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Cheers (season 2)

Cheers Template:Str sub
File:Cheers season 2.jpg
Region 1 DVD
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original channel NBC
Original release September 29, 1983 (1983-09-29) – May 10, 1984 (1984-05-10)
Season chronology
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Season 1
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Season 3
List of Cheers episodes

The second season of Cheers, an American situation comedy television series, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 29, 1983, and May 10, 1984, with 22 episodes. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles, and was produced by Charles Burrows Charles Productions in association with Paramount Television. The second season has been released on DVD as a four-disc set.

The show won Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series, in 1983 and 1984. Critical reception was mostly positive, with negative commentary about the extended romance between Sam and Diane.


During season one (1982–1983), the show's Nielsen ratings were very low, despite strong, positive reviews. Nonetheless, NBC renewed the show for another season, which was announced on March 13, 1983.[1] In mid-1983, reruns improved the show's ratings, which rose into the top 20 for most episodes.[2] Four days before the second season premiered, the show won five Emmy Awards out of thirteen nominations, including an Outstanding Comedy Series of 1982–83.[3][4] Meanwhile, Taxi and Fame, two shows that were originally part of NBC's 1982–83 Thursday night lineup, struggled with low ratings.[5] Taxi was moved from Thursday to Saturday,[6] and Fame was moved into first-run syndication.[7] As announced in May 1983, the Fall 1983 Thursday lineup consisted of, in order of time sequence starting at 8pm (Eastern) / 7pm (Central), Gimme a Break!, Mama's Family, We Got It Made, Cheers and Hill Street Blues.[5]

Cast and characters

  • Sam Malone (Ted Danson)—a bartender, bar owner, recovering alcoholic, and ex-baseball player.
  • Diane Chambers (Shelly Long)—a college student and waitress. She is often pretentious, annoys customers with her lengthy speeches, and becomes the butt of their jokes.[8]
  • Ernie "Coach" Pantusso (Nicholas Colasanto)—an aging bartender and retired baseball coach. Coach is vulnerable to other people's exploits, and is a father figure—especially to Sam and Diane. Although he lacks intelligence, he reveals a glimmer of deep wit.
  • Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman)—a brassy, divorced waitress. She gives birth to a baby girl and watches her disloyal ex-husband Nick (Dan Hedaya)—unseen in the first season—marry Loretta, an unintelligent blonde.
  • Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger)—a mailman. During this season it is revealed that he is Norm's best friend. Cliff constantly makes misleading and trivial references, which others find annoying and excessive. In the first season, Ratzenberger was often credited as a guest star, but he appears in the opening credits of the main cast in this season and thereafter.[9]
  • Norm Peterson (George Wendt)—semi-unemployed accountant who during this season divorces and then remarries his wife Vera.

Sam and Diane finally pair up, but their relationship is dysfunctional and has problems. They have fulfilling casual sex but seem to have little else in common.[10] They constantly compete with each other, argue, break up, and make up again until they end their on-again, off-again relationship at the end of the season.[11]


Further information: List of Cheers episodes

Original air dates of following episodes are not actual premiere dates for some television stations of the United States, like KTUU-TV from Anchorage, Alaska. In those areas, episodes may have been broadcast at later dates.[12]

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Title[13] Directed by[13] Written by[13] Original air date[13] Rating / share / rank


The second season of Cheers was scheduled against CBS's Simon & Simon and various ABC programs, including the short-lived sitcom It's Not Easy[14] and short-lived medical drama Trauma Center.[15] The season scored an average rating of 17.6 and achieved a 27% audience share in its first seven weeks.[14] In December, We Got It Made was on hiatus and later moved to Saturdays,[16] Buffalo Bill took over the 9:30pm time slot, and Cheers was shown at 9pm.[17] At the end of the season, Cheers finished in 35th place in the Nielsen ratings.[18]


This season was reviewed at the time of its first broadcast on NBC. According to an April 26, 1984, survey from The Philadelphia Inquirer (polled by almost 5,000 people) and an April 1984 survey from Cincinnati Enquirer, Cheers was one of the top ten favorite programs.[18] David Bianculli from Knight Ridder news agency praised it as "the best comedy on TV".[19] Ron Miller and Steve Sonsky from the same news agency gave the same praise.[10][20] Sonsky said the show was hilarious, unrealistic, absurd, superbly crafted and " ... its just the way comedy should be: comic exaggeration built on a grain of truth you can identify with".[10]

Other reviews were less than positive. According to Sonsky, Harry Stein writing for TV Guide said Cheers and shows like it are "destructive". Sonsky wrote that Stein and other critics "call[s] such shows to task for failing to display ... commendable and enduring relationships, based on trust and moral values".[10] Mike Boone from the Montreal newspaper The Gazette wrote that the romance between Sam and Diane lasted far too long, spoiled the atmosphere of the bar, and transformed the supporting cast into a "Greek chorus of concerned bystanders".[21] Fred Rothenberg from The Associated Press said the program's second season "had some great shows, but dwelled incessantly on the conflict between Sam and Diane without developing the other characters .[22]

20 years after the series was first broadcast, reviews grew more positive. Adam Arseneau from DVD Verdict gave the series a rating of 90 percent on story and 93 percent on acting.[23] Shannon Nutt from DVD Talk rated it four stars out of five for content.[24] Kyle Crawford from called it "smartly written and well acted".[25] Robert David Sullivan ranked the two-part season finale "I'll Be Seeing You" at number four in his list of top 100 favorite sitcom episodes, and wrote that trying to change each other and hurting each other—physically or emotionally—took its toll on Sam and Diane's relationship.[26] The A.V. Club graded "I'll Be Seeing You" A-. Meredith Blake of that website wrote that a fight scene—which she described as a "[t]hree Stooges-esque nose-pinching, face-slapping farce"—is "sublimely well-executed, but it also has a troubling subtext". Blake added, "[w]hen Diane expresses her shock over the violence, Sam fires back that he hadn’t hit her as hard as he wanted to. It sounds less like a defense of his behavior than a confession to even darker emotions."[27] TV Guide named "How Do I Love Thee... Let Me Call You Back" a "classic episode".[28]


In response to criticism on Diane and Sam's relationship, Cheers‍ '​ creators said that they still entertained viewers without diminishing the show's quality and going out of character.[10] Les Charles, the co-creator, co-writer, and producer of Cheers, said that the on-and-off relationship between Sam and Diane would evolve into consummation and was never meant to last. Charles said that Sam and Diane have strong chemistry but incompatible backgrounds.[10] Glen Charles said that Sam and Diane still antagonize each other, no matter what the state of relationship.[29] Director James Burrows said that pairing Diane and Sam was not a mistake and that keeping them apart for the whole season would have been worse.[30] The cliffhanger after their breakup in the two-part season finale "I'll Be Seeing You" was intended so that "[t]he audience will have all summer to wonder whether Sam will ever see Diane again", said Charles. Meanwhile, writers planned to give Diane another love interest for the next season.[11]

In August 25, 1983, a fire broke out at Paramount Studios where Cheers was filmed. Two or three sound stages and four outdoor sets were destroyed; the show's production set and the rest of the studios were unharmed.[31][32] Diane's apartment is the first place outside the bar to appear on screen since the season premiere "Power Play".[33] John Ratzenberger, who appeared frequently as a guest star in the first season, was billed in the second season as a permanent character on the opening credits.[34] In 1984, NBC renewed the show for its third season (1984–1985).[20]


Cheers received twelve Emmy Award nominations for the 1983–84 season and won four, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Rhea Perlman won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, David Angell won Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for "Old Flames", and Andrew Chulack won Outstanding Film Editing for a Series.[35] Cheers received three Golden Globe nominations for Best Musical/Comedy Series of 1983; Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy Series (Ted Danson), and Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Series (Shelley Long);[36] neither were won in 1984.[37] Of the nominees for 1984, Shelley Long won a Golden Globe in 1985 as the Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Series.[38]

DVD release

This season was released into Region 1 DVD on January 6, 2004, almost twenty years its first television broadcast.[24] Adam Arseneau of DVD Verdict rated the video 91 percent. He rated audio 84 percent and found it "less spectacular".[23]

Cheers: The Complete Second Season
Set Details[24][39] Special Features[24]
  • Strictly Top Shelf: The Guys Behind The Bar
  • Cliff's Notes: The Wisdom of Cliff Clavin
  • Carla The Comeback Queen: Insults For Every Occasion
  • Di Another Day: Diane Chambers From A-Z
  • Gag Reel: Bloopers From Season 2
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
January 6, 2004 24 June 2004 5 May 2004



  1. ^ "Cheers for a second season". Beaver County Times (Beaver County, Pennsylvania: Beaver Newspapers, Inc). The Associated Press. March 13, 1983. p. D7. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ Scott, Vernin (September 22, 1983). "Cheers Boosted by Reruns". Reading Eagle. United Press International. p. 37. Retrieved July 6, 2012 – via Google News Archives. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Bob (September 26, 1983). "Television's Best Honored at 35th Annual Emmy Awards". Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina). The Associated Press. p. B10. Retrieved July 5, 2012 – via Google News Archives.  Note: Lexington Herald-Leader credits an author, not the Spartanburg.
  4. ^ Bjorklund, pp. 457-458.
  5. ^ a b Jory, Tom (May 11, 1983). "Taxi, Fame Get the Ax as NBC Announces Fall Lineup". Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky). p. D5 – via NewsBank.  Record no: 8301230394. (registration required)
  6. ^ Bob Wisehart. "Taxi switch distressing news for tuned-in television viewers". The Gazette (Montreal). p. B-6. 
  7. ^ Ron Miller (October 8, 1983). "Fame now in syndication, sporting a new look". p. 3-D. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  8. ^ Buck, Jerry (January 23, 1983). "Cheers provides tough education". The Modesto Bee. Associated Press. p. 3, TV Magazine. Retrieved August 24, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  9. ^ Bjorklund, pp. 281.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Steve Sonsky (May 4, 1984). "Cheers has quick shot of suspense". Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta (Canada)). Knight Ridder. p. C5. Retrieved September 14, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  11. ^ a b "Splitting Up Takes Nights For Sam, Diane Of 'Cheers'". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio: The Associated Press). May 3, 1984. p. P6.  "[The breakup]" was originally "It". "It" may also refer to "[the relationship]", but the relationship of Sam and Diane has evolved into on-again, off-again over the years.
  12. ^ "Television (Thursday)". Anchorage Daily News. October 13, 1982. Retrieved November 15, 2012 – via Google News Archive.  The season premiere "Power Play" aired on October 13, 1983, in Anchorage, Alaska.
  13. ^ a b c d Bjorklund, pp. 297–310 "Season Two: 1983–84".
  14. ^ a b Unknown author from The New York Times (December 10, 1983). "Cheers sparkling dialogue – a rare commodity on network TV". The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). TV Week, p. 31. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  15. ^ "Thursday, Nov. 17; Highlights". The News and Courier/New York Evening Post (Charleston, South Carolina). November 17, 1983. p. 22-D. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  16. ^ Rick Sherwood (March 23, 1984). "We Got It Made moves". Wilmington Morning Star. p. 5C. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News. 
  17. ^ "Buffalo Bill Returns Dec. 15". The Miami Herald. December 2, 1983.  Record no: 8304060082. NewsBank:, (registration required)
  18. ^ a b David Bianculli (May 14, 1984). "The Shows Readers Love and Hate Most". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D01.  Record no: 8401260419. NewsBank: (registration required).
  19. ^ David Bianculli (June 14, 1984). "Can NBC Recapture Thursday Glory?". Lexington Herald-Leader. Knight Ridder News Service. p. D3. Retrieved September 14, 2012.  Record no: 8401240406. NewsBank: (registration required).
  20. ^ a b Ron Miller (July 23, 1984). "Tube Notes". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). Knight Ridder. p. 8D. Retrieved September 13, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  21. ^ Boone, Mike (2 May 1984). "Cheers! Sam and Diane's breakup is a TV event worth drinking to". The Gazette. p. E12. 
  22. ^ Fred Rothenberg (September 21, 1984). "William Daniels, St. Elsewhere get critic's vote". Beaver County Times. The Associated Press. p. A15. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  23. ^ a b Adam Arseneau (March 8, 2004). "Cheers: The Complete Second Season". DVD Verdict. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c d Shannon Nutt (January 6, 2004). "Cheers: The Complete Second Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  25. ^ Kyle Crawford (February 11, 2004). "Cheers - The Complete Second Season". Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  26. ^ Sullivan, Robert David (December 11, 2012). "Top 100 sitcom episodes of all time, No. 4: "I'll Be Seeing You," Cheers (1984)". Robert David Sullivan. 
  27. ^ "Cheers: "I’ll Be Seeing You" (season 2, episodes 21-22); originally aired 5/3 and 5/10/1984". The A.V. Club. April 26, 2012. 
  28. ^ TV Guide: TV on DVD 2006: The Ultimate Resource to Television Programs on DVD. 2005. p. 54. ISBN 0-312-35150-X. 
  29. ^ Fred Rothenberg (October 13, 1983). "Love won't spoil Sam and Diane on Cheers". Anchorage Daily News. p. E11. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  30. ^ Vernon Scott (August 11, 1984). "Cheers remodeled for new season". The Modesto Bee. United Press International. p. B-8. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  31. ^ John Antczak (August 26, 1983). "Fire destroys sets, stages at Paramount". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). The Associated Press. p. 18. Retrieved August 17, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  32. ^ "Fire destroys Paramount sound stages". Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, California). United Press International. August 26, 1983. p. 8. Retrieved August 17, 2012 – via Google News Archive. 
  33. ^ "Cheers Surges from Ratings Slump". The Bulletin. United Press International. September 30, 1983. p. 30. Retrieved July 7, 2012 – via Google News Archives. 
  34. ^ Bjorklund, pp. 281–295.
  35. ^ Bjorklund, p. 458.
  36. ^ "Terms of Endearment, Yentl lead Golden Globe nominations". The Pittsburgh Press. United Press International. January 11, 1984. p. C11. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google. 
  37. ^ "Terms Top Golden Globe winner". The Associated Press. January 30, 1984. p. 16. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google. 
  38. ^ "Golden Globe awards list". Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, Missouri). January 28, 1985. p. 2. Retrieved September 18, 2012 – via Google. 
  39. ^ "Cheers - Season 2". Retrieved January 5, 2013. 

Ratings notes

These sources were accessed at NewsBank, which requires registration. Except where noted, they were originally published in print editions of The Miami Herald newspaper.

External links