Ireland to Get Its Own Cheers
The classic American sitcom about the Boston bar where everybody knows your name is set to be rebooted in Irish. In mid-December, the Dublin-based Sideline Productions announced that CBS had granted them permission to develop an Irish version of Cheers for Irish language network TG4.
The beloved series, which aired for eleven seasons from 1982 – 1993, centers on a Boston dive owned by former baseball player and recovering alcoholic Sam Malone (Ted Danson), its quirky employees (Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, Nick Colasanto; later Woody Harrelson and Kirstie Alley) and community of regulars (George Wendt, John Ratzenberger and Kelsey Grammer, to name a few). It ranked 18 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, published in 2002, and earned a record 111 Emmy nominations.
The Irish Cheers will follow a similar plot line and character dynamic to the American original, but there will be notable differences. Instead of the Irish equivalent, Sláinte, the show is tentatively titled Teach Séan, in reference to the Sam Malone character’s more authentic Irish name. He will be a former GAA hurler rather than a baseball player, and the setting will likely be a rural village instead of a city (though anyone who has seen Cheers shouldn’t be expecting many exterior scenes).
Billy McGrath, Sideline’s creative director, told The Hollywood Reporter that the show would initially focus on the first two seasons of Cheers, “with a view of re-writing and re-versioning 10 to 12 episodes set in a picturesque town in the West of Ireland.”
The original Cheers is still syndicated in Ireland, and has been well received there. McGrath told the Boston Globe that he is hopeful the show will translate well into Irish, in terms of both the dialogue and the themes. “We would be able to preserve the richness of the language and the type of camaraderie by switching the tone and the heart of it into the Irish language,” he said.
If TG4 approves Sideline’s proposal and funding is secured, filming will likely start in late 2013, aiming for a premiere in early 2014.