I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Season Eleven: 1992-93
1992-93: THE ELEVENTH SEASON
Year-End Rating: 16.1 (8th place)
After a nearly unprecedented run of eleven prime-time seasons, the
creators of Cheers finally decide to call it quits with a record-length
valedictory season that will ultimately increase the show's already
bulging comic inventory by no less than twenty-eight all-new half hours.
Executive producers for the show's farewell season are Dan O'Shannon
and Tom Anderson, who share the title with the show's creators, Glen
Charles, James Burrows, and Les Charles. Dan Staley and Rob Long are
co-executive producers for the show's final season, which is produced
by Tim Berry and co-produced by Tom Leopold. Other notable contributors
to the show's eleventh-season story sessions include executive story
consultant Rebecca Parr Cioffi, story consultant Kathy Ann Stumpe, and
story editors Fred Graver and Sue Herring. And rounding out the show's
writing staff for season eleven are executive script consultant Bob
Ellison and veteran creative consultants David Lloyd, Ken Levine, and
Rebecca tries to lay the blame on faulty wiring after she accidentally
sets fire to the bar.
Carla discovers far greener pastures--and substantially increased tips--when
she lands a temporary job at another bar during Cheers's post-fire rehabilitation.
Norm thinks that he's found his dream job when he signs on as beer
taster for a local brewery; and Rebecca tries her luck on the bar's
new slot machine.
Sam pits his homegrown charms against Henri's continental savoir-faire
when the two playboys vie for the unofficial title of "world's greatest
Maggie O'Keefe returns to Cheers with startling news for Cliff--he's
going to be a father; and Rebecca commissions a songwriter to compose
an advertising jingle for the bar.
The episode's teaser features Derek McGrath in a reprise of his role
as Andy Andy, the ex-con who made life miserable for Diane Chambers
in the show's early years. Another familiar face in the episode's guest
cast is John Mahoney, who appears here as jingle writer Sy Flembeck;
the actor would be reunited with at least one of the show's cast members
the following season, when Mahoney would land the part of Frasier's
dad, Martin, on the Cheers spinoff series Frasier.
Rebecca can hardly believe her eyes when she spies Frasier's wife,
Lilith, in the arms of another man.
Frasier is ready to toss himself from a ledge after Lilith informs
him that she plans to spend the coming year in an underground biosphere
with her new lover.
Kelly's father is convinced that Woody is trying to blackmail him;
and Rebecca's Thanksgiving feast for the gang goes predictably awry.
Carla is reluctant to reveal her true feelings after John Allen Hill
suffers a heart attack.
Rebecca's dictatorial father commands her to move back to San Diego;
and Woody and Kelly attempt to iron out the kinks in their own living
One-time Hill Street Blues co-star Robert Prosky is cast as
Rebecca's tyrannical father, Navy Captain Franklin Howe. The part was
actually a homecoming of sorts for the well-known character actor, who
had some years earlier been offered the part of Coach in the show's
original pilot. But though scheduling difficulties forced the actor
to forfeit the role--which was eventually played to great effect by
Nick Colasanto--the show's producers were only too pleased to invite
the actor back to the bar when this plumb guest-starring role finally
presented itself a decade later. Also present in the episode's guest
cast is Ethel Kennedy, who contributes a cameo in the show's teaser.
Sam is determined to get his Corvette back from the widow of the man
who bought it from him; and Rebecca becomes attached to the pig that
Woody plans to cook for Christmas dinner.
Dana Delany, late of ABC's Vietnam-era series China Beach,
guest stars as the widow who inherits Sam's car.
Frasier mistakes his secretary's intentions after she invites him to
her house for Sunday dinner; and Norm and Cliff videotape a family reunion.
A determined IRS auditor makes a play for Norm; and Sam attempts to
prevent the gang from watching one of his old games on TV.
Sharon Barr, who had previously guest starred as one of the bachelor-bidders
in the sixth-year episode "Bidding on the Boys," returns to play the
IRS agent in this episode--one of the rare instances where the show's
producers violated their own long-standing "one actor-one role" casting
A newly destitute Robin Colcord returns to Cheers hoping to retrieve
a cache of money he'd stashed there before his arrest.
Carla's daughter, Serafina, ferments a minor family crisis when she
insists that her wayward father, Nick, be allowed to give her away at
her upcoming wedding.
Still reeling from the shock of his recent marital difficulties, Frasier
turns to Rebecca for romantic consolation.
Lilith pays a surprise call on Frasier, with her newly deranged fiancé--now
armed and dangerous--not far behind.
Guest star Peter Vogt returns in the role of Lilith's slightly off-center
paramour, Dr. Louis Pascal.
Carla and Rebecca contemplate mutiny after Sam leaves the bar's former
owner in charge; and Cliff leads the guys on a nostalgic excursion to
a local drive-in theater.
Veteran character actor Pat Hingle plays the bar's former proprietor,
Sam enlists the help of con man Harry the Hat in the latest round of
the bar's ongoing feud with the denizens of Gary's Old Towne Tavern.
Longtime Night Court star Harry Anderson once again reprises
his occasional role as the bar's resident bamboozler, Harry the Hat.
Sam embarks on an increasingly futile search for a bed to sleep in
after he accidentally locks his house keys in the bar.
Film star Peter MacNicol guest stars as the hotel clerk in this episode.
Also featured in the episode's supporting cast is Gordon Clapp, who
would figure prominently in the ensemble cast of ABC's NYPD Blue
the following season.
Frasier nominates Woody for a city council seat as a prank, only to
find himself amazed when the bartender's campaign actually begins to
Former Our Gang star Spanky McFarland contributes a cameo in
this episode. Also featured in the guest cast is Peri Gilpin, who would
reappear as Frasier's able assistant, Roz, on Frasier the following
Carla is overwhelmed by remorse in the wake of a recent romantic indiscretion,
until Sam bolsters her waning self-confidence with a surprising revelation
of his own.
Filmed out of broadcast sequence, this show bears the distinction
of being the last-produced episode of Cheers.
Rebecca jumps to the conclusion that Kelly's father has designs on
her; and the gang suspects foul play when Cliff's mother appears to
have vanished without a trace.
Rebecca wonders if she's finally found Mr. Right when she begins dating
a plumber; and Sam makes a break with the past when he joins a support
group for sexual compulsives.
Film actor Tom Berenger, best-remembered for his starring role in
the 1986 Oscar winner Platoon, is well-cast as Rebecca's earthy
romantic interest, Don Santry. Also featured in this episode's guest
roster is Sharon Lawrence, who would land a choice role in the cast
of ABC's NYPD Blue the following season.
When Diane Chambers turns up for an unexpected visit, Sam is determined
to convince his former fiancée that he's discovered domestic
bliss at last; and Rebecca finds a happy denouement to her own romantic
woes when her whirlwind courtship with plumber Don Santry leads to matrimony.
Originally intended to run in a one-hour time slot, the last episode's
running time was expanded by an additional half-hour during the show's
final production week, after it became clear to all concerned that trying
to wrap up eleven seasons' worth of loose ends in anything less than
an hour and half would've proved a difficult task indeed. It's unlikely
that the show's producers received any argument on that decision from
the programmers at NBC, who rather shrewdly positioned the show's 97-minute
grand finale as the centerpiece of "Last Call," the gala two-hour spectacular
that would serve as the show's last hurrah on prime time. The series's
closing night festivities were kicked off with a special twenty-two
minute Cheers mini-retrospective hosted by NBC sports announcer
By the time Cheers left the air at the close of the 1992-93
prime-time season, the series had long since distinguished itself as
one of the most popular programs in the history of the medium. But perhaps
the greatest measure of the show's lasting legacy can be seen in its
ongoing influence on the better comedies that dot today's prime-time
landscape, where Cheers's trademark blend of high comedy and
understated wit continues to inform and inspire situation comedies as
varied in texture and approach as Murphy Brown, Roseanne,
Seinfeld, Friends, and, of course, Frasier.
None of which should come as a surprise to readers of the present
volume, who will by this point have little difficulty recognizing Cheers's
unique status as the latest link in a comic dynasty that stretches at
least as far back as I Love Lucy. And, as Cheers marches
forth to assume its rightful place in the hallowed company of the medium's
most-beloved classics, it's not hard to imagine Sam Malone standing
up at the end of his bar to lead a toast.
Raise your mugs, he might propose, and toast the Ricardos and the
Kramdens; here's to the Petries, the Bunkers, and the Hartleys. To all
those TV families who, in good times or bad, never failed to leave their
porch lights burning.
To the cabbies at Sunshine Taxi and the staff of the WJM Six O'Clock
News; to the die-hard detectives of the Twelfth Precinct, and the tireless
surgeons of the 4077th. To all the misfits and miscreants who beckoned
us to join their gang on those nights when we had nothing better to
do. It was an invitation we found hard to resist--even when we did have
better things to do. And, finally, a toast to all those sitting at the
bar. To tomorrow's classics, and all those reruns yet to come.