CheersLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 11:54PM EDT
Why Cheers still matters 25 years after its series finale
Cheers ended its 11-season run on May 20, 1993 with 93.5 million Americans watching, the second highest-rated TV series finale of all time after M*A*S*H. "For all its highs and lows, Cheers represents a pinnacle of American pop culture, culminating in a record-breaking finale that caught the attention of millions of viewers," says Tyler Coates. "Twenty-five years after its final episode, Cheers remains one of the great American sitcoms." Coates visited the Cheers bar in Boston not that long ago, and says of the experience: "Being there was a reminder that TV is ultimately important; it’s one thing that can unite us all when we’re at our most divided, and the best TV show can appeal to everyone subtly enough that the audience might not actually realize how much they have in common with the others who watch it. Many years later, after all, we are still thinking about Cheers because it's still so present in the TV we consume today—and because it's nice to think about the distant past, relatively less fraught than our present, and ignore the problems of the world that didn't seep into the entertainment we enjoyed."
- Creators Glen and Les Charles and James Burrows look back at the series finale and the potential of a revival
- Cheers had one of the greatest closing scenes in TV history
- Here are nine essential episodes for getting caught up on Cheers
- May 20 is also the 25th anniversary of the Cheers cast getting wasted live on Jay Leno's Tonight Show from Boston
- At the time, Leno called the infamous live episode "a huge mistake. But that's OK. You win some and lose some"
Posted Wednesday 5/16/18 at 11:25PM EDT
Here are the most notorious failed spinoffs based on characters from hit shows
Friends spinoff Joey, Party of Five spinoff Time of Your Life and Columbo spinoff Mrs. Columbo are among the failed spinoffs developed from hit show characters.
# TOPICS: Lists, 21 Jump Street, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, All in the Family, A Man Called Hawk, Beverly Hills Buntz, Booker, Checking In, Cheers, Columbo, Cory In The House, The Flintstones, Friends, Gloria, Grady, Hill Street Blues, The Jeffersons, Joey, The Law And Harry McGraw, The Lone Gunmen, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Melrose Place, Models Inc., Mrs. Columbo, Murder, She Wrote, Ozzie’s Girls, The Pebbles And Bamm-Bamm Show, Phyllis, The Ropers, Sanford And Son , Spenser For Hire, That’s So Raven, Three's Company, Time of Your Life, The Tortellis, The X-Files, Joanie Loves Chachi, Matt LeBlanc, Party of Five
Posted Wednesday 5/02/18 at 10:57PM EDT
Is Superstore the millennial version of Cheers?
The current NBC workplace comedy shares a lot of similarities with the classic NBC comedy, says Brett White, who considers Superstore to be the "millennial successor" to Cheers. (Cheers premiered in 1982, the starting birth year of millennials.) "For starters, both are ensemble comedies on NBC set primarily in one location," he says. "The casts are found families of working class misfits (okay, Cheers is mostly working class; Frasier and Lilith are rich AF). The characters aren’t total one-to-ones, but the DNA from Cheers’ well-defined goofballs can be found in the makeup of Superstore’s weirdos."
Posted Tuesday 4/17/18 at 1:41PM EDT
Harry Anderson: An appreciation
The magician-turned-sitcom star only appeared on Cheers as Harry the Hat six times, yet it felt like more because he made the character "feel so assured and lived-in," says Alan Sepinwall. He adds: "What’s impressive about Anderson’s transition from Harry the Hat to Night Court judge Harold T. Stone is that he wasn’t a master thespian. Anderson was again playing a fedora-wearer fond of close-up magic, yet the characters were emotional opposites: Harry the Hat a cool and ruthless hustler (even on behalf of the good guys on occasion), Harry Stone a warm and gentle overgrown kid basking in his dream job and finding a way to enjoy every minute of it. Stone was that rare sitcom beast: the straight man character who was just as funny as the lunatics he was there to tether to reality. He was almost always having a good time on the bench, which in turn made Night Court itself even more fun to watch."
- John Laroquette tweeted a lengthier tribute overnight: "He was wicked smart. He was wicked funny. He had a big laugh. He had a big heart"
- Watch a collection of Anderson's Letterman appearances from the 1980s
- How to watch Night Court online: You can pay to download whole seasons, but the NBC sitcom isn't available on a streaming service
- Anderson experienced highs and lows with his New Orleans magic shop, pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina
Posted Monday 4/16/18 at 7:30PM EDT
Night Court's Harry Anderson dies at 65
Anderson, who is best known for presiding over the NBC hit sitcom Night Court as Judge Harry Stone for nine seasons, was found dead this morning at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Police say they don't suspect foul play. Anderson's love of magic earned him several appearances on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s, leading to his role of Harry "The Hat" Gittes on Cheers, which was parlayed into his starring role on Night Court from 1984 to 1992. "I guess they figured I was an actor," Anderson, who was nominated for three Emmys for Night Court, told the Bradenton Herald in 2015. "I never auditioned for anything. I had the scripts next to me behind the bench. They named the character Harry so I'd remember to react when someone said my name. By the time they figured out that I couldn't act scared on the subway at 4 a.m., I already had a five-year contract." Anderson also played Miami Herald humor columnist Dave Barry on the CBS sitcom Dave's World from 1993 to 1997. One of his final screen appearances was as himself on 30 Rock in 2008.
Posted Thursday 4/05/18 at 12:48AM EDT
NBC boss on revivals: The Office and The West Wing could come back, but not Friends or Seinfeld
"We can't just reboot everything," said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, referring to what he calls the "reboot genre." Friends and Seinfeld won't be coming back, he said in a Hollywood Reporter Q&A. He also doesn't see a Cheers revival happening. "I'd love to have the Cheers reboot if it were 20 years ago," he said. The Office could come back with a new cast, he said, adding that Aaron Sorkin is welcome to revive The West Wing "if he weren't busy doing 10 other extraordinary things." Greenblatt wasn't asked about a potential Mad About You revival. Still, Greenblatt says there's a major complication in bringing back old shows with their original casts: "The actors want a lot more money than we're willing to pay them."
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 9:51AM EDT
James Burrows on reviving Cheers: "The cast is too old"
The legendary TV director and Cheers co-creator says he's happy for Roseanne's big ratings, but he doesn't see his classic sitcom returning.
Posted Monday 3/26/18 at 10:29PM EDT
Was Cheers stolen?
A new Boston Magazine article breathes new life into "The Cheers Conspiracy" that the classic sitcom was a ripoff of the Boston TV sitcom Park St. Under, which had a similar premise and predates Cheers by three years. Like Cheers, Park St. Under was set at an underground Boston bar owned and operated by a former Red Sox player. They even had similar bar regulars right down the "local psychiatrist." “It was pretty much a copy,” head writer Arnie Reisman told Boston Magazine. “I was like, ‘Are you f*cking kidding me?’” Cheers director and co-creator James Burrows declined to comment for the article but has long denied that Cheers was stolen, saying it was inspired by Duffy’s Tavern, a radio program created in the 1940s by his father Abe Burrows.
Posted Saturday 2/03/18 at 12:50AM EST
The Good Place Season 2 finale gave Ted Danson a brief Cheers moment
Danson looked at ease behind the bar on Thursday’s episode. ALSO: The Good Place takes the biggest swings on TV.
Posted Tuesday 1/09/18 at 8:32AM EST
John Ratzenberger doesn’t think a Cheers revival will happen: “I don’t think they want a bunch of geezers sitting at the bar”
"I would love to see it, and I think the cast would, too," says Ratzenberger. “The audience is still there." However, he adds, “I don’t think the producers want it. … I don’t think they want a bunch of geezers sitting at the bar.”
Posted Friday 1/05/18 at 11:08PM EST
Did millennials kill the hangout sitcom?
Shows like Friends and Cheers are hard to recreate nowadays because younger viewers are too distracted by technology.
Posted Wednesday 11/22/17 at 10:51PM EST
Presenting the most disastrous Thanksgiving sitcom episodes
Friends, Seinfeld and Full House all experienced Turkey Day-themed disasters.
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
25 comedy writers pick the most influential TV episodes
For The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr, it was an episode of The Wire that inspired his comedy. For The Good Place’s Michael Schur, a Cheers episode proved to be a revelation.
Posted Thursday 8/24/17 at 6:15PM EDT
Jay Thomas dies: Emmy-winning Cheers/Murphy Brown actor and Letterman staple was 69
Thomas, who died today after a battle with cancer, won two Emmys for his guest appearances on Murphy Brown, but he earned sitcom infamy by getting killed off on Cheers, where he played Carla Tortelli’s hockey-playing husband Eddie LeBec in nine episodes. From 1998 to 2014, Thomas was a Late Show with David Letterman Christmas tradition, telling Dave the same Lone Ranger story and tossing the football every year. Amid his acting gigs, Jay Thomas was a full-time morning DJ on Power 106 in Los Angeles in the ‘80s and ’90s. Most recently, Thomas had a show on SiriusXM and acted on Ray Donovan. PLUS: Celebs pay tribute: Murphy Brown creator Diane English tweeted that Thomas “was gifted. I would have loved to write another role for him. RIP Jay. Heartbroken to hear this news. One of a kind.”
Posted Monday 8/21/17 at 9:23PM EDT
Hallmark Channel has become the best place for late-night classic sitcoms
Every night, Hallmark’s lineup features The Golden Girls, Frasier and Cheers.