Cheers

Season 1 Episode 1

Give Me a Ring Sometime

11
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 1982 on NBC

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  • Notes

    • TV Guide citation: In the October 9, 1982 issue of TV Guide, there is a feature article on Ted Danson which contains quotes from creator Glen Charles about the show's genesis. Also, there are quotes from Shelley Long and Nicholas Colasanto about their costar.

      "The show grew out of an NBC guarantee to Les and Glen Charles and James Burrows to develop a 13-week unspecified series. "We wanted to do an ensemble show, like M*A*S*H or Taxi, rather than a family story," Glen Charles says. "First we thought of setting it in a hotel, to bring a lot of different people together. Then we realized that much of the action takes place in the bar, so we dropped the hotel and concentrated on the bar."
      "Being sports fans, we decided our bar owner would be an ex-football player. We actually tested some ex-players (most notably Fred Dryer) for the role. But we finally decided we needed a professional actor to carry the role. Ted had made an episode of Taxi and we saw him in 'Body Heat," and he seemed to have the right blend of humor and character, and the right responses for a leading man. Except that he was the most unathletic person we tested. So we rebuilt the show to suit him. With his height and build, he could be a baseball player. We concluded that a former relief pitcher would add humor to the show since some of them, like Tug McGraw, tend to be flaky anyway. And all of his friends would not have to be 275 pounds. Now we find him developing into a jock before our eyes." He smile. "Of course, we wouldn't let him throw a baseball yet. That might be a little risky."

      Shelley Long then adds, "We tested together for the parts and that was real Tension City. Ted kept saying, 'Oh gee, I'm not good at improvisation, I'm not good at comedy,' and I said, 'Oh, pshaw, you're a good actor, that's the No. 1 priority in improvisation.' We did two scenes from the pilot and he was terrific. On the other hand, the other day I called him up about some business matter and wound up crying on his shoulder about this week's show. It was his turn to reassure me. It's like in the show itself. The show's not so much about his character or my character, but about two people who care for each other and help each other."

      Nicholas Colasanto adds, "Teddy and I have a real father-and-son relationship," says Colasanto, a veteran of 30 years in show business who counts Cheers among "eight or ten things I'm proud of. We give a lot of help to each other."

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