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Publicity artwork for Cheers featuring caricatures of Shelley Long, Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman and Nicholas Colasanto. TV Guide, September 25 - Oct 1 1982, New York Metropolitan edition. Use of this image constitutes fair dealing for review purposes.

"Cheers" is a common phrase used before sharing a drink with someone.

It is also the name of a long-running television sitcom made by Charles-Burrows-Charles Productions in association with Paramount for NBC (September 30, 1982 - 1993) based in a Boston bar, where people would come to sit, drink, state daft facts, complain, and play elaborate practical jokes on the devotees and owner of a rival bar in town. The show is also the birthplace of the character Frasier, who went on to a TV show of his own after Cheers ended. The tagline is "where everybody knows your name..." (lyrics of Cheers theme (http://s9000.furman.edu/~ejorgens/cheers/archives/lyrics.theme)).

The exterior location shots of the bar were actually the Bull and Finch bar, north of Boston Common[?], which has become a tourist attraction because of its association with the series.

The show's main theme was the stormy romance between upper-class, over-educated server Diane Chambers (Shelley Long[?]) and ex-sports hero and bar owner Sam Malone (Ted Danson). Long's departure from the show shifted the emphasis to Sam's relationship with neurotic corporate executive Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley[?]).

The second famous line is "Cheers is filmed before a live studio audience." which is stated at the beginning of all the shows.

The show was created by the James Burrows[?], Glen Charles[?] and Les Charles[?]. It was nearly cancelled during the first season, but eventually became one of the most popular shows on TV, earning a top-ten rating during seven of its eleven seasons. The show earned 26 Emmy Awards, out of a total of 111 nominations.

Social class was a strong subtext of the show. Upper-class characters like Diane, Frasier Crane, Lilith Sternen[?] and Rebecca rubbed shoulders with working-class characters like Sam, Norm Peterson[?], Clifford Claven[?] and Carla Tortelli[?].

The producers were also concerned that the show might be construed as promoting drinking, so they made the main character, Sam Malone, a recovering alcoholic.

Most of the early episodes took place entirely within the confines of the bar, probably for budgetary reasons. Only when the series became a hit were the characters able to venture further afield, first to other sets and eventually to the occasional exterior location.

Today there are several real-life bars called Cheers, but since Paramount owns the name they could be sued if they don't have permission to use it.

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