How NBC Almost Changed the ‘Cheers’ Theme Song & Opening Titles

The NBC comedy Cheers comes from a bygone period of tv, one wherein theme songs had been integral to the sequence. The Cheers theme tune was memorable with its refrain “where everybody knows your name.” At present, most reveals can’t spare 30 seconds for a theme tune. The brand new Night time Courtroom throws followers a bone with simply 10 seconds of it. NBC had different points with the opening of Cheers in the ‘80s. 

L-R: Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Perlman, Shelley Lengthy, and Ted Danson | Herb Ball/NBCU Picture Financial institution/Getty Photos

Cheers author Ken Levine revealed the 2 points the Cheers theme tune and opening titles brought about the community on his Hollywood & Levine podcast. It wasn’t the lyrics, which the creators of the present modified previous to the pilot. 

‘Cheers’ opening titles didn’t present forged images 

As “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” performed, Cheers didn’t present pictures of the actors. As a substitute, they listed forged names over creative likenesses throughout the theme tune. 

“Main titles were done by Castle Bryant [Johnsen] and were pretty remarkable,” Levine stated on Hollywood & Levine. “NBC originally loved the opening titles and then the show floundered in the ratings. When the show premiered, Brandon Tartikoff who was the president of the network came to all of us sitting in the writers room and said, ‘Look, you guys are doing great work. Don’t change anything. If the show doesn’t do well early on, we still believe in it. Don’t change anything. You’re doing a fantastic job.’”

NBC wished to point out the ‘Cheers’ forged throughout the theme tune

Tartikoff himself reconsidered on the creative opening titles to Cheers. This wouldn’t be the solely time Cheers creators disregarded community notes. 

Who do you suppose was the one who recommended that we alter the titles? Yup, Brandon Tartikoff. What he wished was extra of the commonplace sort titles the place you noticed the actors and possibly a clip of them doing one thing zany, these terrible cliche opening titles as a result of they had been saying effectively, the names are up there however you don’t know who’s who? We figured effectively, yeah, however there’s stylish. They’re stylish. And the tune and the entire temper. It’s telling a narrative. It’s setting the tone for the present. It’s not nearly seeing George Wendt have a cross eyed expression. They wished that modified and naturally it wasn’t. 

Ken Levine, Hollywood & Levine, 9/20/2020

NBC wished a unique singer too

Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo wrote the Cheers theme tune. Apparently they wrote a number of songs creators Glen and Les Charles rejected for Cheers.

“The theme that you hear was not the very first attempt at a Cheers opening title theme by the composers Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo,” Levine stated. “They had another couple of songs. The Charles Brothers didn’t really take to them. Then they came up with this and everyone said, ‘Oh, okay, that sounds pretty good.’”

As soon as everybody agreed “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” can be the Cheers theme tune, they assumed they’d rent another person to sing it. That is the place Portnoy stood agency and made tv historical past.

“Once he knew that the Charles Brothers and Jim Burrows really liked the theme, he said. ‘I’ll only give it to you if you let me sing the opening title sequence,’” Levine stated. “Now, he had sung the demo and we all liked the demo, so they said okay. And he went off, he recorded it at a studio in Paramount. I remember we were unable to go and watch the recording session because we had a script that was due to go to the table, something like that. So none of us were actually there to witness the performance of the famous song.”

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