‘Cheers’: Was Kelsey Grammer the Real Reason This Co-Star Was Written Out?

From 1982 to 1993, the television show Cheers was a household name. Today, it’s hard to hear the word without thinking of the iconic show. Cheers also happened to be the show that jumpstarted Kelsey Grammer’s career. But it turns out one co-star wasn’t crazy about working with him — and she left after the show’s fifth season.

The 'Cheers' cast
The ‘Cheers’ cast | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

‘Cheers’ led to Grammer’s most notable acting role on ‘Frasier’

Kelsey Grammer’s character, Frasier Crane, first appeared in season 3 of Cheers as part of the story arc between Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) and Sam Malone (Ted Danson). Diane and Sam had an on-again-off-again relationship that led to a number of arguments, break ups, and makeups. Diane eventually starts dating Frasier and brings him around the bar.

The character ends up playing a major role in Grammer’s acting career. He remains a part of the cast through its final season, and the producers then create a spinoff show, Frasier, surrounding his character. He reportedly made a deal with the producers to do a spinoff show during Cheers’ eighth season. But one important cast member reportedly did not like working with him.

RELATED: Which ‘Cheers’ Characters Showed Up in ‘Frasier’?

Shelley Long reportedly didn’t work well with Grammer

Shelley Long, who played Diane, seemed to have chemistry with Frasier on screen. But according to Screenrant, when the cameras stopped rolling, there wasn’t much to the actors’ relationship. Long reportedly didn’t work well with Grammer — or any of her co-stars, for that matter. She supposedly had problems with Danson, too, as well as the rest of the cast.

Long’s sour relationships with other cast members weren’t the only reasons she left the show. By season 5, Long reportedly felt she had made enough of a name for herself that she could move on from the show to pursue a movie career. Though this is a move various television actors have made through the years, it doesn’t guarantee success.

Long landed a role in “Outrageous Fortune” as well as “The Brady Bunch Movie,” but beyond that, her big screen career never took off. It’s unclear if she regrets leaving the show.  

Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Diana (Shelley Long)
Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Diana (Shelley Long) didn’t get along off-screen. | Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: ‘The Office’: Characters From ‘Cheers’ and ‘M*A*S*H’ Inspired This Role on the NBC Series

Where is the ‘Cheers’ cast today?  

Long recently guest-starred on Modern Family, taking on the recurring role of DeDe Pritchett, Jay Pritchett’s ex-wife. Long is worth about $10 million today, which is far less than any of her Cheers co-stars. Frasier was certainly Grammer’s biggest acting role, but he went on to make appearances in shows such as Boss and guest-starred on 30 Rock. Danson landed a main role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; he was part of the franchise for about five years.

Other Cheers cast members have had roles beyond the sitcom, too. Rhea Perlman, who played Carla Tortelli, most recently appeared as Annette Castellano on The Mindy Project from 2014-2017. Woody Harrelson, who played bartender Woody Boyd, has gone on to appear in films such as “Zombieland”and “Midway.”