Question: A recent question about spinoff shows (I don't think it was in your column) made me think of something. Wasn't there a spinoff of Cheers called The Tortellis? I think it centered around Carla's extended family. Oddly, I seem to recall that Casey Kasem's wife was on this show. If you could give me some more information about this show I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much. — Elizabeth
Televisionary: There was indeed a short-lived Cheers spinoff called The Tortellis, which starred Dan Hedaya as Carla's ex-husband, Nick, and Jean Kasem as his wife, Loretta, both of whom first appeared on the hugely successful barroom comedy. The setup was that Nick relocated from Boston to Vegas and took teen son Anthony (Timothy Williams) with him in an attempt to patch things up with Loretta, who was out there pursuing a showbiz career. Nick split his time between running a TV repair business and being a talent manager.
Rounding out the wacky cast were Anthony's wife, Annie (Mandy Ingber), and Loretta's sister, Charlotte (Carlene Watkins), who didn't exactly hit it off with Nick. Unfortunately, The Tortellis didn't hit it off with the audience, either. The show debuted on NBC's schedule in January 1987 and was gone by May.