Cheers (season 6)

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Cheers (season 6)
Cheers season 6.jpg
Region 1 DVD
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes25
Broadcast
Original channelNBC
Original runSeptember 24, 1987 (1987-09-24) – May 7, 1988 (1988-05-07)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1September 13, 2005 (2005-09-13)
Region 2May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14)
Region 4May 3, 2007 (2007-05-03)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 5
Next →
Season 7
List of Cheers episodes
 
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Cheers (season 6)
Cheers season 6.jpg
Region 1 DVD
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes25
Broadcast
Original channelNBC
Original runSeptember 24, 1987 (1987-09-24) – May 7, 1988 (1988-05-07)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1September 13, 2005 (2005-09-13)
Region 2May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14)
Region 4May 3, 2007 (2007-05-03)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 5
Next →
Season 7
List of Cheers episodes

The sixth season of Cheers is an award-winning American television situation comedy set in a Boston bar called "Cheers". It originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 24, 1987 and May 7, 1988. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles under their production company Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television. This season features the debut of Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe.

Background[edit]

Cheers survived low ratings in the first season and changes to the Thursday evening schedule of NBC's primetime block Must See TV, and retained its regular Thursday 9:00 pm Eastern / 8:00 pm Central slot.[1][2][3] In its original broadcast run, 1987–88, Cheers was scheduled against The Cosby Show, A Different World, Night Court, and hour-long drama L.A. Law.[4] An hour-long crime drama Hill Street Blues was moved from Thursdays to Tuesdays in 1986[5] and ended in 1987 after its seven-year run.[6] The sitcom Family Ties moved from Thursday to Sundays in 1987-88.[4]

Cast and characters[edit]

Recurring characters

Season synopsis[edit]

Sam sells the bar to a corporation. Six months later, he becomes the bartender again but no longer owns the bar. Since his last breakup with Diane Chambers, a former waitress, he pursues many women but fails to impress some, especially classier ones. Cliff and his mother Esther (Frances Sternhagen) move out of their home when it was demolished, so they move to a condominium. Eddie impregnates Carla with twin boy and girl, so he marries her. (Carla's pregnancy was incorporated by Rhea Perlman's third pregnancy, which began before the sixth season premiered.[8] Both Perlman and Carla had one in the first season[9] and another in the third.[10]) Since the cancellation of the spin-off The Tortellis, Anthony and Annie Tortelli move from Las Vegas to Boston to live with Carla. They are kicked out by Carla for having a baby at their young age. At the season finale, Evan Drake moves to Japan.

Episodes[edit]

No.No. in
season
Title[11]Directed by[11]Written by[11]Original air date[11]Rating / share
1221"Home Is the Sailor"James BurrowsGlen Charles and Les CharlesSeptember 24, 1987 (1987-09-24)28.4 / 44[rat6 1]
After Sam and Diane break up, Sam sells Cheers to the Lillian Corporation and leaves Boston on his new yacht. Six months later, the yacht sinks and he returns to Cheers where he finds changes; employees must wear uniforms, Carla is pregnant with Eddie's child, the bartender is Wayne (Jonathan Stark), and Rebecca Howe is the bar owner and manager. Rebecca rejects Sam's advances. Sam wants to work as a bartender again, but one bartender must be fired. Sam and Wayne compete to make a Screaming Viking, an unknown cocktail invented by Sam's friends. Wayne loses the contest and quits. Rebecca acknowledges the trick and promises to fire Sam if he tries another trick.
1232"I on Sports"James BurrowsKen Levine and David IsaacsOctober 1, 1987 (1987-10-01)26.1 / 41[rat6 2]
Sam accepts an offer from his friend, sportscaster Dave Richards (Fred Dryer), to temporarily replace him for a week. Sam doubts that Rebecca would let him have a week off. Rebecca allows Sam a week's leave. On his first day, Sam delivers sports news well, but his commentary favors the losing baseball team, Boston Red Sox. On his second day, Sam favors real grass in stadia, but then realizes it cannot be grown indoors. Sam fails to impress people onscreen by rapping and ventriloquy. Sam is convinced that despite bad commentaries, he may be hired permanently as a sportscaster. Sam makes Woody telephone him and pretends to quit the station. Rebecca discovers his ruse.
1243"Little Carla, Happy at Last, Part 1"James BurrowsCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerOctober 15, 1987 (1987-10-15)25.3 / 40[rat6 3]

Carla plans to marry Eddie but wants to quit waitressing due to Eddie's career. Rebecca refuses to allow the wedding reception in the bar. Sam persuades Rebecca that the reception will impress her boss Mr. Drake. A week later on their wedding day, Carla sees Eddie before the wedding, which is traditionally bad luck. Carla hears a telephone announcement that she is having twins. Carla's son Anthony and his wife Annie arrive from Las Vegas to live with Carla, overcrowding her house. Anthony meets Eddie and immediately dislikes him. Eddie's mother (Janet Brandt) meets Carla and dislikes her for being a pregnant bride. Eddie cancels the wedding and runs off.


Cheers was postponed on October 8, 1987, due to Game Two of the 1987 American League Championship Series.[12] On the West Coast, the show's rerun was broadcast.[13]
1254"Little Carla, Happy at Last, Part 2"James BurrowsCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerOctober 22, 1987 (1987-10-22)22.8 / 34[rat6 4]
Rebecca puts Sam in charge of Carla's wedding plans and reluctantly promises to no longer make employees wear uniforms. Sam orders Woody to tell the church that the couple are late, Cliff to retrieve Eddie, Norm to prevent Carla from leaving the office, and Frasier to pick up Carla's gown. Sam persuades Carla and Eddie to reconcile with each other. Woody announces that the church has canceled the wedding. Carla and Eddie get married. Eddie is fired from the Boston Bruins hockey team and replaced with a younger player. No other teams will hire him. Carla decides to be a waitress again. Carla and Eddie dismiss the events as circumstances. Rebecca gets drunk.
1265"The Crane Mutiny"James BurrowsDavid AngellOctober 29, 1987 (1987-10-29)26.8 / 41[rat6 5]
Frasier tells his friends about a recent argument with Lilith. Norm and Cliff persuade Rebecca that she has a mouthpiece. When she licks her lips to remove it, Frasier thinks Rebecca is attracted to him. He tells Lilith about his feelings about another woman and asks Rebecca out, but realizes his mistake when Rebecca does not recognize him. Frasier tries unsuccessfully to reconcile with Lilith, and proposes to her. She accepts. Rebecca replaces a photograph of a baseball player with one of herself. The bar staff vandalize her photograph, so she switches back to the original one for their favor.
1276"Paint Your Office"James BurrowsPeter Casey and David LeeNovember 5, 1987 (1987-11-05)26.0 / 40[rat6 6]
Rebecca forbids Norm from drinking beer and hires him as a painter. Rebecca weeps to Norm, who befriends her. The following day, Rebecca lets Norm drink continually and assigns him to paint her apartment. Sam notices this, and Norm tells him Rebecca is not as cold as he imagined. Sam decides to assist Norm. Norm leaves Rebecca's to deal with his flooded basement. Sam tries to seduce Rebecca but is kicked out.
1287"The Last Angry Mailman"James BurrowsKen Levine and David IsaacsNovember 12, 1987 (1987-11-12)26.4 / 40[rat6 7]
Cliff's mother Esther (Frances Sternhagen) approves the demolition of their old home for $250,000 from a real estate agent (Don Sparks). The following day, Cliff cuffs himself to a pole as a protest after disposing of the key to the handcuffs. Esther alerts Norm, who releases Cliff with a chainsaw, causing the house to collapse. The Cheers regulars learn from Frasier's colleagues that, when she was a college student, Rebecca was a party girl and was nicknamed "Backseat Becky". Rather than admit the truth, Rebecca tells Sam a false story and then collects $10 from Carla, who started the fake story idea and does not learn the truth.
1298"Bidding on the Boys"Thomas LofaroDavid LloydNovember 19, 1987 (1987-11-19)26.4 / 41[rat6 8]
At a charity auction of bachelors held by Rebecca and an MC (Gary Beach), one man is bought for $300, Woody is bought by a cigarette-smoking, middle-aged woman (Sharon Barr) for $400, and Lilith buys Sam for $2,000 to make Frasier jealous. The proceeds surpass those of the previous year's charity auction. Sam and Lilith go to an inn. Under Sam's instructions, Frasier follows them. Lilith seduces Sam, who tries to resist. Frasier is shocked when he sees Lilith and Sam kissing. When Sam leaves, Lilith tells Frasier that she does not intend to have an affair with Sam and that she was aware of Frasier's presence, prompting her to play Frasier for a fool. Frasier and Lilith reconcile.
1309"Pudd'n Head Boyd"
"Puddin' Head Boyd"
James BurrowsCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerNovember 26, 1987 (1987-11-26)19.5 / 36[rat6 9]
Woody portrays Mark Twain as an understudy at a community theater. Dressed as Twain, Woody meets elderly widow Mary (Anne Pitoniak), who becomes attracted to him because of the outfit. When Woody is about to reveal his true identity, Mary admits that she knew Woody is three times younger than her. Sad that he did not get the role, Woody gives a portrayal of Twain for the bar customers. Frasier and Lilith take a Caribbean cruise to relax from the stresses of their jobs.
13110"A Kiss Is Still a Kiss"James BurrowsDavid LloydDecember 3, 1987 (1987-12-03)23.5 / 36[rat6 10]
When Mr. Drake invites Rebecca to his party and mistakes her for a lesbian, Rebecca reluctantly takes Sam along to prove him wrong. Frasier is angry because his paper was rebutted by a college professor, and develops hiccups. At the party, Rebecca humiliates herself by kissing Mr. Drake in front of other guests, prompting him to escort her out. Later, Sam and Rebecca kiss when Mr. Drake arrives to apologize to her. After Mr. Drake leaves, Rebecca tells Sam that she was faking the kiss. She kisses Frasier to prove her fakery, causing him more hiccups.
13211"My Fair Clavin"James BurrowsPhoef SuttonDecember 10, 1987 (1987-12-10)23.1 / 36[rat6 11]
Cliff moves out of Norm's house, buys a condominium, and dates Sally (Karen Akers), a homely woman. Ashamed of Sally's looks, Cliff gives her a makeover with the help of beauty magazines, suggested by Rebecca. When Cliff takes Sally to Cheers, the neighbor Jeff (John Allen) takes Sally out, leaving Cliff alone. Some time later, Sally tells Cliff that she enjoys being with Jeff and likes her new look, and she negatively compliments Cliff in a kind manner. Rebecca relapses into smoking cigarettes. Frasier warns her that smoking will prompt her to do something "disgusting [and] repulsive". Unable to hide her cigarettes from Sam, Rebecca reluctantly decides to sleep with Sam. Sam loses interest in seducing Rebecca because of her lack of enthusiasm.
13312"Christmas Cheers"James Burrows and Thomas LofaroCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerDecember 17, 1987 (1987-12-17)25.5 / 40[rat6 12]

Rebecca schedules all Cheers employees to work on Christmas Eve, delaying Sam's intimate plans. The customers are unhappy and not in the mood to celebrate the Holidays. Woody cancels his Christmas plans in Indiana for a children's play in Boston. Carla does not mind working, but wants to celebrate the Eve before late night. She is annoyed when Al's (Al Rosen) friends and family arrive at 10:30 pm, packing the bar. While the regulars exchange presents, Sam searches for a last-minute gift for Rebecca and buys a pair of diamond earrings worth $500 from a stranger named Tracy (Jayne Modean), mistaking them for earmuffs. As a reward, Rebecca invites Sam to her apartment. Reluctantly wearing Santa Claus suits, Norm and his co-workers encounter a man called "Kris Kringle" (Harry Frazier), who has car trouble and fears that he will get in trouble with his wife. Facing this experience, Frasier becomes cheery and no longer angry about Christmas. At the post office, Cliff tries to beat his rival Walt Twitchell at a food drive contest to win a trip to Walt Disney World. Cliff throws two cans of Chinese food at a plane in attempt to beat Twitchell, delaying all flights.


The character Walt Twitchell does not appear onscreen. Actor Raye Birk reprises this character in "A Diminished Rebecca with a Suspended Cliff" (1992).
13413"Woody for Hire Meets Norman of the Apes"Tim BerryPhoef SuttonJanuary 7, 1988 (1988-01-07)28.1 / 41[rat6 13]
Cliff refuses to pay Norm for painting his condo and hires an orangutan called Duane to replace him. In response, Norm gives Cliff a fee discount and uses Duane as a mailman, insulting Cliff. Rebecca introduces a book club event to replace the men's Sunday pool tournament. The members become drunk by drinking their teas spiked with alcohol, and then they tease Sam and Frasier, causing Rebecca's plan to backfire. Woody tells his friends that he will appear as an extra on the crime series Spenser: For Hire, starring Robert Urich (himself). When the episode airs and he does not appear onscreen, Woody's friends are skeptical. Robert Urich visits Cheers and invites Woody to a party. However, Woody's friends are still skeptical because Rebecca is resting in the office, Sam fails to see Urich, and the other men are playing pool in the back room.
13514"And God Created Woodman"John RatzenbergerJeffrey DuteilJanuary 14, 1988 (1988-01-14)27.9 / 41[rat6 14]
Rebecca reluctantly invites bartenders Sam and Woody to serve at a party of one of her big bosses, Daniel Collier (Peter Hansen). At the party, Woody litters Mr. Collier's large, valuable vase and fails to clean it out. Rebecca tries to clean the vase but breaks it. Woody takes the blame and is invited by Mr. Collier for activities. Woody declines and says that Rebecca is responsible. The following day, Rebecca expects to lose her job. To her relief, Mr. Collier was drunk and apparently does not remember who broke the vase. Seeing an opportunity, Sam takes the blame and is invited by Mr. Collier for activities. Cliff gives men shoes that make squeaky noises, $19.99 for each pair.
13615"Tale of Two Cuties"Michael ZinbergCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerJanuary 21, 1988 (1988-01-21)26.9 / 40[rat6 15]
Carla gives birth to twins—a boy and girl. During Carla's absence, Sam and Rebecca hire two temporary waitresses—Annie, Carla's daughter-in-law and Laurie (Bobbie Eakes), a pretty young woman recommended by Mr. Drake. Within a few weeks, to spite her husband Anthony for his unemployment, Annie repeatedly flirts with Sam. After Sam unsuccessfully tries to stop her from flirting, he sends Anthony to the burger joint where Anthony works as the assistant night manager, prompting Annie to admire Anthony more and quit her job. Rebecca thinks that Laurie is Mr. Drake's lover; she slaps Laurie but regrets it when she discovers that Laurie is Mr. Drake's daughter. Frasier is angry that his friends spoil the stories of the novel Lust for Justice and the miniseries White House Murders. To retaliate, he spoils the endings of Citizen Kane, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Empire Strikes Back. This has no effect on them, but only Woody is shocked that Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader's son.
13716"Yacht of Fools"Thomas LofaroPhoef SuttonFebruary 4, 1988 (1988-02-04)24.9 / 37[rat6 16]
Mr. Drake invites Sam and Rebecca for a weekend on his yacht. Rebecca still wants Mr. Drake, and Sam brings his casual fling Julia (Dorothy Parke) along, posing as his sister. On the yacht, Julia is close to sleeping with Mr. Drake, but Mr. Drake decides not to do so. Instead, Julia goes to bed with Mr. Drake's cook, Lorenzo (Tom Astor). Disappointed at losing Julia, Sam tries to seduce Rebecca, who failed to admit her feelings for Mr. Drake. Rebecca puts Sam's hand into a drawer and slams it shut, injuring his hand. Woody gives customers, including Norm and Cliff, five free rounds of beer as their birthday gifts. Carla discovers the scheme. Norm and Cliff run off and throw money to pay for the free rounds, to divert Carla from chasing after them.
13817"To All the Girls I've Loved Before"James BurrowsKen Levine and David IsaacsFebruary 11, 1988 (1988-02-11)24.7 / 36[rat6 17]
Frasier chooses Sam as his best man, and Lilith picks Rebecca as her bridesmaid. Frasier and Lilith reluctantly let each other have their own parties. Sam hosts Frasier's bachelor party at Cheers, and Rebecca hosts Lilith's bachelorette party to her apartment. At Frasier's party, Frasier recognizes the stripper as one of his patients, Karen (Karen Witter). After Karen leaves, the party becomes depressing. Frasier and Cliff try to duel each other until they set up too many rules to prevent injuries, ruining the appeal of the duel. Lilith, drunk, is brought in and abandoned by the male stripper Randy (Deke Anderson). After a series of their own wedding jitters and fantasies, Frasier and Lilith reconcile. When the parties are over, Rebecca tells Sam that, after Randy's striptease, the women fist-fought over Miracle Whip vs. mayonnaise.
13918"Let Sleeping Drakes Lie"James BurrowsDavid LloydFebruary 18, 1988 (1988-02-18)19.4 / 28[rat6 18]
Frasier tells Sam about a woman who is aroused by male dancers; Sam mistakes Jennifer McCall (Cec Verrell) for her and takes her to his apartment. When Sam's dancing moves fail to impress Jennifer, Frasier tells him that he treated two patients recently: the same woman and another patient treated for pyromania. Realizing that Jennifer is a pyromaniac, Sam rushes back to his apartment to stop Jennifer from making fire. Norm invites Rebecca to Mr. Drake's house, where he repaints the bedroom. Mr. Drake returns unexpectedly. Rebecca hides herself in a closet. Rebecca tries to escape with Norm's help, but the creaky closet door, Mr. Drake's light-headed sleepiness, and his butler, Greyson (Jay Bell), make them unsuccessful. In a final attempt, Norm tells Mr. Drake—annoyed and drowsy in red pajamas—that Norm "dreamt" himself carrying a rich man in red pajamas around, so Mr. Drake reluctantly lets Norm carry him around the garden. Cliff distracts Greyson, and the rest of the regulars use a ladder to help Rebecca escape from the second floor.
14019"Airport V"George WendtKen Levine and David IsaacsFebruary 25, 1988 (1988-02-25)20.4 / 30[rat6 19]

Eddie becomes an ice skater in a penguin suit for ice shows, and invites Carla to see the show in Seattle. She is reluctant to go to Seattle. At first she seems ashamed of Eddie's current job, but she later admits that she fears flying. To challenge her fears, Carla participates in one of Frasier's plane therapy sessions. When the flight ends, Carla has overcome her fears but Frasier panics over dying. Later, Carla flies to Seattle without problems while Frasier is still traumatized. Rebecca dates a very negative critic Murray Treadwell (Peter Elbling), who gives Cheers a more positive review than his last one. When asked whether she slept with Treadwell to obtain a positive review, Rebecca denies it.


Coincidentally, in the spin-off Frasier, Seattle is discovered to be Frasier's birthplace.
14120"The Sam in the Gray Flannel Suit"Tim BerryCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerMarch 3, 1988 (1988-03-03)25.9 / 39[rat6 20]
Mr. Drake promotes Sam as the sales executive, devastating Rebecca at first. Lillian Corporation wins the latest softball game against General Electric. Sam wears Mr. Heppel's shirt and tells Rebecca that he was promoted just after the company reached the playoffs. Rebecca realizes that Sam was hired as Lillian's "ringer" and will be fired after the playoffs. She tells Sam about this, but Sam does not believe her until he realizes that the sales meeting already started without him. When he enters the meeting, Sam meets Mr. Heppel (Vincent Howard) and realizes that she was right. Sam reflects that he would rather be a bartender than an executive. He feigns devastation to seduce Rebecca, but she unenthusiastically gives in and makes sex behavior in a bored manner, scaring him away. Cliff shows Carla a journal article about research into twins that earns a person $50 per twin. She earns $100 for using her twins as part of the research.
14221"Our Hourly Bread"Andy AckermanSue HerringMarch 10, 1988 (1988-03-10)24.9 / 38[rat6 21]
Cliff announces his raise at the post office. Woody and Sam want a raise, but the bar's takings have been declining for three months, risking closure. To increase takings, Sam and Woody raffle a Caribbean cruise, attracting many customers. Woody draws a ball ambiguously marked 66 or 99 without an underline, resulting in two winners. Since the trip is expensive, awarding them the same trip is impossible. Frasier buys a painting, which supposed to represent "man's struggle against intransigent fate," for his and Lilith's one-month anniversary. Lilith considers it a painting of dogs. Instead, Frasier gives her the keys to his Mercedes-Benz car. Sam awards number 66 the painting left behind by Frasier and number 99 the Caribbean cruise. For the raffle's consolidation prize, Woody draws another ambiguously marked ball that resembles numbers 11 and 77, potentially creating another crisis.
14322"Slumber Party Massacred"James BurrowsPhoef SuttonMarch 24, 1988 (1988-03-24)25.1 / 40[rat6 22]
Carla kicks Anthony and Annie out of her house for having a baby, and spends four days at home depressed about becoming a grandmother. Cheers goes through four temporary waitresses, one of whom Rebecca fires for going topless (Cynthia Songe). Rebecca, Lilith, and Lilith's friend Dorothy Greenberg (Elizabeth Ruscio) try to cheer up Carla with a slumber party, but Carla rejects their efforts. Rebecca encourages the regulars to help Carla, but she tells them that the party does not help her feel younger. After the guests leave as ordered, Cliff returns to retrieve his jacket and rips his trousers. When he leaves, Carla starts laughing.
14423"Bar Wars"James BurrowsKen Levine and David IsaacsMarch 31, 1988 (1988-03-31)23.2 / –[rat6 23]

Sam and his Cheers gang have lost 173 sporting competitions to their rival, Gary (Robert Desiderio) and Gary's Old Town Tavern. Cheers' bowling trophy has been stolen by Gary's gang, and is returned to Sam and Woody broken. In retaliation, Sam and Carla give Gary's gang fake glasses that spill drinks on them. Gary's gang find the prank a "weenie"—meaning that it is less effective—humiliating Sam and Carla. Later, phony pest exterminators (Greg Collins and Phil Morris) create a false rat alarm at Cheers, scaring away customers—a prank planned by Gary. The Cheers gang mix prune juice into Gary's Kahlúa, pour sneezing powder into a bar vent, and wax Gary's bar stools. Then the gang harass an innocent newcomer (Tom Rosqui) and accidentally sit on smaller bar stools, changed by Gary's gang. Rebecca is at first flattered by Gary, who seems to apologize, but she finds sheep in the office. Carla hacks Gary's bar television, causing it to play a videotape of Norm and Cliff advertising cheap drinks, driving Gary's customers away. Gary gives up the war and sends Wade Boggs (himself) to the Cheers gang. When Boggs enters, the Cheers gang attack him and pulls down his pants, assuming him to be an impostor. They later regret this when they find he really is Boggs.


Joel Polis and Robert Desiderio alternately reprise the same role of Gary in other episodes.
14524"The Big Kiss-Off"James BurrowsKen Levine and David IsaacsApril 28, 1988 (1988-04-28)23.6 / 38[rat6 24]
Sam and Woody make a bet to be the first to kiss Rebecca until the end of the day. Sam pretends to choke, but evades when Al tries CPR. Woody uses a love scene from a play and attempt to kiss her in the office, but Sam interrupts. Sam kisses another woman Caroline (Carol Francis), who has a crush on her boss, but Rebecca is still unamused. When Rebecca offers Carla a paid day off, Carla tells her about the bet. Rebecca individually tells Sam and then Woody about the bet and tells each to win. Later, Sam accidentally kisses Woody on the couch in the unlit office, horrifying them as planned by Rebecca and the others. Rebecca tells them that she must not be used again.
14625"Backseat Becky, Up Front"James BurrowsCheri Eichen and Bill SteinkellnerMay 5, 1988 (1988-05-05)22.8 / 38[rat6 25]
Mr. Drake is leaving for Tokyo, upsetting Rebecca. Sam locks Mr. Drake's chauffeur Martin (Ron Barker) in the cellar. After a party in the bar, Rebecca hijacks the limousine and fails to admit her feelings when Mr. Drake brings his fiancée Kristy along. When Rebecca stops at 7-Eleven, Mr. Drake and Kristy take a taxi ride to airport. Rebecca is arrested for driving without a chauffeur license; Sam bails her out and takes her to her apartment. With Mr. Drake gone, Sam is able to exploit her loss for sex, but she calls him a "best friend" and he leaves her apartment. To her astonishment, Sam calls her from a payphone and admits that he loosened her bra.

Production[edit]

Kirstie Alley debuts this season as Rebecca Howe to replace Shelley Long's character Diane Chambers.

When Cheers premiered in 1982, the creators intended it to be a comedy about a Boston bar, but they decided to focus on the romance between Sam and Diane that dominated the show for five seasons. James Burrows said the couple would have diminished the importance and relevance of the bar setting if Shelley Long had not left the show in 1987.[8][14] With Diane Chambers written out in last season's finale, "I Do, Adieu", the producers planned to change the show's format without losing the bar.[15] According to Les Charles, Sam was a straight man to Diane; with Diane gone, they made him more carefree and a "goof-off".[16]

We thought of the part as a martinet, a bitch. Then we met [Alley] and there was this vulnerability, so we made her the neurotic woman of the [1980s].[17]

James Burrows, People, October 1990

When Long decided to leave the show, the creators decided to find a new female lead who was unknown to television viewers, would not have blonde hair, and would not resemble Long.[15] Brunette-haired actress Kirstie Alley, who appeared in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the miniseries North and South, and recent film Summer School,[15][16] was one of the first actresses to audition for the role of Rebecca Howe,[16] an executive businesswoman as Diane Chambers was originally conceived.[8][14] Although Alley met all the criteria, the producers continued to audition actresses. None improved on Alley's portrayal of the character, so Alley was cast as Rebecca Howe.[16]

Because of a Writers Guild of America strike in 1988, the season's cliffhanger finale that revolved around Sam's fears of catching AIDS from an old girlfriend was canceled. Les Charles stated that the AIDS plot was so serious that it took all the humor out of the episode. This episode was withdrawn during rehearsals and was substituted with "Backseat Becky, Up Front", which was filmed out-of-sequence.[18]

Reception[edit]

When the season first aired, it scored an overall 23.7 rating (21 million households) as of April 21, 1988.[19] Ron Weiskind of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praised Kirstie Alley's debut performance and was pleased that departing from the "Sam and Diane" story arc helped the show keep fresh. However, Weiskind criticized this season for "lacking energy and spark". He deemed the two-part episode "Little Carla, Happy at Last" "a slipshod effort with [flat lines, miscalculated situations], indifferent performances, and sagging direction".[20]

This season has been reviewed in later years. Jeffrey Robinson of DVD Talk awarded this season four stars out of five. He praised the chemistry of Frasier and Lilith and found their stories funny; he also praised new character Rebecca Howe and old characters. He chose "I on Sports" as one of his favorites and found this season's remaining episodes "delightful [and] entertaining".[21] David Johnson of DVD Verdict gave the acting in the season 95 percent, calling it "great". Johnson gave this season 85 percent, calling it "laugh-out-loud funny"; he praised the bar scenes, yet found scenes outside the bar "flat".[22] Total Film gave this season four stars out of five.[23] Todd Fuller of Sitcoms Online praised Kirstie Alley's "comedic skills" and chemistry with Ted Danson, and found the writing "similar" to other seasons, despite changes over the years.[24]

Accolades[edit]

Andy Ackerman won an Emmy Award in 1988 for an Outstanding Editing in a Multi-camera Production Series for editing the episode "The Big Kiss-Off" (1988) and was the only award winner of this season. The show was nominated as an Outstanding Comedy Series of the season. All of the cast except Bebe Neuwirth were nominated for the respective Lead and Supporting categories. "The Last Angry Mailman" (1987) earned the sound mixing crew a nomination for an Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special. The season premiere "Home Is the Sailor" earned Glen and Les Charles a nomination for an Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. The season finale "Backseat Becky, Up Front" earned James Burrows a nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.[25]

DVD Release[edit]

Season six of Cheers has been released as a DVD boxset containing four discs. This release has no special features, interviews or commentaries.[22] Jeffrey Robinson of DVD Talk awarded the standard of the audio and video two and a half stars out of five, calling the video "a little dirty with a trace of grain" and audio "fairly good, clear, and crisp, [but] very flat".[21] David Johnson of DVD Verdict rated the audio and video quality 80 percent each.[22]

Cheers: The Complete Sixth Season
Set Details[21]
Release Dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
September 13, 2005May 14, 2007May 3, 2007

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jory, Tom (May 11, 1983). "Taxi, Fame Get the Ax as NBC Announces Fall Lineup". Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky). p. D5.  Record no: 8301230394. (registration required)
  2. ^ "Buffalo Bill Returns Dec. 15". The Miami Herald. December 2, 1983.  Record no: 8304060082.
  3. ^ Ed Bark (April 28, 1985). "NBC's SEASON IS THE COS FOR CELEBRATION - Bill Cosby's show rescues the network from the bottom of the TV ratings pile". The Dallas Morning News. p. 1C. 
  4. ^ a b "Vietnam War series, Cosby spinoff added to Thursday lineup this fall". The Vindicator. Knight-Ridder Newspapers. September 17, 1987. p. 24. 
  5. ^ "Hill Street Blues switching to Tuesdays to fight Moonlighting and boost L.A. Law". The Windsor Star. Associated Press. November 14, 1986. p. C10. 
  6. ^ Dawson, Greg (November 19, 1987). "Magic Gone From NBC's Thursday Lineup". The Orlando Sentinel. 
  7. ^ Raftery, Brian (October 2012). "The Best TV Show That's Ever Been". GQ. 
  8. ^ a b c "Crowd at 'Cheers' toasts new season with new boss". The Register-Guard (TV Week). p. 13. 
  9. ^ Buck, Jerry (April 24, 1983). "Rhea Perlman Mixes Real Life with Series". The Press-Courier (Oxnard, California). TV Week, p. 7. Retrieved July 23, 2012, at Google News Archive.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ Shister, Gail (January 16, 1985). "Shelley Long's pregnancy will keep her off Cheers". Beaver County Times. p. C9. 
  11. ^ a b c d Bjorklund, pp. 359–374
  12. ^ "Thursday's TV Programs". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 8, 1987. p. 24. 
  13. ^ "On TV". The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). October 8, 1987. p. 9D. 
  14. ^ a b Baker, Kathryn (September 5, 1987). "Long's departure has 'Cheers' cast on edge". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). 
  15. ^ a b c Saunders, Dusty (July 31, 1987). "Many changes in store for 'Cheers'". The Vindicator. p. 12. 
  16. ^ a b c d Harmetz, Aljean (September 23, 1987). "Changes on 'tap' at 'Cheers'". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). p. 1C. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  17. ^ Reed, J.D. (October 29, 1990). "The Tears Behind the Cheers". People. 
  18. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (April 20, 1988). "Writers' strike stops TV season in its tracks". The Vindicator. p. 42. 
  19. ^ "NBC Wins In Ratings For Season". The New York Times. Associated Press. April 21, 1988. 
  20. ^ Weiskind, Ron (November 19, 1987). "L.A. Law ruled best of Thursday TV lineup". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 22.  Name of author confirmed in this link.
  21. ^ a b c Robinson, Jeffrey (September 13, 2005). "Cheers - The Complete Sixth Season". DVD Talk. 
  22. ^ a b c Johnson, David (October 10, 2005). "Cheers: The Complete Sixth Season". DVD Verdict. 
  23. ^ "Cheers: Season 6". Total Film. May 14, 2007. 
  24. ^ Fuller, Todd (September 6, 2005). "Cheers: The Complete Sixth Season". 
  25. ^ Bjorklund, p. 460.

References[edit]

Ratings notes[edit]

Unless otherwise, the main source of Nielsen ratings is the newspaper Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to that main source, ratings of 1987-88 were based on 88.6 million households that have at least one television.

  1. ^ "Top 10: Sep. 21-27, 1987". September 30, 1987. p. 23. 
  2. ^ "Top 10: Sept. 29-Oct. 4, 1987". October 7, 1987. p. 29. 
  3. ^ "Top 10: Oct. 12-18, 1987". October 21, 1987. p. 29. 
  4. ^ "Top 10: Oct. 19-25, 1987". October 29, 1987. p. 23. 
  5. ^ "Top 10 (Oct. 26-Nov. 1)". November 4, 1987. p. 21.  The article erroneously said that the ratings were based on "87.4 million" households.
  6. ^ "Top 10: Nov. 2-8, 1987". November 11, 1987. p. 21. 
  7. ^ "Top 10: Nov. 9-15, 1987". November 19, 1987. p. 22. 
  8. ^ "Top 10: Nov. 16-22, 1987". November 26, 1987. p. E-30. 
  9. ^ "Top 10: Nov. 23-29, 1987". December 2, 1987. p. 27. 
  10. ^ "Top 10: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 1987". December 9, 1987. p. 29. 
  11. ^ "Top 10: Dec. 7-13, 1987". December 17, 1987. p. 25. 
  12. ^ "Top 10: Dec. 14-20, 1987". December 24, 1987. p. 15. 
  13. ^ "Top 10: Jan. 4-10, 1988". January 13, 1988. p. 22. 
  14. ^ "Top 10: Jan. 11-20, 1988". January 20, 1988. p. 25.  The week should have been Jan. 11-17, 1988; '20' in the title may be a typo.
  15. ^ "Top 10: Jan. 18-24, 1988". January 27, 1988. p. 21. 
  16. ^ "Top 10: Feb. 1-7, 1988". February 10, 1988. p. 19. 
  17. ^ "Top 10: Feb. 8-14, 1988". February 17, 1988. p. 29. 
  18. ^ Feder, Robert (February 24, 1988). "Olympics place ABC in the winner's circle". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 41.  Record no. CHI280782. For week of February 15, 1988.
  19. ^ "Top 10: Feb. 22-28, 1988". March 2, 1988. p. 19. 
  20. ^ "Top 10: Feb. 29-Mar. 6, 1988". March 9, 1988. p. 29. 
  21. ^ "Top 10: March 7-13, 1988". March 16, 1988. p. 25. 
  22. ^ "Top 10: March 21-27, 1988". March 30, 1988. p. 25. 
  23. ^ "NBC rules ratings for 5 weeks straight". San Jose Mercury News. Associated Press. April 6, 1988. p. 8-C.  Record no. 8803020050. 23.2 rating approximately equates to 20.6 million homes.
  24. ^ "Top 10: April 25-May 1, 1988". May 4, 1988. p. 26. 
  25. ^ "Top 10: May 2-8, 1988". May 11, 1988. p. 19. 

External links[edit]