The reason “Cheers” was cancelled (Explained)

Today I’ll be explaining the reason why Cheers was cancelled.

Let’s go!

The reason “Cheers” was cancelled

It was poor ratings as the reason that ”Cheers” was cancelled. Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and even Woody Harrelson played a role as well.

Poor Ratings

When “Cheers” first aired, the ratings were terrible.

It was in the bottom 33 shows that aired the week a new episode dropped.

The show was on it’s way towards actually getting canceled in only it’s first season of it’s release.

It actually had low ratings overall until season 3 of the show where it finally started getting some traction and getting more popular.

The lowest that the show seen was actually dead last in the ratings one November week.

The first season that it was aired seen only a 74th place finish, and only performed as high as 60th.

For some reason, NBC still wanted to renew the show.

The main company believed in the show’s future, but the affiliates of NBC had a more cynical view of the possible outcome.

The show did have some success on top of their poor ratings as well, but for the sake of staying on topic, get this.

“Cheers” as well as “Lou Grant” are the only two shows that finished first and last in their weekly ratings at some point.

Ted Danson (Wants Something New)

Plain and simply put, Ted Danson wanted to quit.

He wanted to quit because he wanted to “move on to other things.”

Ted played the character Sam Malone.

When he was reaching 50, he thought he was looking too old for the role of Malone.

There’s a lot of people that believe there were deeper reasons for Ted wanting to quit.

But he insists that age was the reason.

Even when he was interviewed about doing a possible reboot of the show, Ted thought it would be too hard to be fresh.

He thought that it would just be a bunch of 80 year olds making jokes at a bar.

It was also possible that his fights with his co-star Shelley Long could’ve played a role in his wanting to quit as well.

Woody Harrelson

Personally, I think that Woody Harrelson was a good person for deciding to step in and replace Ted Danson, but I also think his heart was never fully in it.

There were stories that went around that Woody supposedly skipped shooting at times to get high with Ted.

Maybe that’s a reach, but actors who typically care about their craft make sure that they give their all.

Woody actually got the role when one of the cast members died, which called for a replacement.

Woody decided to give it a shot, claiming he had nothing to lose with an audition at least.

To touch a little more on my theory about Woody possibly playing a role in the show getting cancelled, I believe it could have some merit because let’s look at it from a performance standpoint.

When you’re skipping practice in something, you’re ultimately taking away from the quality of your performance.

Whatever it may be.

I found that out, and that’s immediately where my mind went after finding out.

Shelley Long Had A Role

Shelley seemed to want to leave the show, same as Ted Danson.

Apparently it was a hard choice for her to make, but her decision to leave really made an impact on the show’s overall quality.

She left the show at the end of season five in 1987.

It’s interesting because although the show had a terrible first season, the show gained momentum and many would say that Shelley Long was a big reason for that.

She played Diane Chambers and quickly became a loved character on the show.

She wanted to leave the show for a shot at becoming an actress in hollywood.

Now the show lasted for 11 seasons, but it was clear that the numbers were slowly declining after Shelley’s decision to leave after season 5.

There was also word that she left because of a bunch of disagreements she had with her team.

The rest of the actors also agreed by saying that she was “tough to work with.”


These are my reasons as to why I think the show “Cheers” was cancelled. It had a good run, but the low ratings will get any show cancelled, and yes, including “Cheers.” The absence of Ted Danson and Shelley Long strongly played a role without a doubt. And Woody Harrelson, although it was a smaller reason, it still makes a difference when you have someone on your team who does everything possible to give you a better product, and one who’s just there for the ride.

The show had a good run but these are my reasons as to why the show ultimately got cancelled.

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