Series premiere print advertisement
|Created by||Ken Estin|
|Written by||Chris Cluess
|Directed by||Greg Antonacci
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||James Burrows
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions
Paramount Network Television
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original run||January 21, 1987– May 12, 1987|
Hedaya and Kasem had been seen on Cheers on a couple of occasions as Nick and Loretta Tortelli, who were (respectively) Carla Tortelli's loutish ex-husband and Nick's cheerful, bubble-headed new trophy wife. The show co-stars Timothy Williams as Anthony Tortelli, Nick and Carla's teenage son, and Mandy Ingber as Annie Tortelli, Anthony's young bride. Williams and Ingber had also been seen as Anthony and Annie on Cheers.
At the beginning of the series, Loretta left Nick and moved to Las Vegas to live with her sensible, divorced sister Charlotte (played by Carlene Watkins), and Charlotte's young son Mark (Aaron Moffat). The series follows Nick as he moved to Las Vegas to try to reconcile with Loretta, vowing to change his sleazy, conniving ways in the process. Nick and Loretta tentatively got back together, and Nick set up a TV repair business and tried to reform—not always successfully. Anthony and Annie followed Nick to Las Vegas, and all six characters lived in the same house.
After the show was canceled, all four Tortelli characters made return appearances on Cheers, where it was revealed that Nick's TV repair business went under, but that Nick and Loretta were still together (albeit somewhat shakily) and had presumably moved back to Boston.
The characters of Charlotte and Mark Cooper were never seen or even referred to on any episode of Cheers, either before or after The Tortellis' run.
- Dan Hedaya as Nick Tortelli (ex-husband of Carla Tortelli on Cheers)
- Jean Kasem as Loretta Tortelli
- Timothy Williams as Anthony Tortelli
- Mandy Ingber as Annie Tortelli
- Carlene Watkins as Charlotte Cooper
- Aaron Moffatt as Mark Cooper
- Rhea Perlman appeared as her Cheers character Carla in the pilot, in a dream sequence.
- George Wendt (Norm Peterson) and John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin) appeared in episode 3, paying a visit to Las Vegas and meeting up with Nick.
- Mitchell Laurance was seen in a recurring role as Pete Bruno, Charlotte's untrustworthy boyfriend.
Reception and cancellation
The series drew in low ratings, ranking 50th out of 79 shows with an average rating/share of 13.3/20. As a result, NBC canceled The Tortellis after 13 episodes. The next attempt at a Cheers spin-off, Frasier, was considerably more successful, running for 11 seasons.
|Episode #||Episode title||Original airdate|
|1-1||Pilot||January 21, 1987|
|1-2||"An Affair to Remember"||January 28, 1987|
|1-3||"Frankie Comes to Dinner"||February 4, 1987|
|1-4||"Svengali"||February 11, 1987|
|1-5||"The Ad Game"||February 18, 1987|
|1-6||"Viva Las Vegas"||February 25, 1987|
|1-7||"Coochie, Coochie"||March 18, 1987|
|1-8||"Man of the Year"||March 25, 1987|
|1-9||"The Good Life"||April 1, 1987|
|1-10||"Father Knows Best"||April 21, 1987|
|1-11||"The Customer's Always Right"||April 28, 1987|
|1-12||"Innocent as Charged"||May 5, 1987|
|1-13||"His Girl Friday"||May 12, 1987|
- Orlik, Peter B. (2001). Electronic Media Criticism: Applied Perspectives (2 ed.). Psychology Press. p. 174. ISBN 0-8058-3641-1.
- Bjorklund, Dennis A. (1997). Toasting Cheers: An Episode Guide To the 1982–1993 Comedy Series With Cast Biographies and Character Profiles. Praetorian Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 0-89950-962-2.