Wednesday, November 4, 2015

'Cheers' for Timeless Television


'Cheerswas a classic sitcom that ran for over 10 years. The show was centered on a Boston bar named ‘Cheers’ that was the hangout for some seriously funny and bit eccentric patrons. As for the cast, its owner, Sam Malone, played by actor Ted Danson. Sam was a retired major league baseball player who loved the ladies, in today's lingo, he’d be called a player. With an all-star cast including such legendary actors as, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Pearlman, Kelsey Grammer and Shelly Long, and a great supporting cast, Cheers was one of the most popular sitcoms to ever hit the airwaves.

But the success of Cheers was more than just great acting.

"It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear.” It was lines like this in this case, delivered by Norm Peterson, played by actor George Wendt, which made the sitcom such a hit. It was this combination of great writing and great acting that elevated Cheers to its lofty status. A bar “where everybody knows your name” became a place that was almost real. A place that the average working American could relate to. Sam Malone and his skirt chasing, or mailman Cliff Clavin and his half-witted trivia knowledge, were all characters we could relate to in real life. And who can forget the constant feuds, and hilarious exchanges between actress Rhea Perlman’s character Carla, and Diane Chambers played by Shelly Long.

A great show like this begs the questions: Could one of the major television networks bring Cheers back? But more importantly: Would it work in this day and age?


If a major network were to reboot the show, it would need a new approach, a modern-day makeover so to speak. A new, fresh setting and a few updated characters might be enough to make a reboot of Cheers successful. The original Cheers was set in Boston with an all-white cast. Adding a few minorities would make a reboot more interesting and attract a larger demographic, while adding a modern flavor to the show. Characters like Sam could be an ex-pro football quarterback rather than an ex-pitcher. Simple changes like this could make a reboot very successful. 

Cheers was such a hit because people could relate to the characters, for a successful reboot, the plots and story-lines, as well as the characters, would have to have something in common with the average working American.

If the show could become a hit again like it was in the 80's, it’d have to compete and outshine sitcoms like 'Sullivan & Son', 'Modern Family' and 'The Big Bang Theory'. For a sitcom to be successful, it needs to attract a wide audience that can relate to the story, the setting and the plot lines. But most of all, it has to be funny, as having great acting isn’t enough; it must be partnered with great writing. With the right combination of hot new stars, a fresh look, and story-lines that people can relate to, Cheers could come back with a vengeance.