In 1982 Danson was cast in his most recognizable role as the womanizing former baseball player and bartender Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, wherein he has an on-and-off relationship with college-educated, sophisticated Diane Chambers. Though the show finished last in the ratings in the first season, it was well received by critics. Ratings slowly but surely improved in 1983 and by 1986 Cheers was one of the top ten shows on TV. The show had a run of 11 seasons and its finale (May 20, 1993) was watched by 80 million people, becoming the second most watched finale in television history at that time. It won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and a Golden Globe for Best Series – Musical or Comedy. The show ran from 1982 to 1993, with Danson receiving 11 consecutive Emmy nominations and nine Golden Globe nominations, ultimately winning two Emmys and two Golden Globes. In 2002, TV Guide named Cheers the 18th Greatest Show of All Time. It was also included in Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Shows of All Time.