Archive for the ‘"Cheers"’ Category

Director James Burrows on Makin’ His Way in the World Today

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Director James Burrows is practically synonymous with popular television comedies. Burrows got his start in television under the tutelage of Jay Sandrich on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, went on to direct episodes of The Bob Newhart Show, co-created Cheers with Les and Glen Charles (and directed almost all of the series’ episodes), directed episodes of Taxi, Friends, Frasier, and the entire series run of Will & Grace.

Burrows stated that one of the biggest laughs he’s ever seen on television occurred when he was directing Friends:

Watch James Burrows’ full interview here to hear his tales of Taxi, Cheers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and other TV favorites.

About this interview:

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, James Burrows discusses his early years working as a stage manger under his father, playwright/director Abe Burrows, and outlines his years directing for the stage in regional theater. He recalls his break into television directing, working at MTM Productions on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and describes directing Fay, The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, and Phyllis. He details working with the cast and creative team behind Taxi, and directing the majority of the series’ episodes. Burrows chronicles the eleven-year run of Cheers, which he co-created with Glen & Les Charles, and for which he directed nearly every episode.  As one of the pre-eminent directors of sitcom pilots, Burrows shares what he looks for in selecting a pilot and explains what drew him to directing the pilot episodes of Night Court, NewsRadio, and 3rd Rock From the Sun. He talks of working on the early seasons of Frasier, Friends, and Caroline in the City, and speaks of the joy of being the sole director of the hit series, Will & Grace. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on December 17, 2003 in Los Angeles, CA.

Cast and Creators Appear at the TV Academy’s "Funnybone of the ’80s"

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences hosted “Funnybone of the ’80s” last night with the cast and creators of some of the great sitcoms of the 1980s— Cheers, Designing Women, Murphy Brown, and Night Court.

The Archive spoke to a few of the guests on the press line, including cast members Ted Danson (Cheers), Kelsey Grammer (Cheers), Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown), and Charles Robinson (Night Court).

Glen & Les Charles’ Archive Interview Is Now Online!

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Glen & Les Charles (along with James Burrows) are best known for creating the classic sitcom Cheers. Their 8-part Archive of American Televison Interview is now available for viewing online. The Charles brothers were interviewed separately about their early years and influences and jointly about their contributions to television as writer-producers. “Take a break from all your worries” and click here to access their complete interview.

Interview description:
The writing-partner brothers talked about their early years growing up near Las Vegas, Nevada and their decision in the mid-70s to try their hand at freelance writing for television. They talked about selling their first script (to M*A*S*H) and their break into staff writing at MTM Productions where they worked as writer-producers on Phyllis and the final season of The Bob Newhart Show. They talked about other writing assignments on such series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Betty White Show. They detailed working with the cast and crew on the hit series Taxi, for which they produced (and wrote for) the ABC run [the show would run a final season on NBC]. The two chronicled their creation (with James Burrows) of the series Cheers for which they served as producers and later executive producers during the show’s entire eleven year run. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on December 8, 2003.

"Will & Grace" ends its eight season run

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Will & Grace (& Jack & Karen) are throwing their last barb/insult/witticism/pie-in-the-face this week. Not only will fans miss the talented ensemble (all four of whom won Emmy Awards), but also the guest shots by “it” list celebrities that together resemble a merger of Elton John’s and Vanity Fair’s Oscar parties.

Amazingly, every one of the nearly 200 “Will & Grace” episodes were directed by one person — legendary sitcom creator/director James Burrows. Burrows was interviewed by the Archive of American Television and talked about his experiences directing “Will & Grace” as well as such career highlights as “Taxi,” “Cheers,” and “Friends.”

Click here to access the the Archive’s 7-segment interview with James Burrows.

Who was your favorite star to mix it up with Eric, Debra, Sean and Megan? Choose from the list below, or “write in” your favorite.

Kevin Bacon
Alec Baldwin
Eileen Brennan

John Cleese

Glenn Close

Matt Damon

Michael Douglas

Woody Harrelson

Jeff Goldblum

Gregory Hines

Elton John

James Earl Jones


Demi Moore

Britney Spears

Post your vote by entering it in “comments” below.