Newspaper article The Florida Times Union


Newspaper article The Florida Times Union


Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport



An NBC sitcom about the owner, workers and clientele at a Boston pub (come on, you know the name) aired for the first time Sept. 30, 1982. In the spirit of true bar banter, here are pieces of trivia from the show's 11-season run.

-- The series finished 77th -dead last - in the Nielsen ratings the week it made its debut. NBC entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff saved it from cancellation at the end of its first season.

-- The show was planned to be set in a hotel. When producers realized the bulk of the show was going to be set in the hotel bar, they dropped the hotel and stayed with the bar.

-- The series was originally to have been set in Barstow, Calif., and Sam Malone was to have been a retired football player. When Ted Danson was hired for the role, his character was rewritten to be a retired baseball player for the Boston Red Sox to match Danson's body type.

-- Diane (portrayed by Shelley Long) constantly called Norm "Norman." Her pretentious assumption was wrong. His real first name was Hillary. (George Wendt played Norm.)

-- Norm's wife, Vera, was never shown. In a Thanksgiving Day episode she finally appeared, only to have her face covered with a pie meant to hit Sam before the audience can see her face.

-- An alternate ending was shot before the studio audience of Shelley Long's final episode to hide the fact that Long was leaving the series. That ending, in which Sam and Diane actually go through with the wedding ceremony and get married, was discarded in favor of the real ending, which was filmed without a studio audience, in which Sam and Diane stop the ceremony before they are married.




Peter Vegas can't draw. That's why he makes his living as a copywriter in the advertising industry in Great Britain. …

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