Originally aired May 20, 1993; 9:22 p.m. on NBC
Recorded May 20, 1993; 9:22 p.m. from NBC (WGEM, and an unknown affiliate)
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This recording is the premiere of the Cheers finale "One for the Road". The finale was broadcast on NBC in May 1993 as a 98-minute special, then re-broadcast on May 23, 1993. On August 19, 1993, the episode was slightly cut to fit into a 90-minute slot. In subsequent syndicated airings, the finale was split into three parts. Preceding the premiere and the May 23 rerun, NBC ran a special titled Cheers: Last Call! that paid tribute to the history of the series and the production behind it.
The original broadcast of "One for the Road" was viewed by approximately 42,400,000 American households, making it the second-highest-rated series finale (only behind M*A*S*H, of course) and the 27th most-watched television broadcast in American history, tied with Super Bowl XXVIII. It would be interesting to know how many of those households recorded the finale of Cheers and how many of those copies still exist today. Surprisingly, this is the only copy I've ever come across tape-collecting. Whoever recorded this way-back-when taped it just after Johnny Carson's final show which was coincidentally just under a year prior.
I love Cheers as much as anyone else does, so regardless of how common recordings of this broadcast may be it's still really neat to own a first-generation recording of it. I don't come across very many recordings of the show very often which is odd considering how enormously popular it was during its life and the fact it ran on a network as readibly available as NBC. As far as I can remember, this is the only recording of Cheers in my collection aside from some credits that were recorded from our local MeTV affiliate around 2014. I had come across some Betamax tapes a few months back that appeared to have episodes of the show recorded from around 1982/1983 (its first or second season on the air) which would have been incredible to see. Unfortunately, I don't own a Betamax deck nor was I willing to chuck out around $100 for them at the time.
Embedded are some ads from the premiere of "One for the Road", including a promo for the spin-off Frasier which would premiere the following September. My copy of the premiere does not contain any surviving commercials, so credits to YouTube user 243sd for uploading this.
UPDATE (June 15, 2021): I've received a second copy of this premiere with commercials intact from NBC affiliate WGEM! I'll probably get around to uploading the commercials soon but seeing as there are plenty of commercials from this broadcast uploaded to YouTube, it's not on the top of my list.