Five characters from Cheers (1982); Norm, Cliff, Frasier, Lillith and Rebecca, made appearances on the show. No characters from Wings crossed over to any Cheers episodes, though Thomas Haden Church played an unrelated character on a Cheers episode prior to being cast on Wings.
David Angell, who was a writer and creator of this series, died on 9/11 when his plane was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center. Rebecca Schull, who plays Faye, starred in "United 93", which tells the story of the hijacking and attempt by the passengers and crew of the flight to retake the plane on 9/11.
Tim Daly appeared as himself in an episode of Monk which starred Tony Shaloub. He and Monk were passengers on a plane and there were several references to their roles on Wings.
The aircraft in the opening and closing credits (N121PP) is still in use with Cape Air Airlines of Hyannis, Massachusetts. One of Cape Air's primary destinations in its New England operation (they also operate in Florida, the Caribbean, and Micronesia) is, in fact, Nantucket. This particular aircraft exclusively serves the New England market, so on any given day it is probably flying in and out of Nantucket. When filmed for the credits, 121PB was in the livery of the now-defunct Express Air of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Shortly after the filming, it became the property of Cape Air and has been used in that airline's service ever since. Prior to Express Air, it was in service for Provincetown-Boston Airlines which went out of business the year before Cape Air started.
Prior to joining the cast as a regular, Tony Shalhoub had appeared in an earlier episode (Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places) as Antonio, but was employed as a waiter in that appearance. In a later episode/clipshow Antonio says he worked as a waiter when he first arrived on Nantucket.
The show's theme music is a shortened version of the Rondo from "Piano Sonata in A Major" by Franz Schubert.
Casey's ex-husband Stuart appeared in one episode, and was played by John Ritter, who would later marry Amy Yasbeck.
The Club Car, which was often featured on the show, is a real restaurant on Nantucket.
There is a Tom Nevers Field on Nantucket, but it's a sports complex, not an airport. The airport on Nantucket is called Nantucket Memorial Airport.
Thomas Haden Church left the series when cast in the FOX Sitcom Ned and Stacey (1995). Lowell was written off by having him enter the Witness Protection Program after he saw a Mob hit. Brian Haley replaced Church as new mechanic Budd Bronski, but was written out of the series without explanation after only one season.
One of the producers, Roz Doyle, passed away from breast cancer in 1991. In homage, Roz Doyle became the name of Fraiser's radio producer in the hit series, which takes place in the same "universe" as Cheers and Wings, and has the same core creators.
Tony Shalhoub's father and mother's names are Joe and Helen, matching the two lead characters in "Wings". Additionally, his father's brother's name is Brian, the same as the show's character Joe. Coming from a NY theatre background and unfamiliar with the then year old program, Shalhoub was unaware of this until he saw his audition script.
Wings only ever received a grand total of three Emmy nominations. One for Outstanding Makeup in 1996, and the others in 1992 for guest stars Kelsey Grammer (playing Frasier Crane) and Tyne Daly (Tim Daly's sister) for her one-episode appearance as Mimsy Borogroves.
The character name Carlton Blanchard, played by William Hickey (I), was taken from a character in the movie Wings (1927), where he was played by William Hickey (II). (Coincidentally, William Hickey (I), who appeared in this series, was born the year the movie was released.)
Fisher Stevens, Hank Azaria, George Clooney, David Duchovny, and Greg Germann all auditioned for the role of Brian.
Lowell's first and last name (Mather) came from the names of two Harvard University halls.
The Sandpiper plane that is featured in the series' opening and closing credits, the N121PP, is still up and running and part of Cape Air's fleet. The airline's slogan? "We're Your Wings."
Peri Gilpin, Lisa Darr, Julianne Moore, Gina Gershon, Marcia Cross, Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Wilson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Megan Mullally all auditioned for the role of Helen. Gilpin was the producer's favorite, but NBC didn't like her for the role,
Bryan Cranston, Daniel Stern, Nick Cassavetes, and Boyd Gaines auditioned for the role of Joe.
The actors who portrayed the Hackett brothers (Tim Daly and Steven Weber) both went on to take lead roles in Stephen King television mini-series. Daly appeared in Storm of the Century (1999) and Weber starred in The Shining (1997) and Desperation (2006), as well as Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (2006).
Kevin Conroy was considered for the part of Joe. Conroy would soon go on to do the voice of Batman in the 1990's animated series and related projects. Tim Daly would go on to provide the voice of Superman in a crossover/companion series related to Conroy's Batman projects.
In one episode, Helen is watching home movies of one of her childhood birthday parties. Young Brian is seen wearing a T-Shirt saying "STAR TREK LIVES". Steven Weber would later guest star on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Tim Daly's father James Daly guest starred on the original Star Trek (1966) series. The "Star Trek" series, like "Wings", were all produced by Paramount Television (the original series began as a Desilu production).
Stock footage of the Sandpiper Cessna featured three different planes. The numbers were N121PP or "November 121 Papa Papa'"(the one always given by Joe or Brian over the radio), N121PB and N160PB. The latter two are never spoken of.
The license number of Sandpiper's plane is N121-PP, hence why they always used the call sign "Cessna Nevada 1-2-1 Papa Papa" when referred to on the radio. This is the registration number spelled out using the phonetic alphabet. However, "N" is "November" in the phonetic alphabet.
Veteran actress Tyne Daly, sister of Tim Daly (Joe Hackett) makes a guest appearance in Season 3, episode 6 as a wealthy woman who briefly uses Joe's brother Brian as her boy toy. Tyne received an Emmy nomination for her performance.
The theme was a short version of a Franz Schubert piece, Piano sonata No. 20 in A Major, D. 959, IV. Rondo. Allegretto. Schubert received screen credit as the theme composer in every episode.
In the early seasons, Lowell is a husband and father, and lives on a houseboat. His wife, Bunny, makes several guest appearances throughout the series, but his children - one of which is named Lowell, Jr. - and his houseboat (though frequently mentioned) are never seen.
Though some of it can be seen through the open door, the inside of Roy's office is never shown. The same goes for his house. The gang gathers in his backyard on one occasion, but that's as close as the audience ever gets. Both locations, however (as well as his car: a purple El Camino, which is also never seen) are repeatedly described in great detail, with emphasis on Roy's gaudy and often inappropriate tastes. Edit - In a later season, Joe and Helen visit Roy's house for dinner. Roy told his mother that Helen was his girlfriend, and his mother wanted to meet her.
Amy Yasbeck's real-life husband John Ritter guest starred in one episode as Casey's ex-husband Stuart. It would be the third (and final) time they'd play each other's spouses, after "Problem Child" (1990), where they initially met, and "The Cosby Show" (1984) episode, "Total Control" (1991).
Wings had both Cheers and Frasier crossover episodes; since all three shows were produced by the same people; and all three shows co-exist in the same universe: Cliff Clavin and Norm Peterson visit Nantucket in the season two episode "The Story of Joe". Their goal is ostensibly to go fishing, but the two never seem to get any farther than the island's drinking establishments. Frasier and Lilith Crane were the focus of the season three episode, "Planes, Trains, & Visiting Cranes." In the episode, Frasier and a skeptical Lilith come to Nantucket to put on a motivational seminar, but run into opposition from Helen Chappel, a dissatisfied former customer of Frasier's program. In the Cheers episode "License to Hill", which aired the same night as that particular Wings episode, Frasier even mentions that he and Lilith are going to Nantucket, foreshadowing their crossover appearance. (An additional note: Nine years later, at the beginning of the Frasier episode "Bla-Z Boy", Niles plays the Wings theme on the piano.) Rebecca Howe has a cameo appearance in the season four episode "I Love Brian", whose plot revolves around Brian's attempt to infiltrate a post-concert party in Clint Black's hotel room. As Rebecca is seen being asked to leave by Black's bouncer, she begs Black to come to the bar in Boston where she works so she can prove to the others there that she knows him. Black responds, "Maybe next year," causing Rebecca to exclaim right before she is kicked out of the party, "But none of you know where we're going to be next year!", a reference to how Cheers was in its final season on television. Roz Doyle's character is named as a tribute to a producer of the television series Wings (having the same creators as Frasier), who died from breast cancer in 1991.
Although Cheers, Frasier and Taxi won multiple Emmies between then, the red-headed stepchild of the Charles Brothers/James Burrows productions, Wings, never got any love from the Emmy Awards. It was only nominated twice.