Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday's Forgotten TV: The Tortellis

Cheers remains one of the most beloved and popular TV sitcoms in history, even 20 years after it's departure from the first run airwaves.  It was immediately followed by Frasier, which aired an equal number of years on NBC to critical and viewer acclaim.  It's quite possibly the most successful spinoff TV series in history.

But it wasn't the first Cheers spinoff.

That designation belongs to The Tortellis, starring longtime character actor Dan Hedaya* as Nick Tortelli, the ex-husband of Cheers barmaid Carla.  The Tortellis chronicled Nick's life in Las Vegas, with his new bride, ditzy blonde Loretta, played by Jean Kasem.  To be honest, it wasn't a great series, and the audience agreed--it only lasted 13 episodes in the fall of 1987.  Still, it's notable for being a spinoff of a series as revered as Cheers and preceding an equally revered spinoff.  Not great, but certainly forgotten.

Here is the series pilot.  Thanks!

Be sure to check out other forgotten and overlooked movies and TV here.

*I actually met Dan Hedaya back in the fall of 1996 when I was an intern at a local TV station in Philadelphia.  He wasn't exactly Mr. Sociable!

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