The Tortellis

The Tortellis is an American sitcom television series and the first spin-off of Cheers, starring Dan Hedaya and Jean Kasem. It aired on NBC from January 22 to May 12, 1987.

The Tortellis
The tortellis premiere print ad.jpg
Series premiere print advertisement
Created byKen Estin
Glen Charles
Les Charles
James Burrows
StarringDan Hedaya
Jean Kasem
Timothy Williams
Mandy Ingber
Carlene Watkins
Composer(s)Perry Botkin Jr.
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)James Burrows
Glen Charles
Les Charles
Producer(s)Stu Kreisman
Editor(s)Robert Bramwell
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions
Paramount Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseJanuary 22 –
May 12, 1987 (1987-05-12)
Related showsCheers


Hedaya and Kasem had appeared on Cheers on several occasions as Nick and Loretta Tortelli, who were (respectively) Carla Tortelli's loutish ex-husband and Nick's cheerful, bubble-headed new trophy wife. The series co-stars Timothy Williams as Anthony Tortelli, Nick and Carla's teenage son, and Mandy Ingber as Annie Tortelli, Anthony's young bride, reprising their roles from Cheers.

At the beginning of the series, Loretta leaves Nick and moves to Las Vegas to live with her sensible, divorced sister Charlotte (played by Carlene Watkins), and Charlotte's young son Mark (Aaron Moffat). The series follows Nick as he moves to Las Vegas to try to reconcile with Loretta, vowing to change his sleazy, conniving ways in the process. Nick and Loretta tentatively get back together, and Nick sets up a TV repair business and tries to reform—not always successfully. Anthony and Annie follow Nick to Las Vegas, and all six characters live in the same house.[1]

After the series was canceled, all four Tortelli characters made return appearances on Cheers, where it was revealed that Nick's TV repair business went under, but that Nick and Loretta were still together (albeit somewhat shakily) and had presumably moved back to Boston.

The characters of Charlotte and Mark Cooper were never seen or even referred to on any episode of Cheers, either before or after The Tortellis' run.


Guest starsEdit

Reception and cancellationEdit

The series drew low ratings, ranking 50th out of 79 series with an average rating/share of 13.3/20.[2] As a result, NBC canceled The Tortellis after 13 episodes. The next attempt at a Cheers spin-off, Frasier, was considerably more successful, running for 11 seasons.


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Pilot"James BurrowsKen EstinJanuary 22, 1987 (1987-01-22)
Nick Tortelli follows his wife Loretta to Las Vegas, hoping to get a second chance with her.
2"An Affair to Remember"Greg AntonacciJake Weinberger & Mike WeinbergerJanuary 28, 1987 (1987-01-28)
Charlotte tries to make her boyfriend jealous after learning he's seeing another woman.
3"Frankie Comes to Dinner"Michael ZinbergJeff AbugovFebruary 4, 1987 (1987-02-04)
When Cliff and Norm come to Vegas, Nick tells them that Frank Sinatra is coming to dinner.
4"Svengali"Jack SheaKimberly HillFebruary 11, 1987 (1987-02-11)
Loretta finally gets a job after finding a new manager, leading Nick to spring into action.
5"The Ad Game"Jack SheaCheri Eichen & Bill SteinkellnerFebruary 18, 1987 (1987-02-18)
A woman challenges Nick to fulfill his guarantee of fixing a TV in a day or eating a bug.
6"Viva Las Vegas"Greg AntonacciStuart SilvermanFebruary 25, 1987 (1987-02-25)
An Elvis impersonator, whom Nick takes under his wing, takes a shine to Charlotte.
7"Coochie, Coochie"Charlotte BrownAnne ConvyMarch 18, 1987 (1987-03-18)
Charo summons Nick to her dressing room for a repair, but when the job takes longer than it should, Loretta gets jealous and decides to confront her.
8"Man of the Year"Michael ZinbergTom Moore & Phil KellardMarch 25, 1987 (1987-03-25)
Nick receives a "Man of the Year" when he offers a year of free TV repair service in order to raise money for charity.
9"The Good Life"Michael ZinbergJeff AbugovApril 1, 1987 (1987-04-01)
Nick pretends to be a wealthy businessman just so his family can spend a night in a luxurious hotel.
10"Father Knows Best"Charlotte BrownJake Weinberger & Mike WeinbergerApril 21, 1987 (1987-04-21)
Nick decides to teach Anthony how to be a man when he sees how his son relates to Annie.
11"The Customer's Always Right"Charlotte BrownChris Cluess & Stu KreismanApril 28, 1987 (1987-04-28)
After fixing a TV for a condescending customer, Nick takes him to court when the man's check bounces.
12"Innocent as Charged"Jack SheaTimothy Williams & Ray MortonMay 5, 1987 (1987-05-05)
Nick and Anthony get in trouble with their wives, who catch them with scantily-clad women by the pool.
13"His Girl Friday"Michael ZinbergKen Levine & David IsaacsMay 12, 1987 (1987-05-12)
Nick regrets hiring a secretary who turns out to be a tyrant.


  1. ^ Orlik, Peter B. (2001). Electronic Media Criticism: Applied Perspectives (2 ed.). Psychology Press. p. 174. ISBN 0-8058-3641-1.
  2. ^ Bjorklund, Dennis A. (1997). Toasting Cheers: An Episode Guide To the 1982–1993 Comedy Series With Cast Biographies and Character Profiles. Praetorian Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 0-89950-962-2.

External linksEdit