- 11 Seasons
Cheers, the ensemble situation comedy centered on a friendly Boston bar, successfully anchored the NBC network's Must See TV for 11 successful seasons from 1982 to 1993. Over the years, the show consistently earned high ratings and won numerous awards, including 28 Emmy Awards with four of those trophies for Best Comedy Series. The series storyline was simple, but effective. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Sam Malone (Ted Danson) has recovered from alcoholism and now runs a modestly successful neighborhood bar. He hires Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), is a pretentious but down on her luck graduate student, who deftly resists Sam's romantic interest in the early part of the series, but these opposites attract and eventually fall in love. Colorful supporting characters in the other bar staff and regular customers added comic opportunities and storylines to the ongoing love story. The other series' regulars include dim-witted but kind-hearted bartender Coach (Nicholas Colasanto), foul-mouthed single mom Carla (Rhea Perlman), Norm (George Wendt), a heavy-set accountant, and Cliff (John Ratzenberger), a talkative postman. In its later seasons, Cheers replaced the Coach character, after Colasanto's death, with his equally intelligence-challenged pen pal Woody (Woody Harrelson); Diane left to pursue her writing career and ambitious executive Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) stepped into Cheers to run the bar. Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammar) joined the regular clientele in the third season after an ill-fated romance with Diane, and would later enjoy a spinoff series that also ran for 11 seasons. As the Cheers theme song so aptly captures, sometimes you just want to go where everybody knows your name. The series created a home away from home for a likeable bunch of misfits that merged perfectly together to become one of the most memorable TV series of all time. In 2002, TV Guide selected Cheers as number 18 on their list of the 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, as well as selecting two of its episodes on their 1997 list of 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. For the engaging crowd at the Cheers bar, it seems closing time will never truly come as the show continues to find new audiences. The series continues in syndication, both domestically and in 38 countries worldwide.