Cheers (season 4)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cheers (season 4)
Cheers season 4.jpg
Region 1 DVD
Starring Ted Danson
Shelley Long
Rhea Perlman
John Ratzenberger
Woody Harrelson
George Wendt
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 26
Original network NBC
Original release September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26) – May 15, 1986 (1986-05-15)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of Cheers episodes

The fourth season of Cheers, an American television sitcom, originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 26, 1985, and May 15, 1986, as part of the network's Thursday lineup. This season marks Woody Harrelson's television debut as Woody Boyd after Nicholas Colasanto, who portrayed Coach Ernie Pantusso, died during the previous season. The show was created by director James Burrows and writers Glen and Les Charles, under production team Charles Burrows Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Television.


During the previous season, 1984–85, after two years of struggling with low ratings, rapid schedule changes, and failed series,[1][2] NBC's Thursday night lineup (years before the Must See TV promotional slogan was developed) consisted of, in time slot order starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern / 7:00 p.m. Central: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court, and Hill Street Blues, and became a ratings success for the network.[3] The 1985–86 Thursday schedule was similar to the previous season's and was still a success.[4]

Cast and characters[edit]

During the previous season, Sam went to Italy to stop Frasier and Diane's wedding. This season, he fails to do so, and returns to Boston. Several months later, Frasier comes to the bar to announce that Diane jilted him at the altar, made love to other men, and is now in a convent, located one hour away from Boston. Sam retrieves Diane from the convent and rehires her as a bar waitress. After having lost everything, including his career, Frasier frequently visits the Boston bar, Cheers, for drinks and then slowly degenerates into alcoholism. He recovers, then begins another psychiatric job, distancing himself from Sam and Diane's relationship. Sam then begins a relationship with the city councillor Janet Eldrige (Kate Mulgrew). Tired of being part the triangle with Sam and Diane, Janet breaks up with Sam. In the season's finale, during a telephone call, Sam proposes to an unidentified woman.


No. in
Title [5] Directed by Written by Original air date [5] Rating/Rank/
Households (millions)
70 1 "Birth, Death, Love and Rice" James Burrows Heide Perlman September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26) 26.0/#4/–[rat4 1]
Sam, returning from Italy, explains how he was arrested for trespassing at the previous location of Frasier and Diane's wedding and then purchased by a local landowner only to make him work hard-labor as his dead ox's replacement. Months later, Carla has given birth to a boy Ludlow (although Ludlow's sex is not revealed until "I Kid You Not" [season 7, 1989]), whilst Norm and Vera have decided never to have children. Woody Boyd, a naive young man from a small, provincial Indiana town, visits Cheers only to discover that his pen-pal Coach has died; Sam offers him a chance to tend bar at Cheers. In the office tête-à-tête, Frasier, with an unloaded revolver, tells Sam that Diane jilted him at the altar in Italy, resulting in the loss of his dignity, teaching tenure, and Italian practice. So without the satisfaction of scaring Sam, Frasier explains that Diane, after a spree of shameless decadence in Italy, is now serving a self-inflicted penance at a convent outside of Boston to atone for her "sins" and pride. Against Frasier's wishes, Sam goes to the convent and offers Diane the old job back. When she refuses, Sam tells Diane that he flew to Italy to stop the wedding and that he hoped that he and she would be a couple again. Diane, moved by his words, finds herself torn and prays for a sign until Sam returns (asking for the location of the nonexistent men's room).
71 2 "Woody Goes Belly Up" James Burrows Heide Perlman October 3, 1985 (1985-10-03) 23.4/#5/20.1[rat4 2]
The bar gang learns about Woody's old small-town girlfriend Beth (Amanda Wyss) from Indiana, so Diane brings her to big city Boston. Suddenly, Woody and Beth begin to overeat, and the gang tries—but fails—to stop them. Frasier, now working as a bar janitor just to humiliate Diane, tells Woody that he and Beth substitute overeating for premarital sex. Rather than take Frasier's psychoanalysis seriously, Diane takes the couple out to a French restaurant for vegetarian/vegan dinner in order to help them control their eating habits. However, Woody and Beth end up taking Frasier's psychological advice seriously, and make plans for sex.
72 3 "Someday My Prince Will Come" James Burrows Tom Seeley and Norm Gunzenhauser October 17, 1985 (1985-10-17) 23.5/#4/20.2[rat4 3]

Diane dates Stuart Sorenson (Frank Dent), who is cultured and everything that Diane wants him to be, after returning a lost expensive coat to him. However, he is not "good looking" to her, and she is relieved that the relationship ends when he is in love with another woman. Carla's son cannot complete his science project, so Carla reluctantly puts Cliff in charge of helping him.

Cheers was preempted by the second game of the 1985 National League Championship Series on October 10, 1985.[6]
73 4 "The Groom Wore Clearasil" James Burrows Peter Casey and David Lee October 24, 1985 (1985-10-24) 20.9/#13/18.0[rat4 4]
Carla repeatedly fails to stop her teenage son Anthony (Timothy Williams) from marrying his girlfriend Annie (Amanda Ingber). Sam tries to expose Anthony the joys of bachelorhood, but Sam's own one-night stands and lack of commitments result in failure. Much to Carla's relief and Annie's displeasure, Anthony becomes attracted to Annie's cousin Gabrielle (Sherilyn Fenn). During an interview for a position as a teaching assistant, Diane inadvertently accuses Professor Moffat (John Inger), who refers her former assistant and lover Sumner Sloane, of making a pass. Although she soon realizes her mistake, she is unable to make up for her misunderstanding.
74 5 "Diane's Nightmare" James Burrows David Lloyd October 31, 1985 (1985-10-31) 24.1/#6/20.7[rat4 5]
Diane has a series of dreams. In the first, everyone goes to the wine cellar, but no one comes out during a blackout. In the next, an ex-con Andy Schroeder (Derek McGrath), healed by Frasier Crane in psychological sessions, marries a woman named Cynthia (Nancy Cartwright), and Sam becomes Diane's upper-class ideal, complete with long speeches and tobacco pipe. When she wakes up to reality, Diane finds Sam to be normal, every-day Sam and discovers that the "pipe" he uses blows soap bubbles.
75 6 "I Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday" James Burrows Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkellner November 7, 1985 (1985-11-07) 21.1/#13/18.2[rat4 6]
Diane buys a rare autographed first edition of the Ernest Hemingway novel The Sun Also Rises for $500, which was loaned to her by Sam. Diane plans to sell it and orders Sam not to touch it or harm it. He goes against her orders by reading the novel, and then ruins it by accidentally dropping it into a filled bathtub. While he auditions with the book collector Mr. Sayers (William Lanteau) in order to prevent the ruined book from being sold, Sam tells Diane that he "loved" the book. Not knowing about the book's current condition, Diane decides she no longer wishes to sell it, and marvels at Sam for "becoming open" about reading novels. While they passionately embrace, Diane demands $700 from Sam, $500 off from the $1,200 that he priced, infuriating Sam. Cliff walks backwards in order to break a world record, but he stops when he knocks down his mother's curling iron.
76 7 "2 Good to Be 4 Real" James Burrows Peter Casey and David Lee November 14, 1985 (1985-11-14) 24.7/#4/21.2[rat4 7]
Carla's personal ad in the classifieds has remained unanswered. In order to lift her spirits, the men write fake love letters, posing as "Mitch Wainwright, an international airline pilot". They send a photo of an anonymous model (which came with Norm's wallet). Fortunately, Carla assumes that "Mitch" is also a model when a customer recognizes him. When she turns down a real person, funeral director Vinnie Claussen (Michael Alaimo), Sam confesses the truth to Carla, that "Mitch" is a character created by the men, angering her. After a heart-to-heart talk with Diane, Carla forgives the men and then reluctantly dates Vinnie.
77 8 "Love Thy Neighbor" James Burrows David Angell November 21, 1985 (1985-11-21) 21.9/#11/18.8[rat4 8]

Norm and his next-door neighbor Phyllis Henshaw (Miriam Flynn) fear that his wife Vera and Phyllis' husband Ron may be having an affair. They hire a private investigator, Carla's cousin Santo Carbone (Ernie Sabella), to spy on their spouses. Later, Norm and Phyllis are close to making love in the billiard room, but they are interrupted when Santo arrives. Much to their mutual relief, Santo's compact cassette reveals that Vera and Ron never had an affair and are still faithful to their respective spouses, ending their partnership with each other. During an interview with his friend, sportscaster Dave Richards (Fred Dryer), Sam tells him that one of his "love bunnies", who has no knowledge about baseball, read a book during the game. Diane assumes that Sam is referring to her, and berates him. The next day, Sam gives an apology speech, implicitly written by Diane, to that "love bunny" on Dave's radio show.

On the East Coast, due to Ronald Reagan's presidential address at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/8:00 p.m. (CT), this episode aired at either 9:30 p.m. or 9:40 p.m. ET, preempting Night Court.[7][8] Nevertheless, on the West Coast, it aired at 9:00 p.m. (Pacific)/8:00 p.m. (Mountain), as regularly scheduled, followed by Night Court.[9]

Ernie Sabella appears on a previous episode, "Whodunit?", as Stan.
78 9 "From Beer to Eternity" James Burrows Peter Casey and David Lee November 28, 1985 (1985-11-28) 21.6/#10/18.6[rat4 9]

The Cheers gang decides to compete against the gang of a rival bar, Gary's Old Towne Tap, in bowling after suffering losing streaks against them in other sports. Woody, who was a trophy-winning bowler back in Indiana, refuses to bowl again because, while preparing to knock down the pins, he accidentally injured a man with a bowling ball. However, Woody is preparing to bowl again until he pauses and feels he cannot bowl. When the Cheers team is losing, Gary (Joel Polis) bets that, if the Cheers team wins, Gary would date Diane. Offended, Diane joins her team and then pulls a strike, beating Gary's team.

Joel Polis and Robert Desiderio alternately reprise the same role of Gary in later seasons.
79 10 "The Barstoolie" James Burrows Andy Cowan and David S. Williger December 5, 1985 (1985-12-05) 24.4/#5/21.0[rat4 10]
Cliff meets his long-lost estranged father, Cliff Sr. (Dick O'Neill), and enjoys the reunion. His father later confesses that he is a runaway felon of fraud and disappears after going to the bathroom. Initially, Cliff is sad about his father's re-abandonment, but quickly becomes happier when he discusses topics with bar mates. Sam's upper-class date Claudia (Claudia Cron) befriends Diane and invites her for supper at a restaurant. Therefore, he ends up alone at one table, leaving two women together at the other. Sam tries to seduce Claudia, but she dumps him for being too sexually aggressive and less classy. Afterwards, Sam invites Diane for cheesecake at Melville's, originally planned for his time with Claudia.
80 11 "Don Juan Is Hell" James Burrows Phoef Sutton December 12, 1985 (1985-12-12) 24.0/#6/20.6[rat4 11]
Sam is happy to be the subject of Diane's psychological term paper. When he invites her class to the bar for the presentation, Diane is not thrilled. She orders Sam to read the paper in the hopes that he will change his mind. However, when he reads only the cover page (the title of which refers to Don Juanism), Sam prematurely becomes upset about the paper and keeps the class invitation. The next day, Sam humiliates the class with his self-praise over his sexual ego. Diane takes him to the office and reads the paper to him, which describes him as promiscuous, an aging sexist whose life is "cheap and pathetic", and inept to commit to a relationship, putting him at risk of loneliness. They both become aroused again, but then Diane concludes that Sam can make a nonsexual relationship with a woman and plans to invalidate the paper to the class. The doorknob becomes loose; whether she successfully opens the door or the door would not open is unknown when the episode ends. Woody becomes overexerted after studying the history of sports for a trivia game. After series of comparing vegetables to well-known figures, Cliff compares a squash to a map of Hawaii, annoying his gang. The news program Chronicle's reporter (Raf Mauro, credited as Rafael Mauro) responds to Cliff's sent photo of a squash on a map of Hawaii by inviting him to be categorized as one of eccentric people besides a woman with 84 snakes. Insulted, Cliff declines and tells the reporter to leave the bar.
81 12 "Fools and Their Money" James Burrows Heide Perlman December 19, 1985 (1985-12-19) 23.1/#4/19.8[rat4 12]
Sam prevents Woody from wagering $1,000 for a $10,000 bet on one sports team by pretending to place the bet on Woody's behalf. Sam's intentions backfire when the team wins. Sam admits this situation to Woody, and Woody initially forgives him until Sam refuses to give Woody a reduced $1 weekly wage, a raise, and Sam's red Chevrolet Corvette as compensation. To settle differences between them, Sam sings "Home on the Range", which Coach used to sing to Sam whenever things went wrong between them. Much to Diane's annoyance, Frasier tries to correct her grammar all day.
82 13 "Take My Shirt... Please" James Burrows David Lloyd January 9, 1986 (1986-01-09) 24.3/#5/20.9[rat4 13]
Sam sends his old baseball jersey to a public television auction, where Diane is working as a telephone receptionist for one day. When it comes up for auction, Diane buys the jersey for $100 to prevent it from being unsold and then randomly given to someone whose name is drawn out of the coconut by the chimpanzee, Mr. Bobo. Sam refuses her gesture and wants it auctioned again. However, crushed that no one buys it, Sam poses as a female phone customer and tries to buy it for $200 until Diane catches him right away, prompting him to quickly cancel. Another customer, Bert Simpson (Patrick Cronin), purchases it for $300 in order to prevent it from appearing again during the auction, and returns it to Sam without paying for it. In order to get a job, Norm tries unsuccessfully to impress his clients, Mr. Brubaker (Robert Symonds) and his wife (Frances Bay), by taking them to the bar and Melville's. Cliff converses with them to help Norm. Although the Brubakers like Cliff and invite him for a yacht party, Norm does not get a job.
83 14 "Suspicion" James Burrows Tom Reeder January 16, 1986 (1986-01-16) 25.4/#5/21.8[rat4 14]
Diane studies paranoid behavior among bar mates by hiring Irving (M. C. Gainey) to pose as a suspicious man. Afterwards, Diane becomes paranoid and worried that the gang will pull pranks on her for her charade. When news reporters come to report on her project in the billiard room, Diane mistakes their appearance as a prank set up by the gang. As a result, she makes noises like a chicken, becoming a laughing stock. When she realizes her mistake, she becomes humiliated and embarrassed, but her mood brightens when a bucket of water splashes onto her in the office.
84 15 "The Triangle" James Burrows Susan Seeger January 23, 1986 (1986-01-23) 24.0/#7/20.6[rat4 15]
Frasier deteriorates into alcoholism and has no interest in practicing psychiatry any more. Feeling bad about Frasier, Diane concocts a plan where Sam feigns psychiatric symptoms in order to boost Frasier's self-confidence. Frasier concludes that Sam is still in love with Diane and advises him to confess it to her. Sam and Diane try to write phony love letters, but they end up arguing. Frasier walks in and finds out that the whole situation is a charade. He angrily tells them that they are still in love but denying it, declares himself to be no longer part of their relationship, and decides to practice psychiatry again.
85 16 "Cliffie's Big Score" James Burrows Heide Perlman January 30, 1986 (1986-01-30) 23.8/#5/–[rat4 16]
Cliff asks Diane to be his dancing partner for a ball, but she turns him down for her cheese club. Then he unsuccessfully promises to award Carla money, a dress, and a VCR if she can go for tonight. When he pretends to weep, Carla reluctantly accepts. Diane then has second thoughts about Cliff's offer and accepts it. Rather than turn down Diane's acceptance, Cliff gives Carla a hippie named Lucas (Timothy Scott). After the dance, while Carla is making out with Lucas, Cliff inadvertently tells her that he was torn between her and Diane. In retaliation, Carla tells him that Diane has the hots for him. He tries to seduce Diane, but Diane kicks him out and leaves him stranded on the streets.[10]
86 17 "Second Time Around" Thomas Lofaro Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkellner February 6, 1986 (1986-02-06) 24.7/#5/21.2[rat4 17]

After Frasier's unsuccessful date with a psychiatrist, Dr. Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth), Sam sets him up on a date with ditzy Candi Pearson (Jennifer Tilly), one of Sam's women. After a one-night stand, Frasier and Candi are close to be married until Diane stops their wedding. When Diane tries to help Frasier come to his senses, Frasier berates Diane and then insults Candi. Realizing what he did, Frasier apologizes to Candi and promises to make their relationship work. Cliff brings in his mother's eccentric-shaped pretzels. Unfortunately, no one likes them, but they cannot tell him because they do not want to hurt his mother's feelings.

This episode is Bebe Neuwirth's only season appearance, and first series appearance, as Lilith Sternin. Neuwirth reprises her role as Lilith in later seasons before joining the spinoff Frasier. Jennifer Tilly later appears as Kim, Frasier's casual fling in Frasier episode, "Miss Right Now" (2004).
87 18 "The Peterson Principle" James Burrows Peter Casey and David Lee February 13, 1986 (1986-02-13) 23.9/#5/20.5[rat4 18]

Norm finds out from his coworker (Chip Zien) that his main competitor Morrison is having an affair with his boss Mr. Reinhardt's (Daniel Davis) wife. When Morrison gets a promotion, rather than reveal the affair, Norm decides to conceal it for his own dignity. Then Mr. Reinhardt admits to Norm that Norm's wife Vera did not get along with the other coworkers' wives, thereby costing Norm his promotion. Frasier mocks Diane in front of everyone for tearing his heart apart during a slide presentation of their European trip. In order to help Frasier get over his feelings for Diane, Sam brings him along to find ladies.

Because of Family Ties's special one-hour broadcast, this episode aired at 9:30 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m., its regular time, preempting Night Court.[11][12]
88 19 "Dark Imaginings" James Burrows David Angell February 20, 1986 (1986-02-20) 23.4/#6/20.1[rat4 19]
While Sam and Woody compete with each other at raquetball for a young woman named Bonnie (Pamela Bach), Sam develops a hernia. Soon, he is unable to bear the pain any longer while hiding it from the others. He secretly goes to the hospital under the assumed name of "Lance Manion"[13][14] until the others find out. At the bar, after Sam returns from the hospital, Woody slaps Sam's butt, causing Sam to suffer another hernia and prompting him to return to the hospital. After Sam's friends visit him, Sam meets his counterpart Jack Turner (Thomas Callaway), who has a daughter. In the final scene, Sam views the rainy night through the window, symbolically reflecting his life without marriage and children. Frasier professionally consults Cliff about his unusual comparisons of homegrown vegetables to famous people. However, Cliff confronts Frasier for billing him hundreds of dollars for such sessions, still comparing the two groups.
89 20 "Save the Last Dance for Me" James Burrows Heide Perlman February 27, 1986 (1986-02-27) 26.0/#3/22.3[rat4 20]
Carla turns down Nick's (Dan Hedaya) request for her to be his dancing partner for a dancing reunion contest, so Nick picks his wife Loretta (Jean Kasem), and Carla picks Eddie (Nick Dimitri). When Eddie injures himself after tripping on the bar stairs, Sam replaces him as Carla's partner. At the dance, in one round, Sam and Carla are eliminated, as are Nick and Loretta. The judges grant Nick's request to dance with Carla, and the two win a trophy. At the bar after the dance contest, Nick begs Carla to help him rebuild their relationship, but she refuses to have an affair with a married man and throws an egg on him.
90 21 "Fear Is My Co-Pilot" James Burrows Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkellner March 13, 1986 (1986-03-13) 23.5/#3/20.2[rat4 21]
Diane is reunited with Jack Dalton (Joseph Whipp), an enthusiast of danger, whom she met in Europe after she dumped Frasier. Diane reluctantly goes out with Jack on a private jet and brings Sam along for protection. In the jet at 20,000 feet, Jack is found apparently dead. Sam and Diane try to fly the plane, fearing for their lives. However, Jack turns out to be alive and practicing a Tibetan meditation, causing him to appear dead without a heartbeat or a pulse. When Jack safely lands the plane, Sam and Diane report the incident to the FAA.
91 22 "Diane Chambers Day" James Burrows Kimberly Hill March 20, 1986 (1986-03-20) 26.2/#3/22.5[rat4 22]
After watching the western film The Magnificent Seven without her, the gang feels guilty for leaving Diane out of their activities and making her feel depressed. In an attempt to make her feel better, Frasier arranges for his male buddies, against their will, to watch the opera Lucia di Lammermoor with Diane. During the performance, everyone falls asleep, including Diane. After the opera is over, Sam and Diane return to the bar. While they are close to making passionate love, Sam admits to her that Frasier came up the opera idea. Diane appreciates Sam's honesty and, much to Sam's displeasure, decides to postpone sex until the time is right.
92 23 "Relief Bartender" James Burrows Miriam Trogdon March 27, 1986 (1986-03-27) 22.3/#6/19.2[rat4 23]
In order to compete with two new bars, Sam promotes himself to manager and host. To increase his chances of success, he hires another bartender, Ken (Tony Carreiro), and arranges a seafood feast. The plan fails when only three people show up, so Sam decides to fire one of bartenders in order to save the bar. He is unable to fire Ken because he has a wife (Patricia Veselich) and two kids (Edan Gross and Judith Barsi), so instead he fires Woody. When Ken is hired by another company, Sam rehires Woody with a $30 per week raise.
93 24 "Strange Bedfellows, Part 1" James Burrows David Angell May 1, 1986 (1986-05-01) 23.9/#3/20.5[rat4 24]
Sam dates the local councilwoman Janet Eldridge (Kate Mulgrew), who is campaigning for her re-election. Diane accuses Janet of exploiting Sam as part of her campaign and then willing to dump him. Janet admits it but tells her that Janet has feelings for him, which Diane doubts. Diane tries to help Janet's opponent Jim Fleener (Max Wright) succeed. Unfortunately, Janet wins the election, and Sam and Janet resume their relationship.
94 25 "Strange Bedfellows, Part 2" James Burrows David Angell May 8, 1986 (1986-05-08) 22.6/#4/19.4[rat4 25]
While jealous Frasier tells losing candidate Jim Fleener that Diane had a sex change operation, Sam and Janet grow closer for weeks. One night at closing time, Janet admits to Sam her jealousy toward Diane, and orders him to fire Diane. Diane overhears their conversation and resigns before Sam has the chance to fire her. Norm fears that Vera's sister Donna may attempt to seduce him, especially seeing Donna naked.
95 26 "Strange Bedfellows, Part 3" James Burrows David Angell May 15, 1986 (1986-05-15) 24.4/#4/21.0[rat4 26]
At Janet's press conference, Diane, who works as a temporary checkout clerk, asks Janet questions about Janet's relationship with Sam. Reporters follow through, and then Sam and Diane engage in a water gun fight, humiliating Janet. After the conference, Janet breaks up with Sam because she believes that Sam is still in love with Diane. At closing time, Sam dials a phone number and proposes to an unidentified person on the other end of the line. Norm is left alone with Vera's sister Donna when Vera has been called away to care for her ill aunt. At dinner, Donna turns out to be sweet and innocent, leading to no sex or romance between her and Norm.


Woody Harrelson debuts as Woody Boyd this season.

During filming of the series' third season, Nicholas Colasanto, who portrayed regular character Coach Ernie Pantusso, died of a heart attack.[15][16] Rather than recast the character,[17] Coach was written out. In the season's premiere episode, "Birth, Death, Love and Rice", it was revealed that the character of Coach had died, although no explanation was given.[18] As a replacement for Coach, the show's producers created a new character, Woody Boyd, "an Indiana farm boy" who becomes a bartender in the bar of big city Boston, portrayed by Woody Harrelson. Before Cheers, Harrelson was an understudy in a Broadway play, Biloxi Blues, and made his film debut in Wildcats,[19] which was released to theaters in February 1986.[20]


In the 1985–86 season, Cheers was scheduled at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) / 8:00 p.m. (Central) against CBS's Simon & Simon and ABC's The Colbys, which replaced Lady Blue, which moved to Saturdays in mid-November 1985.[21] On December 26, 1985, the series gained 33 percent in the Nielsen ratings from the previous season.[22] As of January 29, 1986, it became one of top three rated series among females, along with the other two Must See TV sitcoms, The Cosby Show and Family Ties.[23] As of April 23, 1986, it scored an overall 23.7 rating and a 35 share, putting it into fifth place in the 1985–86 season.[24]

Despite disdaining the Sam-and-Diane romance, and considering this series a typical sitcom in earlier seasons, television critic Rick Sherwood praised the fourth season as the "funniest [and] most intelligent" since the debut season.[25]

The fourth season ended with the cliffhanger of Sam Malone calling and proposing to an unknown individual. A telephone survey polled callers regarding who they thought that recipient was: politician Janet Eldridge or Sam's on again/off again girlfriend Diane Chambers. Nearly 140 picked Diane, and almost 60 picked Janet. Those who voted for Janet were not fans of Janet; rather, they expected the love triangle to continue in the next season. A few of the callers polled considered Janet as "funny and appealing". The rest thought Janet was wrong for Sam.[26]

Jeffrey Robinson of DVD Talk perceived this season as neither as great nor as strongly rewatchable nor as hilarious as earlier seasons, but worth watching, especially for fans. Robinson found its shows "episodic".[27] Adam Arseneau of DVD Verdict described it as "impeccable and golden", with 95 percent on the story and 94 on acting.[28] The critics deemed the introduction of a new character, Woody Boyd (even if not well-developed and well-integrated), the growing prominence of Frasier Crane, and the supposedly one-time character Lilith Sternin, who becomes a recurring character in later seasons, as highlights of the fourth season.[27][28] However, they found the unexplained death of Coach Ernie Pantusso to be one of the season's low points.[27][28]

Nate Meyers of Digitally Obsessed praised this fourth season as well-aged and still "fresh", especially after mostly omitting "topical humor" and developing characters.[29] Robert David Sullivan ranked "I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday" (1985) at number 36 in his list of top 100 favorite sitcom episodes.[30]


All cast members, except newcomer Woody Harrelson and actor Kelsey Grammer (whose character Frasier Crane appears recurringly this season), were nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 1986. Only Rhea Perlman won her own Emmy Award, as an Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The episode "Fear Is My Co-Pilot" earned the following crew an award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or Special: Michael Ballin, Robert Douglass, Douglas Grey, and Thomas J. Huth.[31]

Shelley Long was awarded the Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series by Viewers for Quality Television in 1986 for her performance throughout the whole season.[32] Long also won a Golden Globe in 1985 as the Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Series for her performance in 1985.[33]

DVD Release[edit]

The fourth season is available on DVD, with four discs in the set. On February 1, 2005, the entire season was released to Region 1 DVD with four discs in the set. Unlike DVD releases of earlier seasons, the season four set lacks special features, such as interviews and outtakes.[27]

Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season
Set Details[27]
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
February 1, 2005 July 18, 2005 July 21, 2005


  1. ^ Jory, Tom (May 11, 1983). "Taxi, Fame Get the Ax as NBC Announces Fall Lineup". Lexington Herald-Leader. Kentucky. p. D5.  Record no: 8301230394. (registration required)
  2. ^ "Buffalo Bill Returns Dec. 15". The Miami Herald. December 2, 1983.  Record no: 8304060082.
  3. ^ Ed Bark (April 28, 1985). "NBC's Season Is the Cos for Celebration - Bill Cosby's show rescues the network from the bottom of the TV ratings pile". The Dallas Morning News. p. 1C. 
  4. ^ "Schedule Changes, Ratings Reveal Magic of Cosby". Toledo Blade. Toledo, Ohio. United Press International. March 7, 1986. p. P-8. 
  5. ^ a b Bjorklund, pp. 327–341 "Season Four: 1985–1986".
  6. ^ "Thursday's TV Programs (October 10, 1985)". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 22. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tonight's Television". The Pittsburgh Press. November 21, 1985. p. D13. 
  8. ^ Bjorklund, p. 332.
  9. ^ "On TV". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. November 21, 1985. p. 10D. 
  10. ^ Bjorklund, p. 336.
  11. ^ "Tonight's TV". The Pittsburgh Press. February 13, 1986. p. C13. 
  12. ^ Bjorklund 337.
  13. ^ Bjorklund, p. 141 Surname is spelled "Manyon".
  14. ^ Fox, Michael. "Chapter 13". Luck to Lose. pp. 101–102. ISBN 0-595-12907-2. 
  15. ^ Jones, Jack (February 13, 1985). "N. Colasanto; Played Coach Role in Cheers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  16. ^ Keets, Heather (February 11, 1994). "Coach's Last Call". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  17. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (February 14, 1985). Akron Beacon Journal. Ohio. page 1, section D (Life Style).  Missing or empty |title= (help) Record no. 8501050953.
  18. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (October 20, 1992). "Hit Series' Producers Must Scramble to Fill A Dead Actor's Role". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ "New Cheers bartender brings fresh outlook to show". The Gazette. Montreal. Associated Press. December 24, 1985. p. C13. 
  20. ^ Maslin, Janet (February 14, 1986). "The Screen: Wildcats, with Hawn". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ "Lady Blue moving to 9 p.m. Saturday, beginning Nov. 16". Akron Beacon Journal. Akron, Ohio. October 18, 1985. p. D10.  Record no. 8502060781.
  22. ^ "Growing Pains Dumps Most of Its Creative Leaders". Akron Beacon Journal. Akron, Ohio. December 26, 1985. p. D8.  Record no. 8502170048.
  23. ^ Boyer, Peter J. (January 29, 1986). "Prime-time Soaps Are Taking a Bath". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. p. C6.  Peter J. Boyer worked for The New York Times at the time of publication. Record no. 8601030104.
  24. ^ Feder, Robert (April 23, 1986). "NBC peacock soars in rating triumph". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 41.  Record no. CHI54818.
  25. ^ Sherwood, Rick (October 31, 1985). "'Cheers' is back in fine, funny form". The Gainesville Sun. p. 9A. 
  26. ^ Carter, Bill (September 25, 1986). "Diane gets the cheers in this readers' survey". Reading Eagle. p. 45. 
  27. ^ a b c d e Robinson, Jeffrey (January 27, 2005). "DVD Video Review: Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season". DVD Talk. 
  28. ^ a b c Arseneau, Adam (February 9, 2005). "DVD Verdict Review - Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season". DVD Verdict. 
  29. ^ Meyers, Nate (February 1, 2005). "Cheers: The Complete Fourth Season (1985-86)". Digitally Obsessed. 
  30. ^ Sullivan, Robert David (June 11, 2012). "Top 100 sitcom episodes of all time, No. 36: "I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday", Cheers". Robert David Sullivan at Typepad. 
  31. ^ Bjorklund, p. 459.
  32. ^ Schwed, Mark (June 10, 1986). "'Quality' group picks its top shows". The Miami Herald. United Press International. p. 6C.  Record no. 8602150637.
  33. ^ "Golden Globe awards list". Southeast Missourian. Cape Girardeau, Missouri. January 28, 1985. p. 2. 


Ratings sources[edit]

According to the Daily Breeze, a newspaper from Torrance, California, the 1985–86 ratings are based on 85.9 million households with at least one television.

  1. ^ Arar, Yardena (October 2, 1985). "NBC leaps toward ratings rooftop". Los Angeles Daily News (Valley ed.). p. 17.  Record no. 8501010144.
  2. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (October 10, 1985). "NBC'S undefeated so far in ratings season". The Orlando Sentinel (3 Star ed.). Associated Press. p. E2.  Record no. 0330360228. "Woody Goes Belly Up" tied with primetime soap opera Dynasty on the week of October 7–13, 1985.
  3. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (October 23, 1985). "Series, sports, sexy movies puts NBC on top". Daily Breeze. Torrance, California. Associated Press. p. G5.  Record no. 0000068236.
  4. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (October 31, 1985). "World Series Pitches ABC to Top of TV Ratings". The Orlando Sentinel (3 Star ed.). Associated Press. p. E2.  Record no. 0340170018.
  5. ^ "Cosby Still No. 1". Daily Breeze. November 6, 1985. p. F7.  Record no. 0000070094. San Francisco Chronicle erroneously typed '24.5' rating instead of 24.1.
  6. ^ "North and South wins". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. November 14, 1985. p. C4.  Record no. 0000071039.
  7. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (November 20, 1985). "Kane & Abel miniseries opens strong for CBS in Nielsen poll". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. F7.  Record no. 0000071955.
  8. ^ "Comics/TV". The Miami Herald. November 28, 1985. p. 11F.  Record no. 8504050518.
  9. ^ "Perry Mason wins ratings case for NBC". Daily Breeze. December 4, 1985. p. F5.  Record no. 0000073756.
  10. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (December 11, 1985). "Cosby,Monday Night Football score". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. D9.  Record no. 0000074696.
  11. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (December 18, 1985). "NBC wins week - Mary comes in 31st". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. D8.  Record no. 0000075609.
  12. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (December 28, 1985). "Cosby rerun still good enough for first". The Orlando Sentinel. Sentinel Communications Co. Associated Press. p. E2.  Record no. 0340900075.
  13. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (January 16, 1986). "Sunday Night Movie pushes CBS to No. 1". Sun-Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 14E.  Record no. 8601030977. "Take My Shirt... Please?" tied with a news program 60 Minutes on the week of January 6–12, 1986.
  14. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (January 23, 1986). "Mafia Princess an NBC Hit; Cosby sets another record". The Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. p. E3.  Record no. 0190270204.
  15. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (January 30, 1986). "Nielsen tally shows NBC ahead of the pack". The Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. p. E3.  Record no. 0190370163. The week of January 20–26, 1986, included the Super Bowl XX.
  16. ^ "Cosby Show leads". San Francisco Chronicle. February 5, 1986. p. 13, "News" section.  Record no. 215788. "Cliffie's Big Score" tied with hourlong drama, Highway to Heaven. In the San Francisco area, the episode scored a 23.2 rating.
  17. ^ "Cosby still leads ratings". Daily Breeze. February 12, 1986. p. D6.  Record no. 0000082617.
  18. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (February 20, 1986). "Theatrical movies surprise in ratings". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. C4.  Record no. 0000083673.
  19. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (February 27, 1986). "CBS wins its second battle of miniseries". Sun-Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 6E.  Record no. 8601130372.
  20. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (March 5, 1986). "NBC edges CBS in ratings". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. D6.  Record no. 0000085244.
  21. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (March 19, 1986). "Even repeat comedies score well". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. D7.  Record no. 0000086942.
  22. ^ "CBS and NBC share top honors in the weekly ratings race". The Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. March 27, 1986. p. E2.  Record no. 0210130008.
  23. ^ Barr, Robert (April 3, 1986). "Oscar show ratings low, still help ABC". Sun-Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 8E.  Record no. 8601200516.
  24. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (May 8, 1986). "All networks winners in May sweeps battle". Sun-Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 7E.  Record no. 8601270789.
  25. ^ "Nielsen Top 20". Daily Breeze. May 14, 1986. p. D4.  Record no. 0000094316.
  26. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (May 21, 1986). "Duffy in shower leads soaps assault". Daily Breeze. Associated Press. p. D8.  Record no. 0000095213.

External links[edit]