Cheers

‘Frasier’ 10 Years Later: The Slow Death of a Canonical Sitcom

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Ten years ago this week, Frasier aired its final episode, “Goodnight Seattle, Part 2.” Spoiler alert, in case an extra decade isn’t long enough for you to get through Frasier: he trades Seattle for the promise of love. The two-part finale shows Frasier Crane on a plane, flashing back to the dramatic familial events of the preceding episodes. We’re led to believe that he’s flying to San Francisco to start a new life after making the abrupt decision to move south for an upgrade on the broadcast-shrink circuit, but in the show’s final moment, viewers discover that he has instead flown to Chicago, ostensibly to give it a shot with new love interest Charlotte (played by Laura Linney).
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The 10 Best NBC Valentine’s Day Episodes of the ’90s

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The ’90s were a great decade for NBC, and my favorite era in the network’s history. It had a nice batch of sitcoms, most of which made up the “Must See TV” Thursday-night lineup (a lineup that was, overall, superior to the current “Comedy Night Done Right” block). The sitcoms were an eclectic mix, but they all had one thing in common: excellent holiday-themed episodes. Thanksgiving and Christmas are always popular in the sitcom world, but Valentine’s Day is the one that provides the best material for a fun half-hour of television. Here are the ten best Valentine’s Day episodes from that decade, perfect for revisiting whether you love or hate the holiday.
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The Frasier Conspiracy: Was TV’s Longest-Running Character a Success Out of Spite to Shelley Long?

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It’s a bit surprising that as we approach the end of 2013 we’re getting some juicy controversy surrounding the beloved ’80s sitcom Cheers, but the Internet works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? On Monday, Cracked ran a listicle about major TV characters that were only supposed to be bit parts, and included Dr. Frasier Crane, the longest-running character in TV history, who debuted on the third season of Cheers and stayed on the air for an impressive 20 years. Cracked claims, by way of actor Kelsey Grammer’s autobiography, that he was only supposed to be on three episodes, but when the producers of Cheers recognized that lead actress Shelley Long hated him, they kept him around just to spite her. But that’s a bald-faced lie, claims former Cheers writer Ken Levine, who has taken to his blog to dispute this conspiracy. 
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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers each recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed the most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.
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Are Niche Audiences the Future of Network Comedy?

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Flavorwire is celebrating Memorial Day with The Year in TV, a series of features on the 2012-13 TV season, which ends this month.

Last summer, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told the assembled press at the Television Critics Association’s press tour that, in the coming season, they could expect a shift in the network’s approach to comedy programming — a move away from the likes of Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office. “Those Thursday comedies, which the critics love, and we love,” Greenblatt carefully noted, “tend to be a bit more narrow than we’d ultimately like going forward… Those are great shows. But it’s a challenge in comedy to broaden… I hope these new shows we’ve got for the fall and the spring are also clever and also smart, but can also broaden the size of the audience.” Well, here we are a year later, and NBC renewed exactly two of their sitcoms for next season: Community and Parks and Rec. So much for broadening, eh?
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Should ‘Community’ Stay In Session — Or Is It Time to Graduate?

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For the past 12 weeks, in this space, Flavorwire has recapped the abbreviated, delayed, and frequently problematic fourth season of NBC’s Community. As you certainly all know by now, the third year of the often brilliant series concluded with the abrupt sacking of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, whose distinctive, idiosyncratic sensibility gave the show much of its voice, and whose comic genius was reportedly matched only by his inability to suffer suits gladly. The transition to new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio was certain to be bumpy, and it was. But now that Community‘s senior year has come to a close, it’s worth asking: should the show carry on, or is it time to send the Greendale crew (and the gifted actors who play them) out into the Real World?
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