumner Sloan, and Harry Anderson as Harry 'The Hat' Gittes. Jackie Swanson, who played the recurring role of Woody's girlfriend and eventual wife "Kelly Gaines-Boyd", appeared in 24 episodes from 1989 to 1993. The character is as equally dim and naive—but ultimately as sweet-natured—as Woody.

Paul Willson played the recurring barfly character of "Paul Krapence". (In one early appearance in the first season he was called "Glen", and was later credited on-screen as "Gregg" and "Tom", but he was playing the same character throughout.) Thomas Babson played "Tom", a law student often mocked by Cliff Clavin, for continually failing to pass the Massachusetts bar exam. "Al", played by Al Rosen, appeared in 38 episodes, and was known for his surly quips. Rhea Perlman's father Philip Perlman played the role of "Phil". [21]

Celebrity appearances

Other celebrities guest-starred in single episodes as themselves throughout the series. Sports figures appeared on the show as themselves with a connection to Boston or Sam's former team, the Red Sox, such as Luis Tiant, Wade Boggs and Kevin McHale (of the Boston Celtics). [22] Some television stars also made guest appearances as themselves such as Alex Trebek, Arsenio Hall, Dick Cavett, Robert Urich, George "Spanky" McFarland and Johnny Carson. Various political figures even made appearances on Cheers such as then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William J. Crowe, former Colorado Senator Gary Hart, then-Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, then-Senator John Kerry, then-Governor Michael Dukakis, Ethel Kennedy (widow of Robert F. Kennedy), and then-Mayor of Boston Raymond Flynn, the last five of whom all represented Cheers' home state and city.

In maternal roles, Glynis Johns, in a guest appearance in 1983, played Diane's mother, Helen Chambers. Nancy Marchand played Frasier's mother, Hester Crane, in an episode that aired in 1985. In an episode that aired in 1992, Celeste Holm played Kelly's jokester of a paternal grandmother. Melendy Britt appeared in the episode "Woody or Won't He" (1990) as Kelly's mother, Roxanne Gaines, a very attractive high-society lady and a sexy, flirtatious upper-class cougar who tries to seduce Woody.

The musician Harry Connick, Jr. appeared in an episode as Woody's cousin and plays a song from his Grammy-winning album We Are in Love (c. 1991). John Cleese won a Primetime Emmy Award for his guest appearance as "Dr. Simon Finch-Royce" in the fifth-season episode, "Simon Says". Emma Thompson guest starred as Nanny G/Nannette Guzman, a famous singing nanny and Frasier's ex-wife. Christopher Lloyd guest starred as a tortured artist who wanted to paint Diane. Marcia Cross portrayed Rebecca's sister Susan in the season 7 episode Sisterly Love. John Mahoney once appeared as an inept jingle writer, which included a brief conversation with Frasier Crane, whose father he later portrayed on the spin-off Frasier. Peri Gilpin, who later played Roz Doyle on Frasier, also appeared in one episode of Cheers, in its 11th season, as Holly Matheson, a reporter who interviews Woody. The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, also guest starred in different episodes. In "The Guy Can't Help It" Rebecca, meets a plumber played by Tom Berenger who came to fix one of the beer keg taps. They marry in the series finale, triggering her resignation from Cheers.

Notable guest appearances of actresses portraying Sam's sexual conquests or potential sexual conquests include: Kate Mulgrew in the three-episode finale of season four, portraying Boston councilwoman Janet Eldridge; Donna McKechnie as Debra, Sam's ex-wife (with whom he is on good terms), who pretends to be an intellectual in front of Diane; Barbara Babcock as Lana Marshall, a talent agent who specializes in representing male athletes, her clients with whom she routinely sleeps on demand; Julia Duffy as Rebecca Prout, a depressed intellectual friend of Diane's; Alison La Placa as magazine reporter Paula Nelson; Carol Kane as Amanda, who Sam eventually learns was a fellow patient at the sanitarium with Diane; Barbara Feldon as Lauren Hudson, Sam's annual Valentine's Day fling (in an homage to Same Time, Next Year ); Sandahl Bergman as Judy Marlowe, a longtime casual sex partner and whose now grown daughter, Laurie Marlowe (Chelsea Noble), who has always considered Sam a pseudo-father figure, Sam falls for; Madolyn Smith-Osborne as Dr. Sheila Rydell, a colleague of Frasier and Lilith; Valerie Mahaffey as Valerie Hill, John Allen Hill's daughter who Sam pursues if only to gain an upper hand in his business relationship with Hill; and Alexis Smith as Alice Anne Volkman, Rebecca's much older ex-professor. In season 9, episode 17, I'm Getting My Act Together and Sticking It in Your Face, Sam, believing Rebecca wants a more serious relationship, pretends to be gay, his lover being a casual friend named Leon (Jeff McCarthy) – the plan ultimately leads to a kiss between Sam and Leon.

Death of Nicholas Colasanto

Near the end of production of the third season, the writers of Cheers had to deal with the death of one of the main actors. During the third season, Nicholas Colasanto's heart condition (which had been diagnosed in the mid-1970s) had worsened. He had lost weight and was having trouble breathing during filming. Shortly before third season filming wrapped, Colasanto was hospitalized due to fluid in his lungs. Though he recovered, he was not cleared to return to work. While visiting the set in January 1985 to watch the filming of several episodes, co-star Shelley Long commented, "I think we were all in denial. We were all glad he was there, but he lost a lot of weight." Co-star Rhea Perlman added, "[He] wanted to be there so badly. He didn't want to be sick. He couldn't breathe well. It was hard. He was laboring all the time." Colasanto ultimately died of a heart attack at his home on February 12, 1985. [23]

The third-season episodes of Cheers were filmed out of order, partly to accommodate the pregnancy of cast member Long. As a result, the season finale, which included several scenes with Colasanto, had already been filmed at the time of his death. In the third-season episodes that had not been filmed at this point, Coach is said to be "away" for various reasons.

The Cheers writing staff assembled in June 1985, at the start of the production of the fourth season, to discuss how to deal with the absence of Coach. They quickly discarded the idea that he might have moved away, as they felt he would never abandon his friends. In addition, as most viewers were aware of Colasanto's death, the writing staff decided to handle the situation more openly. The season four opener, "Birth, Death, Love and Rice", dealt with Coach's death as well as introduced Woody Harrelson, Colasanto's replacement. [23] [24]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired Nielsen ratings [25]
First airedLast airedRankRatingTied with
1 22September 30, 1982 (1982-09-30)March 31, 1983 (1983-03-31)74 [26] N/AN/A
2 22September 29, 1983 (1983-09-29)May 10, 1984 (1984-05-10)3416.6 [27] "Goodnight, Beantown"
3 25September 27, 1984 (1984-09-27)May 9, 1985 (1985-05-09)1219.7 Hotel
4 26September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26)May 15, 1986 (1986-05-15)523.7N/A
5 26September 25, 1986 (1986-09-25)May 7, 1987 (1987-05-07)327.2N/A
6 25September 24, 1987 (1987-09-24)May 5, 1988 (1988-05-05)323.4N/A
7 22October 27, 1988 (1988-10-27)May 4, 1989 (1989-05-04)422.3N/A
8 26September 21, 1989 (1989-09-21)May 3, 1990 (1990-05-03)322.7N/A
9 27September 20, 1990 (1990-09-20)May 2, 1991 (1991-05-02)121.3N/A
10 26September 19, 1991 (1991-09-19)May 14, 1992 (1992-05-14)417.5 Home Improvement
11 28September 24, 1992 (1992-09-24)May 20, 1993 (1993-05-20)816.1The CBS Sunday Movie


Nearly all of Cheers took place in the front room of the bar, but the characters often went into the rear pool room or the bar's office. [28] Cheers did not show any action outside the bar until the first episode of the second season, which took place in Diane's apartment.

The show's main theme in its early seasons was the romance between intellectual waitress Diane Chambers and the bar's owner Sam Malone, a former major league baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and a recovering alcoholic. [29] After Shelley Long (Diane) left the show, the focus shifted to Sam's new relationship with Rebecca Howe, a neurotic corporate-ladder climber.

Many Cheers scripts centered or touched upon a variety of social issues, albeit humorously. As Toasting Cheers puts it, "The script was further strengthened by the writers' boldness in successfully tackling controversial issues such as alcoholism, homosexuality, and adultery." [30]

Social class was a subtext of the show. The "upper class" – represented by characters like Diane Chambers, Frasier Crane and Lilith Sternin  – rubbed shoulders with middle and working-class characters – Sam Malone, Carla Tortelli, Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin. An extreme example of this was the relationship between Woody Boyd and a millionaire's daughter, Kelly Gaines. Many viewers enjoyed Cheers in part because of this focus on character development in addition to plot development. [31]

Feminism and the role of women were also recurring themes throughout the show, with some critics seeing each of the major female characters portraying an aspect as a flawed feminist in her own way. [32] Diane was a vocal feminist, and Sam was the epitome of everything she hated: a womanizer and a male chauvinist. (See "Sam and Diane".)

Homosexuality was dealt with from the first season, which was rare in the early 1980s on American television. [33] In the first-season episode "The Boys in the Bar" (the title being a reference to the play and subsequent movie The Boys in the Band ), a friend and former teammate of Sam's comes out in his autobiography. Some of the male regulars pressure Sam to take action to ensure that Cheers does not become a gay bar. The episode won a GLAAD Media Award, and the script's writers, Ken Levine and David Isaacs, were nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Addiction also plays a role in Cheers, almost exclusively through Sam. He is a recovering alcoholic who had bought a bar during his drinking days. Frasier has a notable bout of drinking in the fourth-season episode "The Triangle", while Woody develops a gambling problem in the seventh season's "Call Me Irresponsible".

Cheers owners

The Cheers sign in 2005. Boston5808.JPG
The Cheers sign in 2005.

Cheers had several owners before Sam, as the bar was opened in 1889. The "Est. 1895" on the bar's sign is a made-up date chosen by Carla for numerological purposes, revealed in season 8, episode 6, "The Stork Brings a Crane", which also revealed the bar's address as 112 1/2 Beacon Street and that it originated under the name Mom's. In the series' second episode, "Sam's Women", Coach tells a customer looking for Gus, the owner of Cheers, that Gus was dead. In a later episode, Gus O'Mally comes back from Arizona for one night and helps run the bar.

The biggest storyline surrounding the ownership of Cheers begins in the fifth-season finale, "I Do, Adieu", when Sam and Diane part ways, due to Shelley Long's departure from the series. In addition, Sam leaves on a trip to sail around the world. Before he leaves, Sam sells Cheers to the Lillian Corporation. He returns in the sixth-season premiere, "Home is the Sailor", having sunk his boat, to find the bar under the new management of Rebecca Howe. He begs for his job back and is hired by Rebecca as a bartender. In the seventh-season premiere, "How to Recede in Business", Rebecca is fired and Sam is promoted to manager. Rebecca is allowed to keep a job at Lillian vaguely similar to what she had before, but only after Sam had Rebecca (in absentia) "agree" to a long list of demands that the corporation had for her.

From there Sam occasionally attempted to buy the bar back with schemes that usually involved the wealthy executive Robin Colcord. Sam acquired Cheers again in the eighth-season finale, when it was sold back to him for 85¢ by the Lillian Corporation, after he alerted the company to Colcord's insider trading. Fired by the corporation because of her silence on the issue, Rebecca is hired by Sam as a hostess/office manager. For the rest of the episode, to celebrate Sam's reclaiming the bar, a huge banner hung from the staircase, reading "Under OLD Management"!

Sam had two main battles, one with Gary's Old Town Tavern, trying to beat them at some activity or another but always failing, extending to the practical jokes they played on each other. The second was with Melville's Owner John Hill who kept annoying Sam with his pettiness and ego. Hill had an ongoing relationship with Carla.


The Cheers Beacon Hill, formerly the Bull & Finch Pub, in Boston in 2005. Cheers Street Boston 2005.jpg
The Cheers Beacon Hill, formerly the Bull & Finch Pub, in Boston in 2005.

Creation and concept

Three men developed and created the Cheers television series: The Charles brothers—Glen and Les—and James Burrows, [34] who identified themselves as "two Mormons and a Jew." [35] They aimed at "creating a show around a Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn-type relationship" between their two main characters, Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. [34] Malone represents the average man, while Chambers represents class and sophistication. [34] The show revolves around characters in a bar under "humorous adult themes" and "situations." [34]

The original idea was a group of workers who interacted like a family, the goal being a concept similar to The Mary Tyler Moore Show . The creators considered making an American version of the British Fawlty Towers, set in a hotel or an inn. When the creators settled on a bar as their setting, the show began to resemble the radio show Duffy's Tavern, a program originally written and co-created by James Burrows' father Abe Burrows. They liked the idea of a tavern, as it provided a continuous stream of new people, for a variety of characters. [36]

Early discussions about the location of the show centered on Barstow, California, then Kansas City, Missouri. They eventually turned to the East Coast and finally Boston. The Bull & Finch Pub in Boston, which was the model for Cheers, was chosen from a phone book. [37] When Glen Charles asked the bar's owner, Tom Kershaw, to shoot exterior and interior photos, he agreed, charging $1. Kershaw has since gone on to make millions of dollars, licensing the pub's image and selling a variety of Cheers memorabilia. The Bull & Finch became the 42nd busiest outlet in the American food and beverage industry in 1997. [36] During initial casting, Shelley Long, who was in Boston at the time filming A Small Circle of Friends , remarked that the bar in the script resembled a bar she had come upon in the city, which turned out to be the Bull & Finch. [38]

Production team

The crew of Cheers numbered in the hundreds. The three creators—James Burrows and the Charles brothers, Glen and Les—kept offices on Paramount's lot for the duration of the Cheers run. The Charles Brothers remained in overall charge throughout the show's run, frequently writing major episodes, though starting with the third season they began delegating the day-to-day running of the writing staff to various showrunners. Ken Estin and Sam Simon were appointed as showrunners for the third season, and succeeded by David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee the following year. Angell, Casey and Lee would remain as showrunners until the end of the seventh season when they left to develop their own sitcom, Wings , and were replaced by Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner and Phoef Sutton for the eighth through tenth seasons. For the final season, Tom Anderson and Dan O'Shannon acted as the showrunners.

James Burrows is regarded as being a factor in the show's longevity, directing 243 of the 270 episodes and supervising the show's production. [39] Among the show's other directors were Andy Ackerman, Thomas Lofaro, Tim Berry, Tom Moore, Rick Beren, as well as cast members John Ratzenberger and George Wendt. [31]

Craig Safan provided the series' original music for its entire run except the theme song. His extensive compositions for the show led to him winning numerous ASCAP Top TV Series awards for his music.


The character of Sam Malone was originally intended to be a retired football player and was slated to be played by Fred Dryer, but, after casting Ted Danson, it was decided that a former baseball player (Sam "Mayday" Malone) would be more believable. [40] [41] Dryer, however, would go on to play sportscaster Dave Richards, an old friend of Sam, in three episodes. The character of Cliff Clavin was created for John Ratzenberger after he auditioned for the role of Norm Peterson, which eventually went to George Wendt. While chatting with producers afterward, he asked if they were going to include a "bar know-it-all", the part which he eventually played. [42] Alley joined the cast when Shelley Long left, and Woody Harrelson joined when Nicholas Colasanto died. Danson, Perlman and Wendt were the only actors to appear in every episode of the series; Ratzenberger appears in all but one.

Filming styles and locations

Interior of the bar. Cheers Beacon Hill interior 2.jpg
Interior of the bar.
"On Cheers, we never did everything twice. On Cheers, we went through the scene and I only reshot jokes that didn't work or I went back and picked up shots I missed."

James Burrows [43]

Most Cheers episodes were, as a voiceover stated at the start of each, "filmed before a live studio audience" on Paramount Stage 25 in Hollywood, generally on Tuesday nights. Scripts for a new episode were issued the Wednesday before for a read-through, Friday was rehearsal day, and final scripts were issued on Monday. Burrows, who directed most episodes, insisted on using film stock rather than videotape. He was also noted for using motion in his directorial style, trying to constantly keep characters moving rather than standing still. [44] During the first season when ratings were poor Paramount and NBC asked that the show use videotape to save money, but a poor test taping ended the experiment and Cheers continued to use film. [45]

Due to a decision by Glen and Les Charles, the cold open was often not connected to the rest of the episode, with the lowest-ranked writers assigned to create the jokes for them. Some cold opens were taken from episodes that ran too long. [46]

The first year of the show took place entirely within the confines of the bar, the first location outside the bar being Diane's apartment. When the series became a hit, the characters started venturing further afield, first to other sets and eventually to an occasional exterior location. The exterior location shots of the bar were of the Bull & Finch Pub, located directly north of the Boston Public Garden. The pub has become a tourist attraction because of its association with the series, and draws nearly one million visitors annually. [36] [47] It has since been renamed Cheers Beacon Hill; its interior is different from the TV bar. The Pub itself is at 84 Beacon Street (on the corner of Brimmer St). In August 2001, there was a replica made of the bar in Faneuil Hall to capitalize on the popularity of the show.

Theme song

Before "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo, became the show's theme song, Cheers' producers rejected two of Portnoy's and Hart Angelo's songs. The songwriters had collaborated to provide music for Preppies, an unsuccessful Broadway musical. When told they could not appropriate "People Like Us", Preppies' opening song, the pair wrote another song "My Kind of People", which resembled "People Like Us" and intended to satirize "the lifestyle of old decadent old-money WASPs," but, to meet producers' demands, they rewrote the lyrics to be about "likeable losers" in a Boston bar. The show's producers rejected this song, as well. After they read the script of the series pilot, they created another song "Another Day". When Portnoy and Hart Angelo heard that NBC had commissioned thirteen episodes, they created an official theme song "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" and rewrote the lyrics. [48] On syndicated airings of Cheers, the theme song was shortened to make room for commercials.


Critical reception

Cheers was critically acclaimed in its first season, though it landed a disappointing 74th out of 77 shows in that year's ratings. [49] This critical support, the early success at the Primetime Emmy Awards, and the support of the president of NBC's entertainment division Brandon Tartikoff, are thought to be the main reasons for the show's survival and eventual success. [50] Tartikoff stated in 1983 that Cheers was a sophisticated adult comedy and that NBC executives, "never for a second doubted" that the show would not be renewed. [34] Writer Levine believes that the most important reason was that the network recognized that it did not have other hit shows to help promote Cheers; as he later wrote, "[NBC] had nothing else better to replace it with." [51]

In 2013, GQ magazine held an online competition to find the best TV comedy. Cheers was voted the greatest comedy show of all time. [52] In 2017, James Charisma of Paste (magazine) ranked the show's opening sequence No. 5 on a list of The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time. [53]


Ratings improved for the summer reruns after the first season. [54] The cast went on various talk shows to try to further promote the series after its first season. By the second season Cheers was competitive with CBS' top rated show Simon & Simon . [34] With the growing popularity of Family Ties , which ran in the slot ahead of Cheers from January 1984 until Family Ties was moved to Sundays in 1987, and the placement of The Cosby Show in front of both at the start of their third season (1984), the line-up became a runaway ratings success that NBC eventually dubbed "Must See Thursday". The next season, Cheers ratings increased dramatically after Woody Boyd became a regular character as well. By the end of its final season, the show had a run of eight consecutive seasons in the Top Ten of the Nielsen ratings; seven of them were in the Top Five. [55]

NBC dedicated a whole night to the final episode of Cheers, following the one-hour season finale of Seinfeld (which was its lead-in). The show began with a "pregame" show hosted by Bob Costas, followed by the final 98-minute episode itself. NBC affiliates then aired tributes to Cheers during their local newscasts, and the night concluded with a special Tonight Show broadcast live from the Bull & Finch Pub. Although the episode fell short of its hyped ratings predictions to become the most watched television episode, it was the most watched show that year, bringing in 93.5 million viewers (64 percent of all viewers that night), and ranked 11th all time in entertainment programming. The 1993 final broadcast of Cheers also emerged as the highest rated broadcast of NBC to date, as well as the most watched single episode from any television series throughout the decade 1990s on U.S. television. [56] [57] [58] [N 1]

The episode originally aired in the usual Cheers spot of Thursday night, and was then rebroadcast on Sunday. While the original broadcast did not outperform the M*A*S*H finale, the combined non-repeating audiences for the Thursday and Sunday showings did. It should also be noted that television had greatly changed between the two finales, leaving Cheers with a broader array of competition for ratings. [59]

NBC Timeslots

Serialized storylines

Cheers was perhaps the first sitcom with a serialized storyline, [60] starting with the third season. The show's success helped make such multi-episode story arcs popular on television, which Les Charles regrets.

[W]e may have been partly responsible for what's going on now, where if you miss the first episode or two, you are lost. You have to wait until you can get the whole thing on DVD and catch up with it. If that blood is on our hands, I feel kind of badly about it. It can be very frustrating." [54]

Cheers began with a limited five-character ensemble consisting of Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Colasanto and George Wendt. By the time season 10 began, the show had eight front characters in its roster. Cheers was also able to gradually phase in characters such as Cliff, Frasier, Lilith, Rebecca, and Woody. During season 1, only one set, the bar, housed all of the episodes. Later seasons introduced other sets, but the show's ability to center the action in the bar and avoid straying was notable.

Awards and honors

Over its eleven-season run, the Cheers cast and crew earned many awards. The show garnered a record 111 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, with a total of 28 wins. In addition, Cheers earned 31 Golden Globe nominations, with a total of six wins. Danson, Long, Alley, Perlman, Wendt, Ratzenberger, Harrelson, Grammer, Neuwirth, and Colasanto all received Emmy nominations for their roles. Cheers won the Golden Globe Award for "Best TV-Series – Comedy/Musical" in 1991 and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1983, 1984, 1989, and 1991. The series was presented with the "Legend Award" at the 2006 TV Land Awards, with many of the surviving cast members attending the event. [61]

The following are awards that have been earned by the Cheers cast and crew over its 11-season run:

EmmyYearGolden GlobeYear
Kirstie AlleyOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series1991Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical1991
Ted DansonOutstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series1990
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical1990
Woody HarrelsonOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series1989N/A
Shelley LongOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series1983Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical1985
N/ABest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for TV1983
Bebe NeuwirthOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series1990
Rhea PerlmanOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series1984
John CleeseOutstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series1987
Production AwardsOutstanding Directing in a Comedy Series1983
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series1983 1984
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences1983
Outstanding Film Editing for a Series1984
Outstanding Editing for a Series – Multi-Camera Production1988
Outstanding Live and Tape Sound Mixing and Sound Effects for a Series1985
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or Special1986



Cheers grew in popularity as it aired on American television and entered into off-network syndication in 1987, initially distributed by Paramount Domestic Television. When the show went off the air in 1993, Cheers was syndicated in 38 countries with 179 American television markets and 83 million viewers. [62] When the quality of some earlier footage of Cheers began to deteriorate, it underwent a careful restoration in 2001 due to its continued success. [63] The series aired on Nick at Nite from 2001 to 2004 and on TV Land from 2004 to 2008. [47] with Nick at Nite airing week long Cheers "Everybody Knows Your Name" marathons. The show was removed from the lineup in 2004. The series began airing on Hallmark Channel in the United States in October 2008, and WGN America in 2009, where it continues to air on both channels. In January 2011, Reelz Channel began airing the series in hour-long blocks. Me-TV began airing Cheers weeknights in 2010. More recently, USA Network is rerunning the series on Sunday early mornings and weekday mornings to allow it to show extended length films of 2 1/2 hours and maintain symmetric schedules.

As of April 2011, Netflix began including Cheers as one of the titles on its "watch instantly" streaming service. Amazon added it to its Prime service in July. [64]

A Cheers rerun notably replaced the September 4, 1992 airing of Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos on Australia's Nine Network. The latter was canceled mid-episode on its only broadcast by Kerry Packer, who pulled the plug after a phone call. It was repeated several years later on the Nine Network shortly after Packer's death in 2005. Cheers currently airs on Eleven (a digital channel of Network Ten) starting January 11, 2011 in Australia. When Cheers was aired by NCRV in the Netherlands, they showed all 275 episodes in sequence, once per night, repeating the series a total of three times.

As of 2012, Cheers has been repeated on UK satellite channel CBS Drama. Cheers is also shown on the UK free-to-air channel ITV4 where it is shown two episodes every weekday night. Because of the ITV syndication it is also available to watch on the online ITV Player for seven days after broadcast. On March 16, 2015, the series began airing on UK subscription channel Gold on weekdays at 9:30 am and 10:00 am. Cheers then aired in 2019 on Channel 4, which had previously aired the network in 2002.

They are also currently airing on ReelzChannel.

High definition

A high-definition transfer of Cheers began running on HDNet in the United States in August 2010. Originally shot on film (but transferred to and edited on videotape) the program was broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the newly transferred versions are in 16:9.[ original research? ] However, in the United Kingdom, the HD repeats on ITV4 HD are shown in the original 4:3 aspect ratio.

Home media

Paramount Home Entertainment and (from 2006 onward) CBS Home Entertainment have released all 11 seasons of Cheers on DVD in Region 1, Region 2 and Region 4. In the US, the last three seasons had music substitutions. In "Grease", "I Fought the Law" was replaced; its removal affected the comedic value of the scenes it was originally in.

On March 6, 2012, they released Fan Favorites: The Best of Cheers. Based on the 2012 Facebook poll, the selected episodes are: [65]

  1. "Give Me a Ring Sometime" (season 1, episode 1)
  2. "Diane's Perfect Date" (season 1, episode 17)
  3. "Pick a Con, Any Con" (season 1, episode 19)
  4. "Abnormal Psychology" (season 5, episode 4)
  5. "Thanksgiving Orphans" (season 5, episode 9)
  6. "Dinner at Eight-ish" (season 5, episode 20)
  7. "Simon Says" (season 5, episode 21)
  8. "An Old Fashioned Wedding", parts one and two (season 10, episodes 25)

On May 5, 2015, CBS DVD released Cheers- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. [66]

Digital media distribution

The complete eleven seasons of Cheers are available through the United States Netflix streaming service, the ITunes Store, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu Plus. In Canada all seasons of Cheers are available on streaming service Crave TV. [67]


The series lent itself naturally to the development of Cheers bar-related merchandise, culminating in the development of a chain of Cheers themed pubs. Paramount's licensing group, led by Tom McGrath, developed the Cheers pub concept initially in partnership with Host Marriott, which placed Cheers themed pubs in over 15 airports around the world. [68] Boston boasts the original Cheers bar, historically known to Boston insiders as the Bull and Finch, as well as a Cheers restaurant in the Faneuil Hall marketplace, and Sam's Place, a spin-off sports bar concept also located at Faneuil Hall. In 1997 Europe's first officially licensed Cheers bar opened in London's Regent's Street W1. Like Cheers Faneuil Hall, Cheers London is a replica of the set. The gala opening was attended by James Burrows and cast members George Wendt and John Ratzenberger. [69] The Cheers bar in London closed on 31st Dec 2008. The actual bar set had been on display at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum until the museum's closing in early 2006. [70]

The theme song to the show was eventually licensed to a Canadian restaurant, Kelsey's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill. [71]

CBS currently holds the rights to the Cheers franchise as the result of the 2006 Viacom split which saw Paramount transfer its entire television studio to CBS.

Spin-offs, crossovers, and cultural references

Woody, Cliff, and Norm on The Simpsons Cheers on the simpsons.jpg
Woody, Cliff, and Norm on The Simpsons

Some of the actors and actresses from Cheers brought their characters into other television shows, either in a guest appearance or in a new spin-off series. The most successful Cheers spin-off was Frasier , which featured Frasier Crane following his relocation back to Seattle, Washington. Sam, Diane, and Woody all individually appeared in Frasier episodes, with Lilith appearing as a guest on multiple episodes. In the season nine episode "Cheerful Goodbyes", Frasier returns to Boston and meets up with the Cheers gang, later attending Cliff's retirement party.

Although Frasier was more successful, The Tortellis was the first series to spin-off from Cheers, premiering in 1987. The show featured Carla's ex-husband Nick Tortelli and his wife Loretta, but was canceled after 13 episodes and drew protests for its stereotypical depictions of Italian-Americans.

In addition to direct spin-offs, several Cheers characters had guest appearance crossovers with other shows, including Wings and St. Elsewhere (episode "Cheers"). Cheers has also been spoofed or referenced in other media, including The Simpsons (spoofing the title sequence and theme song in "Flaming Moe's"; actually visiting the place with vocal role reprises of the majority of the principal cast in "Fear of Flying"), Scrubs (episode "My Life in Four Cameras"), Adventure Time (episode "Simon & Marcy"), the 2012 comedy film Ted , and the 2011 video game Dragon Age II . In one episode of ‘’Becker’’, Becker (Ted Danson), stops in at a bar preferring to have a few drinks and get home in time to watch the Knicks game instead of attending his ex wife's wedding in Connecticut. George Wendt is the bar tender. In the season 4 episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Pitch", Jerry and George are presenting their idea for a sitcom to NBC executives. George is unhappy with their offer and feels that he deserves the same salary as Ted Danson which he claims was $800,000 per episode, being that Cheers is also an NBC show. Danson's reported salary was actually $250,000 per episode. At this point Cheers was in its 10th season and Ted Danson had won an Emmy and a Golden Globe the year before.

In the 2015 video game Fallout 4 , set in Boston, there is a bar named 'Prost Bar' near Boston Common which, when entered, is an almost exact replica of the bar used in the series. It includes two dead bodies sat at the end of the bar, with one of them wearing a mail carrier's uniform, a direct reference to regular barfly Cliff Clavin. [72]

The eighth anniversary special of Late Night with David Letterman , airing in 1990, began with a scene at Cheers, in which the bar's TV gets stuck on NBC, and all of the bar patrons decide to go home instead of staying to watch Letterman. The scene was re-used to open Letterman's final episode in 1993. A similar scene aired in the Super Bowl XVII Pregame Show on NBC, in which the characters briefly discuss the upcoming game.

In the second-season episode "Swarley" of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother , in the final scene, Barney walks into the bar and everyone shouts "Swarley," same as when the characters traditionally yelled "Norm!" whenever Norm Peterson entered the Cheers bar, and he turns and walks out dejectedly as Carl the bartender plays "Where Everybody Knows Your Name." The camera angle also changes to show the same bar set-up and framing for the main interior bar shots featured in Cheers. Additionally, the end credits are done in the gold "Cooper Black" font of the Cheers credits (which was a highly popular font for sitcoms of the early-to-mid-1980s).

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character Morn is named for Norm Peterson due to Armin Shimerman calling the originally nameless character "Norm" between takes.

The theatrical play Cheers: Live On Stage reenacts a condensed version of the first two seasons of the show. [73]

One episode of Cheers has a crossover reference to Spenser: For Hire (a Cheers bartender has a cameo appearance as an unspeaking extra).

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 , Peter Quill makes numerous references to the show Cheers.

In the season 2 finale of the NBC sitcom The Good Place , Ted Danson's character Michael appears as a bartender while wearing a blue plaid button-down, in a clear homage to Danson's character in Cheers. [74]

In A Night at the Roxbury, Dan Hedya's character Kamehl Butabi and his friends are listening to Emily (Molly Shannon) play the piano. She was playing the song "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" which is clearly a reference to Hedya's past as Nick Tortelli on Cheers.


In September 2011, Plural Entertainment debuted a remake of the series on Spanish television, also titled Cheers. Set at an Irish pub, it starred Alberto San Juan as Nicolás "Nico" Arnedo, the equivalent of Sam Malone in the original series. It also used the original theme song, rerecorded in Spanish by Dani Martín, under the title of "Dónde la gente se divierte."

In December 2012, The Irish Film and Television Network announced that casting was underway on an Irish language version of Cheers produced by production company Sideline. The new show, tentatively titled Teach Seán, would air on Ireland's TG4 and features a main character who, like Sam Malone, is a bar owner, a retired athlete and a recovering alcoholic. Except because of the setting in Ireland, the barman is a "former hurling star" rather than an ex-baseball player. [75]

Cheers: Live On Stage

On September 9, 2016, a stage adaptation called, Cheers: Live On Stage, opened at the Schubert Theatre in Boston. Comprising pieces of the original TV series, the play was adapted by Erik Forrest Jackson. It is produced by Troika/Stageworks. The director was Matt Lenz. It starred Grayson Powell as "Sam Malone," Jillian Louis as "Diane Chambers," Barry Pearl as "Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso," Sarah Sirotta as "Carla Tortelli," Paul Vogt as "Norm Peterson", and Buzz Roddy as "Cliff Clavin." The production was scheduled to tour through 2017. [73] [76]

See also


  1. The article, "Cheers Finale Most-Watched Show of Season," from May 22, 1993, edition of Rocky Mountain News said that the share of viewing audience was 62. The 2009 article, "The gang gathers for one last round," by Hal Boedeker, claims that the finale drew over 80 million viewers in 1993.

Related Research Articles

Carla Tortelli Fictional character from the show Cheers

Carla Maria Victoria Angelina Teresa Apollonia Lozupone Tortelli LeBec, commonly known as Carla Tortelli, is a waitress on the American television show Cheers, portrayed by Rhea Perlman. Outwardly, at least, Carla is a mean-spirited woman who expresses disdain for many people. She had four children with her then-husband Nick when the series started and eight children with three different men when it ended.

Coach Ernie Pantusso Fictional character from the show Cheers

Ernie Pantusso, commonly known as "Coach", is a fictional character on the American television show Cheers, portrayed by Nicholas Colasanto between 1982 and 1985. Coach was originally Sam Malone's baseball coach before the show's pilot episode. He later became a bartender of Cheers, while Sam became its owner and another bartender. He is not "worldly wise" but has some shred of wit. He also has a daughter named Lisa, who solely appeared in "Coach's Daughter" (1982), from his late wife Angela.

One for the Road (<i>Cheers</i>) 25th episode of the eleventh season of Cheers

"One for the Road" is the final episode of the American television series Cheers. It was the 271st episode of the series and the 25th episode of the eleventh season of the show. It first aired on NBC on Thursday, May 20, 1993, to an audience of approximately 42.4 million households in a 98-minute version, making it the second-highest-rated series finale of all time behind the series finale of M*A*S*H and the highest-rated episode of the 1992–1993 television season in the United States. The 98-minute version was re-broadcast on Sunday, May 23, 1993, and an edited 90-minute version aired on Thursday, August 19, 1993.

Sam and Diane romantic couple in the TV series Cheers

Sam Malone and Diane Chambers, collectively known as Sam and Diane, are fictional characters in the American situation comedy television series Cheers. Sam Malone is a working-class, retired baseball player-turned-bartender played by Ted Danson; Diane Chambers is a college-graduate cocktail waitress played by Shelley Long. Danson appeared on Cheers for its entire run of the series; Long was part of the regular cast from the 1982 series premiere until the fifth-season finale, "I Do, Adieu" (1987). Long returned for a special appearance in the 1993 series finale, "One for the Road."

Diane Chambers Fictional character from the show Cheers

Diane Chambers is a fictional character in the American television situation comedy show Cheers, portrayed by Shelley Long and created by Glen and Les Charles. After her fiancé Sumner Sloan abandons her in the Cheers bar in the pilot episode, Diane works as a bar waitress. She has an on-off relationship with the womanizing bartender Sam Malone and a one-year relationship with Frasier Crane, who later becomes a main character of the series and Frasier. When Long left the series during the fifth season, the producers wrote her character out. After that, they added her permanent replacement Rebecca Howe, a businesswoman played by Kirstie Alley, in the sixth season. Shelley Long made a special guest appearance in the series finale as Diane in the eleventh and final season. Long also appeared in Frasier as Diane's fantasy counterpart in Frasier's dreams and the actual Diane in a crossover episode "The Show Where Diane Comes Back".

"The Show Where Sam Shows Up" is the 16th episode of the second season of the American sitcom Frasier. This episode originally aired on Tuesday, February 21, 1995, on NBC, intended as part of a February ratings sweep by the network. It features a special guest appearance of Ted Danson as Sam Malone, a recovering sex addict, bartender and ex-baseball player. In this episode Sam arrives to Seattle to see his old friend Frasier, and then is introduced to Frasier's family at a dinner in Frasier's home, where the inconsistencies about Martin's supposed "death" are cleared up. While visiting Seattle, Sam ends his relationship with a woman named Sheila after discovering her dalliance with other men. Danson's appearance in this episode has received mixed reviews, and the positive highlight about it is his interaction with the cast of Frasier.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 1) season of television series

The first season of the American television sitcom series Cheers premiered on September 30, 1982, and concluded on March 31, 1983. It consisted of 22 episodes, each running approximately 25 minutes at length. The show was created and produced by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles, who previously worked on Taxi, another sitcom. Cheers was produced by Charles Burrows Charles Productions in association with Paramount Television. The concept and production design of the show were inspired by a public house in Boston, the Bull & Finch, which is now called Cheers Beacon Hill.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 3) season of television series

The third season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 27, 1984, and May 9, 1985. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions in association with Paramount Television. The third season is available on DVD in a four-disc set.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 4) season of television series

The fourth season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 26, 1985, and May 15, 1986, as part of the network's Thursday lineup. This season marks Woody Harrelson's television debut as Woody Boyd after Nicholas Colasanto, who portrayed Coach Ernie Pantusso, died during the previous season. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles, under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 6) season of television series

The sixth season of Cheers is an American television situation comedy set in a Boston bar called "Cheers". It originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 24, 1987 and May 7, 1988. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under their production company Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television. This season features the debut of Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 7) season of television series

The seventh season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between October 27, 1988 and May 4, 1989. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 9) season of television series

The ninth season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 20, 1990, and May 3, 1991. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 10) season of television series

The tenth season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 19, 1991, and May 14, 1992. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television.

<i>Cheers</i> (season 11) season of television series

The eleventh and final season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 24, 1992, and May 20, 1993. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television.


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Further reading