You know TV’s famous will-they/won’t-they couples – like Ross and Rachel or Sam and Diane – but do you know the man behind them?
Prolific TV director James Burrows is responsible for some of those on-screen couples’ best moments. He is being honored Sunday with own NBC special that will bring together the casts of shows such as Friends and Cheers.
Burrows, 75, got his start shooting episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, but cemented himself in the pages of television history when he co-created Cheers, going on to direct 237 of its 275 episodes.
He went on to direct 32 episodes of the show’s spin-off Frasier, as well as 15 installments of Friends, and all 188 episodes of Will & Grace. He’s also directed for The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Dharma & Greg and Mike & Molly.
In all, Burrows has directed 1,000 episodes of television, passing that milestone with an episode of NBC’s Crowded in November.
Burrows has won 10 Emmys and been nominated 41 times. He is married to hair stylist Debbie Easton, who also worked on Friends.
To see how his actors are honoring the legendary director, watch Must See TV: An All Star Tribute to James Burrows Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.