TV: Cheers – Season 3

Premiered: September 27, 1984

On: NBC

Starring: Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt, Dan Hedaya, Jean Kasem, Bette Ford, Ellen Regan, Al Rosen, Alan Koss, Tim Cunningham, Steve Giannelli, Larry Harpel, Thomas Babson & Kelsey Grammer

Due to his unexpected death, the third season of Cheers marks the final appearance of Nicholas Colasanto as Coach Ernie Pantusso.

After their split, Sam (Ted Danson) falls back into his drinking and playboy habits while Diane (Shelley Long) begins to date her psychiatrist Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer). Coach, Carla (Rhea Perlman) and Cliff (John Ratzenberger) all go through romantic issues and Norm (George Wendt) is trying to become a father.

Grammer’s entrance as Frasier is welcome and adds a new dynamic to the already solid cast. (Not-so-spoiler alert: Grammer would go on to play Frasier for two decades in multiple shows.) The love triangle between him, Diane and Sam is well-written though frustrating at times.

The main downside of this season is Sam’s philandering, which hasn’t aged well over the years.

Final say: Bittersweet knowing the loss of Colasanto. ★★★★☆

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