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I was distantly aware that Cheers spun off multiple shows, or at least had tie-ins with shows.

I'm aware of Fraiser, as well as Wings, St Elsewhere and Tortellis.

Are there others and how do they relate? Is there a hierarchy as there is with Happy Days?

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The only direct spin-offs from Cheers were Fraiser and The Tortellis (Spin-off in this context means regular, recurring or guest characters from one show appearing as regular characters in another show). However, there are vague links to other series, and then links from those to others and so on that include minor cameos and crossovers, and these links could possibly lead to the interpretation that all these shows occur in the same universe.

This is called the Tommy Westphall Universe after a character in St Elsewhere who, it is revealed in the final episode of that show, might have actually imagined the whole thing.

There is a blog about The Universe that keeps track of all the shows that are part of it. As of 2016, there are over 400 (the exact number varies depending on where you look, but the most recent posting claims 441).

The mentioned blog includes a grid of how all these shows are linked and a key with more information on each one.

The link from Cheers to St Elswhere is the season 3 episode of St Elswhere also called Cheers. Characters from SE go drinking in the Cheers bar and meet some of the regulars including Norm, Cliff and Carla. Links from SE to other series and on from there are sometimes tenous, but others are not. For example, Richard Bezler has appeared as John Munch in no less than eight different shows according to Wikipedia, but in some (Homicide, Law & Order) he is a named, regular character, and in others it is a tiny cameo (for example, his appearance in The Wire is only in a single scene, and can only assumed to be John Munch based on the shared heritage of that series with Homicide and the fact that he references running a bar, which he also did in Homicide. No one actually refers to him by name).

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  • Is that a concise list, or are some of the connections tenuous? – Pureferret Jun 4 at 16:23
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    Some are tenuous, some aren't. I will add some more info to the answer. – Darren Jun 4 at 16:23
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Opinions vary about how strong the common factors between to television shows have to be to make them part of a shared single fictional universe or to make one a spin-off of the other.

Some people will accept that two shows are connected with evidence that other people do not think is strong enough.

You may have heard of the Tommy Westphall Universe, a theory that all the television shows connected to St. Elsewhere are part of a the same fictional universe, one that Tommy Westphall might have imagined.

Here is a link to a site that has 441 series linked to St. Elsewhere as of August 2016, less than four years ago:

https://thetommywestphall.wordpress.com/[1]

Here is a link to their master list of 419 shows, 22 fewer than mentioned in the other part:

https://thetommywestphall.wordpress.com/the-master-list/

That list includes Cheers.

Here is a link to their grid of programs:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggc0i8xezu29hbu/Crossovers_2016.jpg?dl=0[3]

There is a blue colored cross in the center of the grid, and Cheers is right above the horizontal bar of the cross on the left.

Here is a link to the Crossover Wiki.

https://fictionalcrossover.fandom.com/wiki/Crossover_Wiki[4]

You can search it for Cheers to see their list of crossovers and spin-offs.

I have found another website which has stricter requirements for listing crossovers. It lists only a few more than 100 shows has been crossed over with St. Elsewhere.

http://poobala.com/crossoverlist.html[5]

I'm having trouble getting the link to work, but googling poobala.com or Crossovers and spin-off's master list should bring it up.

This site lists 6 crossover and spin off events for Cheers in the alphabetical list of crossovers by show.

It also has a section of "Crossover and Spin-off Shared Reality Lists" of fictional shared universes in television.

The group 2 in that list includes Cheers and St. Elsewhere and is basically the Tommy Westphail Universe but much smaller,: I counted only 103 shows in that group just now.

For example, the Tommy Westphall Universe list includes all the Star Trek shows, but Group 2 does not. This site lists the shows in the Star Trek franchise in Group 10, along with some rather unexpected shows in other genres.

So you can compare the three sets of Cheers crossovers and spin-offs and see how well they agree, nad decide which shows you think should be on your list.

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