Back to Classic Sitcoms Home Page

I LOVE LUCY
HONEYMOONERS
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
M*A*S*H
BOB NEWHART
BARNEY MILLER
TAXI
CHEERS

Order Classic Sitcoms now at Amazon.comVisit Our Bookstore!
HomeClassic Sitcoms BookstoreAbout Vince WaldronContact UsOther ChannelsImportant Legal StuffComing Soon to This SiteSite Map
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Cheers
Season Six: 1987-88



SEASON ONE: 1982-83
SEASON TWO: 1983-84
SEASON THREE: 1984-85
SEASON FOUR: 1985-86
SEASON FIVE: 1986-87
SEASON SIX: 1987-88
SEASON SEVEN: 1988-89
SEASON EIGHT: 1989-90
SEASON NINE: 1990-91
SEASON TEN: 1991-92
SEASON ELEVEN: 1992-93
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

Click Here To Order
"Cheers" on Video or DVD

1987-88: THE SIXTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 23.4 (3rd place)

Kirstie Alley arrives in the role of bar manager Rebecca Howe at the start of season six, thus inaugurating a new era in the show's narrative evolution--an era that is launched under the watchful gaze of Cheers creators Glen Charles, James Burrows, and Les Charles, who will continue to serve as the show's executive producers throughout the remaining seasons. Other prominent architects of the show's sixth-season refurbishing include returning producers David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee, executive script consultants Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkellner, creative consultant David Lloyd, executive script consultant Bob Ellison, and executive story editor Phoef Sutton. Tim Berry returns as the show's co-producer, and Mary Fukuto moves into the role of associate producer, a position she will maintain throughout the remainder of the show's long run.


122 Home Is the Sailor    First Aired: September 24, 1987
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Jay Thomas, Jonathan Stark, Al Rosen, Steve Giannelli

Broke and depressed, Sam returns home from an ill-fated sailing trip to discover that his beloved watering hole is no longer the place it once was.

Upon his return to Cheers, the bartender has difficulty figuring out what to make of the bar's new no-nonsense manager--a quandary that had the show's writers equally stymied. "When Glen and Les Charles wrote the first episode with Kirstie," notes sixth-season producer Peter Casey, recalling the writing staff's difficult acclimation to the show's latest addition, "they saw Rebecca as a very cool character, a strong woman--or at least someone who put up the façade of being a strong businesswoman." Perhaps a little too strong, suggests Casey, who recalls that, as initially envisioned, Rebecca's steely edges made the character a less-than-perfect match for the more relaxed comic atmosphere that prevailed at the bar. "To be really honest," admits Casey, "we were having trouble figuring out where we were gonna plumb the humor from this character after the first five episodes that she was in."

To their great relief, explains Casey, the writers finally experienced a major breakthrough in their understanding of the character a few weeks later, during production of the season's sixth episode, "Paint Your Office." "There's a scene in that one where Rebecca finally opens up to Norm. They have a nice little chat, and you finally see that there is a soft side to her character. Once we saw that Rebecca was indeed a little insecure about what she was doing, the character started to open up."

In the view of Cheers writer Dan Staley, who would join the show's writing staff in season eight, the most significant element in Rebecca's comic evolution fell into place only after the show's producers discovered--and quickly learned to exploit--their leading lady's unique facility for stage crying. "At some point," observes Staley, "they discovered that Kirstie could cry a hundred different ways--all of them very funny. That's when they found out that Kirstie was actually very good at playing slapstick. And that's when they began to retool the character to fit these new colors." And so began a character evolution that would, as Staley notes, eventually prove quite dramatic. "If you look at the Rebecca character toward the end of the show and compare her to the character that was introduced in the sixth season, it's almost like you're seeing two different people."


123 "I" On Sports    First Aired: October 1, 1987
Writers: David Isaacs, Ken Levine
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Fred Dryer, Catherine MacNeal, J. Stephen Coyle

Sam jeopardizes his already tenuous standing at Cheers when he accepts an opportunity to moonlight as a TV sportscaster.

Fred Dryer reprises his role as sportscaster Dave Richards, a character who first appeared on one of the show's earliest episodes. Since losing the part of Sam Malone to Ted Danson in the show's original casting sessions, Dryer had become well-known to prime-time audiences as the star of NBC's long-running adventure series Hunter.


124 Little Carla, Happy at Last (Part 1)    First Aired: October 15, 1987
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Jay Thomas, Timothy Williams, Mandy Ingber, Janet Brandt

Carla and Eddie's wedding plans appear to be jinxed after the superstitious pair accidentally catch sight of each other before the ceremony.


125 Little Carla, Happy at Last (Part 2)    First Aired: October 22, 1987
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Jay Thomas, Timothy Williams, Mandy Ingber, Ron Husmann

Sam is determined to defy the jinx that's cast a pallor over Carla's wedding plans; and Rebecca anxiously awaits the arrival of the bar's corporate manager.


126 The Crane Mutiny    First Aired: October 29, 1987
Writer: David Angell
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Ralph Peduto, Tim Cunningham, Alan Koss

Norm and Cliff convince a gullible Frasier that Rebecca has designs on him.


127 Paint Your Office    First Aired: November 5, 1987
Writers: Peter Casey, David Lee
Director: James Burrows

Norm begins to see Rebecca in a more sympathetic light after he moves behind the scenes to paint her private office.


128 The Last Angry Mailman    First Aired: November 12, 1987
Writers: Ken Levine, David Isaacs
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Frances Sternhagen, Kevin Dunn, Don Sparks

Cliff vows to defend his house from the wrecker's ball, despite his mother's apparent eagerness to let the bricks fall where they may.


129 Bidding on the Boys    First Aired: November 19, 1987
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: Thomas Lofaro
Guest Stars: Sharon Barr, Gary Beach

Sam and Woody are talked into offering themselves up as bachelors-for-bid at a Cheers charity auction.


130 Pudd'n Head Boyd    First Aired: November 26, 1987
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Anne Pitoniak, John Paragon, Brigitte

Amateur thespian Woody is delighted to land the part of Mark Twain, until he discovers that his convincing portrayal has attracted the attentions of an elderly patron at Cheers.


131 A Kiss Is Still a Kiss    First Aired: December 3, 1987
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Tom Skerritt, Harry Anderson

Rebecca calls on Sam to serve as her escort when she attends her boss's latest corporate bash.

Night Court star Harry Anderson returns in his occasional role as the bar's resident flim-flam man, Harry the Hat. The episode also features Tom Skerritt's debut as Rebecca's unrequited love interest, Evan Drake. An actor best-known for playing offbeat leading men in such films as M*A*S*H and Alien, Skerritt would eventually earn an Emmy award for his portrayal of small-town sheriff Jimmy Brock on the CBS drama series Picket Fences.


132 My Fair Clavin    First Aired: December 10, 1987
Writer: Phoef Sutton
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Karen Akers, Philip Arthur Ross

Cliff gives his date a beauty makeover that proves more effective than either of them expected; and Rebecca's nerves get frayed after she resolves to quit smoking.


133 Christmas Cheers    First Aired: December 17, 1987
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Directors: James Burrows, Thomas Lofaro
Guest Stars: Jayne Modean, Harry Frazier, Michael Donavon O'Donnell, Hal Havins, Joseph V. Perry

Seasonal Santa Norm gathers a gaggle of his unruly fellow Kringles at Cheers; and Sam searches for an eleventh-hour gift for Rebecca.


134 Woody for Hire Meets Norman of the Apes    First Aired: January 7, 1988
Writer: Phoef Sutton
Director: Tim Berry
Guest Stars: Robert Urich, Paddi Edwards, Betty Vaughn

Cliff enlists an orangutan's help in making a monkey of Norm; and Woody tries to convince his skeptical pals at the bar that he's landed a role on Spenser: For Hire.

Spenser: For Hire star Robert Urich appears as himself.


135 And God Created Woodman    First Aired: January 14, 1988
Writer: Jeffrey Duteil
Director: John Ratzenberger
Guest Stars: Peter Hansen, Jude Mussetter

Havoc ensues when Rebecca hires Sam and Woody to help out at a fancy dinner party that she's catering for her company's chairman of the board.


136 Tale of Two Cuties    First Aired: January 21, 1988
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Director: Michael Zinberg
Guest Stars: Tom Skerritt, Mandy Ingber, Timothy Williams, Bobbie Eakes, Paul Willson

A love-struck Annie Tortelli fills in for her mother-in-law during Carla's latest maternity leave.


137 Yacht of Fools    First Aired: February 4, 1988
Writer: Phoef Sutton
Director: Thomas Lofaro
Guest Stars: Tom Skerritt, Dorothy Parke, Tom Astor, Eddie Frierson, Dominic Hoffman

Sam entertains fantasies of romance on the high seas when he and Rebecca set sail for a weekend cruise on Evan Drake's yacht.


138 To All the Girls I've Loved Before    First Aired: February 11, 1988
Writers: Ken Levine, David Isaacs
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Karen Witter, Deke Anderson, Peter Schreiner, Hugh Maguire, Tom Babson

Frasier wrestles with a bad case of cold feet on the eve of his marriage.


139 Let Sleeping Drakes Lie    First Aired: February 18, 1988
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Tom Skerritt, Cec Verrell, Jay Bell

When Evan Drake hires Norm to paint his bedroom, Rebecca spots a golden opportunity to indulge in a little judicious snooping.


140 Airport V    First Aired: February 25, 1988
Writers: Ken Levine, David Isaacs
Director: George Wendt
Guest Stars: Jay Thomas, Peter Elbling, Robert Starr, Carol Navratil, Pete Gonneau, Michelle Davidson, Peter Schreiner, Tom Babson, Al Rosen, Copper Neal

Frasier tries to cure Carla's fear of flying; and Rebecca frets over an important restaurant critic's review of the bar.


141 The Sam in the Gray Flannel Suit    First Aired: March 3, 1988
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Director: Tim Berry
Guest Stars: Tom Skerritt, Pamela Bowen, Vincent Howard, George Shannon

Rebecca is dismayed to discover that Evan Drake has offered Sam an executive promotion that she'd had her eye on.


142 Our Hourly Bread    First Aired: March 10, 1988
Writer: Susan Herring
Director: Andy Ackerman
Guest Stars: Thomas Ryan, Ron Boussom, Erik Menyuk

When Rebecca pleads poverty in answer to Sam and Woody's request for a raise, the bartenders resolve to improve the bar's financial profile by organizing a raffle.


143 Slumber Party Massacred    First Aired: March 24, 1988
Writer: Phoef Sutton
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Jay Thomas, Elizabeth Ruscio, Mandy Ingber, Timothy Williams, Cynthia Songe

Rebecca and Lilith stage a slumber party in an ill-fated attempt to lift Carla's sagging spirits.


144 Bar Wars    First Aired: March 31, 1988
Writers: Ken Levine, David Isaacs
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Wade Boggs, Robert Desiderio, Tom Rosqui, Greg Collins, Phil Morris

The Cheers regulars recruit Boston Red Sox player Wade Boggs to help them wrest the bar's prized bowling trophy back from their arch-rivals at Gary's Old Towne Tavern.

The show's otherwise nearly unblemished record of casting continuity was slightly tarnished when the producers cast actor Robert Desiderio in the role of Gary for this episode, despite the fact the character had been played by a different actor--Joel Polis--in an earlier episode. Actually, the show's producers had every intention of bringing the original actor back for Gary's second appearance, until it was discovered--after the show had already been locked into the schedule--that Joel Polis was already booked that week. All of which left the producers little choice but to cast the equally capable Robert Desiderio, who would continue to trade off the role of Gary with Polis through the remainder of the show's run.


145 The Big Kiss-Off    First Aired: April 28, 1988
Writers: Ken Levine, David Isaacs
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Carol Francis, Hugh Maguire, Alan Koss, Al Rosen

Woody and Sam lock horns in an unlikely competition to determine who can be first to steal a kiss from the unsuspecting Rebecca.


146 Backseat Becky, Up Front    First Aired: May 5, 1988
Writers: Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Tom Skerritt, Ron Barker, Vincent Howard, George Shannon, Al Rosen

Sam helps a lovelorn Rebecca express her true feelings to the soon-to-be-departing Evan Drake.

 

HomeClassic Sitcoms BookstoreAbout Vince WaldronContact UsOther ChannelsImportant Legal StuffComing Soon to This SiteSite Map