‘Cheers’ Added A Disclaimer After Viewers At Home Complained About One Thing

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The popular American sitcom series Cheers, which had viewers glued to their screens, ran for 11 seasons and had a spin-off, Fraiser, which aired for over a decade. Arguably, the show was one of the most-watched series in TV history, even though fans complained a lot at its start.

However, the producers had a few ideas to help make it enjoyable for viewers. They decided to put up a disclaimer that was repeated at the beginning of each episode. Recently, popular screenwriter and Cheers contributor Ken Levine shed more light on the disclaimer during his podcast, Hollywood and Levine.

Ken Levine explains the disclaimer

Cheers
CHEERS, (from left): Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Ted Danson, (Season 8), 1982-93. © Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“Cheers is filmed in front of a live studio audience” are the words used to introduce every show’s episode. Levine explained that initial episodes did not include the disclaimer, and it led to serious conflict with viewers who thought the laughter in the episodes was exaggerated.

RELATED: ‘Cheers’ And Spin-Off ‘Frasier’ Had Some Unseen Cast Members

“We start as always with the announcement that Cheers is filmed in front of a live studio audience,” he revealed on the podcast. “And we had to do that because originally, we were getting a lot of complaints from people who thought that we were hitting the laugh track too hard.”

Cheers
CHEERS, Kelsey Grammer (center), George Wendt (right), (Season 5), 1982-93. © Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

The mechanical laugh was never used in ‘Cheers.’

The idea of shooting a sitcom using live audiences was not new in the ’80s as shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and All in the Family, which were filmed in 1970 and 1971, used this technique. Thus it was not strange that Cheers also employed the same.

Cheers
CHEERS, (from left): Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Tilly, ‘Second Time Around’, (Season 4, aired Feb. 6, 1986), 1982-93. © Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

However, the 72-year-old noted that the laugh track, a technological device used to produce laughter, was not employed during the production of the series. “It was really our laughs,” Levine said. “So we had to do that just to tell people that no, in fact, the laughs are earned.”

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