A theme for today’s Friday questions: CHEERS.
Steve asks a multi-parter:
Many, many shows struggle with the issue of how to keep sexual tension between the leads without alienating fans annoyed with the "when will they do it?"question, or what to do once they finally do it.
All these years later, what's your take on how Cheers handled the Sam & Diane relationship? What do you think would or should have happened if Shelley Long stayed on the show? And what did you think of the Sam and Rebecca relationship? Finally, any general thoughts about how to handle this difficult but common issue?
I think it’s much harder to sustain sexual chemistry now because couples in real life hook up much sooner. It just isn’t real for a TV couple to be playing cat and mouse with each other for two full seasons, or even one. They start to act like grown ups still in Junior High.
I don’t know how the Sam & Diane relationship would have evolved had Shelley remained on the show. I sort of felt we were treading water her last two seasons.
Sam and Rebecca were never meant to have sexual chemistry. But the actual relationship between them kept changing as Rebecca’s character kept changing. At first she was a real martinet. But that didn’t work. Once she became an emotional disaster area then she was comic gold.
One season our arc was that Sam was going to try to get into her pants. For the entire year he resorted to one unconscionable ploy after another.
NBC tested the show that season and Sam tested the highest. Why? Because the audience found him sympathetic, with high morals, and very protective of everyone at the bar. Huh??? What fucking show were THEY watching? Sam did everything but slip her a roofie.
In Splat’s own words:
I have some rather anal questions about the "Cheers is filmed before a live studio audience" announcement.
a) What prompted it?
b) Was there some rule about which actor would introduce each episode?
We were getting complaints from viewers who thought we were leaning on the laugh track too hard. They didn’t believe that the laughs were real (which they were). So the decision was made to tell the viewers that the show was filmed in front of a live studio audience. Of course the complaints continued. People still didn’t believe that the laughs were genuine (which they were).
There was no rule as to which actor voiced it from week to week. They all recorded the disclaimer and the post production guys just rotated them I guess.
Anonymous (please leave a name) wonders…
… if any of the other Cheers writers have blogs/websites or plan on getting them in the future.
Earl Pomerantz has a fabulous blog. Tom Leopold has a website. Rob Long does a weekly commentary on KCRW that is a must. Sam Simon is on Twitter. @simonsam. You might want to follow him. A number of CHEERS scribes have Facebook pages but they’d have to confirm you as a friend. And I’m trying to get my partner to start his own religious cult.
Been falling a little behind on the questions. Will try to sprinkle in a few more question days throughout the next few weeks. So keep ‘em coming. As always, THANKS!
Now tomorrow I'm experimenting. Join me for my blog telethon. It's for a GREAT cause and I've lined up some unbelievable talent. That's tomorrow. Many posts. All day. I better get some sleep now.