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Cheers cast wanted a revival, but were turned down

In a new interview for the 40th anniversary of Cheers, Rhea Perlman says that the cast wanted a revival of the beloved sitcom, but the creators said no.

Carla in Cheers

With the news that the Frasier reboot has been officially ordered to series at Paramount Plus, fans may be wondering why a Cheers reboot has never happened. Cheers was the beloved Boston-based sitcom that ran from 1982-1993, which the character of Frasier originated in before he moved to Seattle. Frasier was itself a spin-off, running from 1993-2004 and becoming arguably more critically-acclaimed than Cheers.

In an extended interview with Yahoo, Rhea Perlman discussed her fan-favourite character Carla, who appeared in every single episode of Cheers. Carla was the cynical, wise-cracking bartender and waitress who kept regulars like Norm and Cliff in check. And Perlman was almost in her own Cheers spin-off. The Cheers creators approached her about leaving midway through the run to star in The Tortellis, a series that would revolve around Carla’s family.

“They originally wanted me to be in the spin-off,” Perlman told Yahoo on the 40th anniversary of Cheers’ premiere on September 30, 1982. “But I felt the soul of Cheers was the bar people, and I didn’t want to leave the bar to go to a completely different show. I told them I didn’t want to do it, and could I please stay at the bar? So they went off and made it [without me].”

That turned out to be the right call. Premiering in 1987, The Tortellis — which starred Dan Hedaya as Carla’s ex-husband and Jean Kasem as his new wife — lasted only 13 episodes. Several Cheers characters, such as Woody and Diane, would crop up in Frasier over the years. And Carla, Norm, and Cliff were in an episode too.

Perlman says; “Yeah, that was a good thing to do. I always wish that he had done a revival like Will & Grace did a few years ago. A few years after the show ended, we were all at some event together, and we said; ‘I think we can talk them into it.’ But it didn’t work – the creators never wanted to do it. I have no idea what their objection was, they just didn’t want to even entertain the thought. That’s OK! They can do what they want.”

Perlman says if there ever were a Cheers revival or reboot, she’d be up for it; “If they were doing it, for sure I’d be in! I’d give anything to be with them all again.”

Check out our guide to the best comedy series, to see if Cheers or Frasier made the cut.