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(Originally published by the Daily News on May 16, 1993. This story was written by David Bianculli.)
Here are two quick anecdotes, spaced a decade apart, attesting to the excellence of NBC’s “Cheers,” which ends its 11 season run Thursday night.
After the 1982-83 TV season, the Television Critics Association (TCA) polled its members to nominate and acknowledge, for the first time, the best new series on TV. Although the competition that year included much-appreciated “St. Elsewhere,” the runaway winner was a then-little-known sitcom named “Cheers.”
Ten years later, in an interview with Kurt Vonnegut that I was conducting a book called “Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously,” Vonnegut made this appreciative comment about his favorite sitcom:
“I would say that television has produced one comic masterpiece, which is ‘Cheers,’” Vonnegut said. “I wish I’d written that instead of everything I HAD written. Every time anybody opens his or her mouth on-that show, it’s significant. It’s FUNNY.”