Cherones grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where his father operated a radio and TV repair shop. His grandfather was a Greek immigrant. Cherones graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. From 1961 to 1965, he was a lieutenant in the United States Navy.
Cherones began working in educational television while a student at the University of Alabama and later produced and directed programs for WQED in Pittsburgh. His first work after moving to Hollywood in 1975 was as a production manager for General Hospital.
Cherones began as a television director on My Sister Sam in the 1980s. In the 1990s, he directed and produced Seinfeld (81 episodes) and NewsRadio (56 episodes). His work on Seinfeld won him praise as well as an Emmy, a DGA Award and a Golden Globe Award. He also worked on Welcome Back Kotter, Caroline in the City, Annie McGuire, and Ellen.
From 2002-2014 Cherones taught a film production course at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he had earned a Master's degree in 1976.
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