It might be hard to find a bar in town these days where everybody knows your name, but exactly 34 years ago, we were introduced to a place that did. Cheers debuted on NBC on September 30, 1982, and it went on to become one of the highest-rated televisions shows in history. However, the critical acclaim didn’t happen from the beginning: Boston magazine reports its debut episode ranked 77th—dead last—in the Nielsen ratings for television shows that week. However, then-NBC entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff saw something in the show, saved it from cancellation, and the rest, they say, is television history.
While you may not run into Sam or Diane these days at Cheers (originally the Bull and Finch Pub) on Beacon Street, you’ll find plenty of Cheers memorabilia on the walls and many souvenirs to take home. Take a photo with the iconic exterior of the bar, grab a pint, and toast to America’s favorite neighborhood bar. Herewith, some of our favorite Cheers trivia and tidbits:
• Including the spin-off Frasier, Kelsey Grammer played the character of Frasier Crane for 20 consecutive years, a record for an American actor in a comedy series.
• Lucille Ball was a fan of the series and met with the producers about possibly playing Diane's mother. But she backed out because she felt that viewers would not accept her as a character that was different then her "Lucy" characters.
• At one point during the show's development, producers considered setting it in Chicago.
• Kirstie Alley co-starred on the show longer than Shelley Long, whom she replaced. Alley appeared for six seasons as opposed to Long's five.
• Although it takes place in Boston, the only one with a Boston accent is Cliff.
• Early episodes did not have the familiar "Cheers was filmed before a live studio audience" announcement spoken by a different cast member at the beginning of each episode. The spoken disclaimer was added in 1983 due to some viewers complaining that the laugh track was too loud. No laugh track was used on the show. Despite the disclaimer, viewers still complained about the "laugh track".