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Sumner Sloan is Diane's fiancé at the start of the series. He is portrayed by Michael McGuire.


Diane was Sumner's teaching assistant; she had known him for two years. Sumner and Diane stopped in at Cheers to have a drink, and to allow Sumner to retrieve his ex-wife Barbara's wedding ring, which he intended to give to Diane. Sumner and Diane were on their way to the airport; their plan was to travel to Barbados for the wedding.

Sumner left Diane at Cheers while he went to retrieve the ring. Although he promised to be gone only a few minutes, he did not return for over an hour - and when he did return, he began to have second thoughts about the wedding. Diane managed to talk him back into going to Barbados, but a phone call from Barbara and Sumner was gone again... this time for good.

In "Sumner's Return", he returned seeking Diane's forgiveness - and unknown to her, also to see if he could win her back, as his reunion with Barbara had failed. By this time, Diane was with Sam, and Sam guessed Sumner's intentions before Diane did. Failing at winning Diane back, he exited with as much grace as he could.

In his last appearance at Cheers, in "I Do and Adieu", he returned to inform Diane that an old manuscript he had of hers had been submitted to a publisher, and the publisher wanted her to finish it for potential publication. By this time, Diane had become engaged to Sam. However, this convinced Sam to postpone the marriage, fearing it would drag Diane down to the point where she would be unable to finish the book and thus create a burden for him knowing that she would likely have regret; Diane would never return to Cheers again except for a brief period in 1993. It was never revealed what happened to Sloan after this.

In addition to these episodes, he was also mentioned in Season 4's "The Groom Wore Clearasil".

Though very intelligent, Sumner could be seen as either a bit of a cad, or so detached from his own emotions that he ended up hurting Diane very much, and by association Sam.


He may have been loosely based on business entrepreneur Sumner Redstone, who himself was a Boston native, former lawyer and who was also at the time a member of Boston University's law school faculty board. Both donned the same first name and had partially rhyming last names. At the time, Redstone ran the movie theater company National Amusement, which led to him becoming a stockholder in various film companies, including Cheers production company Paramount. He would later acquire Viacom in the late 1980s and also become a business rival to Barry Diller, who ran Paramount when Cheers started. Viacom, which profited from MTV Networks and the video rental company Blockbuster, would successfully outbid Diller's company QVC for ownership of Paramount in 1994.