Cheers is one of the longest running and most successful sitcoms ever on television. It ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993, and then produced a spinoff, Frasier, which ran for an additional 11 seasons. In 2021, Cheers was voted as the second best sitcom ever by Rolling Stone Magazine. The Simpsons took the Number 1 spot.
As with other traditional 3-camera sitcoms, Cheers was filmed on a soundstage in Hollywood, and featured a live studio audience. Throughout it’s run, Cheers was based on Stage 25 at Paramount Studios. The show, however, was set at a local bar in Boston. Despite the bar being named “Cheers” on the show, it’s inspiration was the Bull & Finch Bar in Boston’s Beacon Hill. Due to the show’s success, visitors at the restaurant skyrocketed, and it became one of Boston’s top destinations. In 2002, the owner changed the name of the bar to “Cheers Beacon Hill“.
The bar was not only the inspiration for the show, but was also used as the setting. Shots of the Boston location appear during the opening credits and as establishing shots during most episodes. In one episode in the 11th season, “The Girl in the Plastic Bubble” featured the character of Frasier Crane threatening to jump from the 3rd floor of the building due to the breakup of his marriage with Lilith. This was the one time scenes were actually filmed on location at the Bull and Finch Pub.
Speaking of Lilith, she was portrayed by acclaimed actress Bebe Neuwirth. Bebe not only starred on Cheers, but has had a long career on both the screen and the stage. In fact, she won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Chicago. I had the chance to meet her after a performance on Broadway, and she was very kind and humble.