KIRSTIE ALLEY wants to reunite her “Cheers” co-stars on her new TV Land series – except for Shelley Long!
A source says the two actresses feuded after Kirstie replaced Shelley on the long-running NBC sitcom in 1987, and Kirstie refuses to appear alongside her former rival.
“Kirstie was furious when she starred on ‘Cheers’ and producers decided to bring Shelley back as a guest star,” a source told The ENQUIRER.
What really sparked Kirstie’s ire, continues the source, was how fans kept writing in about how they missed the sexual tension between Ted Danson’s character Sam Malone and Shelley’s Diane Chambers after Kirstie came aboard playing bar manager Rebecca Howe.
“KIRSTIE HATED PLAYING SECOND fiddle to Shelley and never forgave her for treating her rudely when she returned to the set,” added the source.
Former “Cheers” favorite Rhea Perlman will be a regular on “Kirstie,” and George Wendt – who played Norm on “Cheers” – has signed on for a guest-starring gig. Kirstie also hopes to land Woody Harrelson and Ted Danson, said the source.
“But Kirstie was absolutely stunned when TV Land suggested Shelley be on the series,” said the source. “Along with starring on the sitcom, Kirstie is also one of its executive producers, and she said there’s no way in hell that she’d bring Shelley onto HER show.”
During her six-year stint on “Cheers,” Kirstie nabbed an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She’s worked steadily since TV’s beloved Boston bar closed its doors in 1993, and was the runner-up on Season 12 of “Dancing with the Stars.”
In her new series, the 62-year-old actress plays a Broadway star who reconnects with the biological son she gave up for adoption.
Perlman will portray her trusted friend and personal assistant, while “Seinfeld” alum Michael Richards will play her eccentric driver and Jason Alexander – also of “Seinfeld” fame – will guest star as her agent.
Although Kirstie is thrilled at reuniting with her “Cheers” chums, she just doesn’t think Shelley, 63, would fit in, said the source.
“Kirstie wasn’t particularly fond of Shelley when she came back to the show that made her a star,” noted the source. “So she’s not even entertaining the idea of bringing Shelley on to her new show. It’s Kirstie’s show and Kirstie’s rules – and that means no Shelley Long.