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TheDailyBeast: Sitcom Replacements


After practically inventing the will-they-or-won't-they story line on sitcoms, "Cheers" had to confront the loss of Sam Malone's love interest, Diana Chambers, in its fifth year when Emmy-winner Shelley Long left the series to pursue a movie career. ("Cheers" had already proven it could replace a member of the bar family when "Coach" actor Nicholas Colasanto died in the middle of season three. The next year, there was a new beloved bartender in the lineup—Woody Harrelson's Woody Boyd.) That same season, Kirstie Alley was introduced as Sam's new foil Rebecca Howe, a role that also won her an Emmy, and kept the series going for six more years.

(Photo: NBCU Photo Bank/AP Photo)
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