‘Cheers’ Star Kelsey Grammer Opened Up About How Important Boston Was to Show

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect)

Kelsey Grammer has had quite the run in Hollywood. Similar to Bob Odenkirk, Grammer started with one gigantic show in Cheers as a supporting cast member, but later got his own spinoff series called Frasier years later. Both were extremely successful like Odenkirk with Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. However, what was it about Cheers that made the program so popular for so long. Well, part of that was how important Boston was to the show. In an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Grammer talked about the city was critical to the show’s success.

“It was based upon the three guys, Jimmy Burrows and the two Charles brothers sitting in that bar in Boston,” Grammer told Eisen. It was a simple show. They wanted to just do a show that combined that bar and sports in Boston because of how connected that city was to sports as a whole. Remember, the main character, Sam, played by Ted Danson, was written as a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox on Cheers.

Shelley Long Returns to ‘Cheers’

One of the biggest mid-show swings was Long’s decision to leave the big-time program in the fifth season. It was a big move that opened the door to Kirstie Alley joining the show. The show continued on for another half-decade. However, folks wondered if she would return for the finale.

Shelley told Variety, “It was a dream to have Diane come back. To have the show end the right way, you kind of needed to get some closure on that relationship. I think it was one of those things where people thought, “Well, the only thing we can do is ask [Shelley Long]. You can’t get a ‘yes’ until you ask a question.” But she was an incredible trooper about it.”

It was important. She was such a critical part of the early seasons of Cheers, especially her love interests with Sam. Things thankfully worked out.

Ken Levine added, “Of course, there’s the debate that’s still raging as to whether or not Sam and Diane should’ve gotten together at the end or not. I know there were a lot of people that were disappointed and were just kind of hoping for that fairytale ending of Sam and Diane riding off into the sunset happily ever after, but the decision was ultimately made for them to be apart, and I have to say that I agree with that decision.”

Fans still debate this today. Should Sam and Dianne have worked out on the program? It’s a fair question to wonder. The two were so different, but that is partly what made them work so well, too. It was simply quite complicated for the two of them until the end on Cheers.