1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 7 (USA)
172 x 30 minute episodes
Joe Hackett (Tim Daly) and his younger, cooler brother Brian (Steven Weber) run Sandpiper Air, a one-plane airline based at the (fictional) Tom Nevers Field on the New England island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts. Their plane, a Cessna 402 has the radio call sign “November 1-2-1 Papa Papa'” (N121-PP).
Joe started Sandpiper Air with $5,700 and a lot of sweat. Brian joined him as a partner after flying for Iguana Air (“We’re ugly, but we get you there”).
Helen Chappell (Crystal Bernard), the airport lunch counter operator, is a musician and hopes to one day play the cello with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. Her big break almost came when she auditioned for and got a job with the Maine State Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra, however, lost its funding and Helen lost her job.
Helen eventually becomes Joe’s wife (after having a crush on him forever).
Roy Biggins (David Schramm) is the owner of the rival six-plane Aeromass Airline. Faye Evelyn Cochran (Rebecca Schull) is the reservations clerk (a former stewardess now in her 60s). Lowell Mather (Thomas Haden Church) is the general maintenance man, and Antonio Scarpacci (Tony Shalhoub) is the Italian immigrant cabbie.
Kim Ulrich appeared as Brian’s ex-wife, Carol, and Barbara Babcock played Joe and Brian’s mother, Mae Hackett. Five characters from Cheers – Norm, Cliff, Frasier, Lillith and Rebecca – made guest appearances on the show.
The creator of the series, David Angell, died on 9/11 when the plane on which he was a passenger was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York.
Joe Montgomery Hackett
Brian Michael Hackett
Fay Evelyn Schlob Dumbly DeVay Cochran
Thomas Haden Church
Casey Chapel Davenport