It takes a lot of gumption to up and walk away from one of television\u2019s most popular programs but that\u2019s exactly what Shelley Long did after the fifth season of the series which would run for another six seasons.\u00a0 Why\u2019d she do it?\u00a0 We'll get to that in just a minute, but first, let\u2019s talk a little bit about Cheers.\u00a0 Fun fact, the show wasn\u2019t an immediate hit.\u00a0 The ratings for the first season of the show were nothing to write home about and, if I remember things correctly, there was some concern regarding whether or not the show would be renewed for a second season.\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nOn the show, Ted Danson played Sam Malone, a retired baseball player who is the main bartender for a warm and inviting bar in Boston where everybody knows your name.\u00a0\u00a0Like all great TV shows, the entire cast is quite incredible.\u00a0 But it was the romantic tension between Sam and waitress Diane Chambers, played by Shelley, that really made this show something special and so much fun to watch.\u00a0\u00a0For most of those first five seasons, TV audiences wondered if Sam and Diane would eventually fall fully head over heels in love. Couple that with the fact that Danson and Long were so good together and well, you\u2019ve got the makings of a blockbuster hit.\r\nWhy Shelley Long walked away from 'Cheers'\r\n\r\n\r\nOver the course of Cheers and its companion show, Frasier, Long was nominated for an Emmy Award six times for playing Diane Chambers winning the award once.\r\n\r\nHer 1983 acceptance speech is the model for how to gracefully accept an award and acknowledge the efforts of your co-workers.\u00a0 Quite frankly, it is a thing of beauty and can be seen in the clip below.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHowever, apparently as those five seasons progressed, things weren\u2019t always as wonderful as Shelley\u2019s acceptance speech would have you believe.\r\n\r\nRELATED: Shedding Light On The Secret Original Lyrics To \u2018Cheers\u2019 Theme\r\n\r\nThe problem, from everything that I can tell through extensive research, is that Shelley wasn\u2019t all that much fun on set.\u00a0 While others wanted to joke around and goof off a bit in between takes, Long, on the other hand, preferred to focus on the task at hand, preparing for the next scene often by herself away from the other cast members.\u00a0 As you can guess that led to a bit of a separation between Shelley and the rest of the cast members who had grown quite close.\r\nPreparing for her character send-off\r\n\r\n\r\nCouple that with the fact that the producers of the show were concerned about how the culmination of the Sam and Diane romance would play out.\u00a0 Television audiences are notorious for losing interest in a show after the two main characters tie the knot.\u00a0 Apparently, the ongoing fun of married life isn't quite as entertaining as watching the highs and lows of a courtship in the making.\u00a0 The producers also felt that the bar was always meant to be Sam\u2019s one true love and, over the course of those first five seasons, Sam\u2019s relationship with the bar had taken a bit of a back seat.\u00a0 So, when Shelley told the producers that she wouldn\u2019t be returning for the show\u2019s sixth season they put together an elaborate send-off for her character where she and Sam would put their relationship on hold so that she could focus on her writing.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s a great episode because it allowed Shelley to return as Diane later on in episodes of both Cheers and Frasier.\u00a0 Still, no commitment to her return was made.\u00a0 And that\u2019s just the way that Shelley wanted it\u2026as she has said numerous times that she walked away with no regrets.\r\nWhat her career looked like beyond 'Cheers'\r\n\r\n\r\nReplacing Shelley\u2019s Diane Chambers was Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe. Listening to a couple of interviews with the producers of the show, Kirstie was selected as Shelley\u2019s replacement almost immediately, and while some fans argue that the show was never the same, it did run for another six seasons.\u00a0 Personally, I thought Rebecca Howe was a fun addition to the bar, but I did miss the quick-witted, always fun banter between Sam and Diane.\r\n\r\nOf course, Shelley went on to star in a ton of movies.\u00a0 When she had told producers that she wouldn\u2019t be returning, she had already signed a deal with Disney and because of that, while it was still a gutsy move to leave Cheers, it is more understandable knowing that this talented lady had work lined up for the foreseeable future.\r\nLooking back on it all\r\n\r\n\r\nFor me, I have to admit that, post Cheers, I love Shelley most in those two zany Brady Bunch movies.\u00a0 She does a great job of channeling the best of 'Carol Brady.'\u00a0 Along with actor Gary Cole, these two folks did a wonderful job of both poking fun, and respectfully paying homage to Florence Henderson and Robert Reed.\u00a0 Shelley was also terrific in more recent appearances on ABC\u2019s Modern Family.\u00a0 She played Jay\u2019s wacky ex-wife 'DeDe,' but unfortunately the creative team behind that show decided to kill off her character.\u00a0 Now with all that said, let\u2019s talk about that very last episode of Cheers for a moment.\r\n\r\nHow many of you were in the same camp as me and really wanted Sam and Diane to end up together?\u00a0 I understand the fact that they didn\u2019t stay true with the producers\u2019 desire that Sam\u2019s true love be the bar, but that series finale did not play out the way that I wanted it to.\r\nA life-long bond between Long and Danson\r\n\r\nThe Beef Doesn't Hold Up\r\nKnowing the tensions on the set of\u00a0Cheers, it is truly heartwarming to watch this interview with Danson and Long from a few years back where Ted exercises that same level of graciousness that Shelley demonstrated decades ago when she accepted her Emmy Award.\r\n\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vp1OKyOOUjqA\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nDespite the conflict and the fact that Shelley wasn\u2019t around for most of those final six seasons, it is clear that Ted has a tremendous amount of respect for Shelley and her work on the show that made both of them stars.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSo, were you like us, and did you want to see Sam and Diane together when the show finally ended?\u00a0 Or, did you think it ended perfectly? Let us know in the comments section, and watch our good friend, Dave Sundstrom's full video below, enjoy!