Ever since last call on Cheers, we've longed to go back where everybody knows our name (or at least Norm's name). So it is with a great deal of excitement that TV Guide Online announces that soon we'll be able to do just that by checking out the classic sitcom's first season on DVD (in stores today). What did you think we meant? A real reunion of the original cast? Don't make us laugh until we cry in our beer!
"So many people ask [whether there's been talk of getting together again]," says Shelley Long, who played uppity waitress Diane Chambers from 1982-87. "But no, there hasn't. Everybody's pretty much doing their own thing. We check in with each other in various ways... [though] none of us have really spent much time with each other.
"Most of us did NBC's 75th anniversary [special] last spring, and that was fun, but we didn't really have a lot of time to hang out," she adds. "There were just a zillion people backstage, and everybody was trying to quickly rehearse what few lines we had, because [it was our first chance to do so since] we were coming from all different parts of the country."
Still, the actress understands the show's enduring appeal. After all, Diane's love/hate relationship with bartender Sam Malone (Ted Danson) is just as intoxicating today as it ever was. "I guess it's kind of timeless," she muses, "because I've seen people copying [our formula] all over and I've seen that since the first year! We knew this was a very special project from the start, and we appreciated that.
"Back then, nobody was watching us," she continues. "We were at the very bottom of the ratings, and we knew it. But there wasn't a panic about it, because those were the days when people like [late NBC bigwig] Brandon Tartikoff could say, as he did, 'Let's keep the show. It doesn't have the numbers yet, but it has quality.' Thank God! Bless your soul, Brandon!"
The Emmy winner also is quick to give props to Nick at Nite for letting Cheers have its day, day after day. "I'm amazed," she says. "Since it's available to [kids] in a fresh venue, my daughter's generation is now watching it, and they never watched it. So once again, I've got people newly interested in the show and the character.
"It's always going to be there," she concludes, "and I'm so very proud of the work. I'm grateful that it's there and still being enjoyed." We'll raise our glasses to that!