As Frasier celebrates its 25th Anniversary, Kelsey Grammer along with his original co-stars and producers from the show all took to the stage for a celebratory panel held at the USC Comedy Festival Vol. 4 in Los Angeles. While most of the evening was spent looking back at the show’s legacy, Kelsey made it obvious that he was also looking towards the next chapter.
The actor originally played Dr. Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist, on Cheers beginning with the third season premiere. The role was originally designed as a relatively small one, the idea being he would appear in a couple of episodes as Diane Chambers’ (Shelley Long) love interest and be written out, but he made such an impression that he stuck around right until the show’s final episode in 1993. Admittedly as time was winding down for Cheers and rumbling began regarding a spin-off, he did not seem like the likely candidate. Well, color us short-sighted, because that fall Kelsey was back for the launch of Frasier.
That spin-off saw the character return to his hometown of Seattle, where he hosts a call-in radio psychotherapy talk show, and surrounds him with an ensemble of new characters, most notably his brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce); his father, Martin (the late John Mahoney); radio producer Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin, for which she had replaced Friends star Lisa Kudrow, who just wasn’t the right fit); and Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), a physical therapist and a self-proclaimed psychic (“We’ve decided to think it’s cute,” commented Frasier at one point), who is hired to work with Martin.
Frasier was as big a hit as Cheers, winning 37 Emmys and running for 11 seasons, ending on May 13, 2004. Since then, of course, both series have enjoyed continued life in reruns, but back in July Deadline broke the news that the Kelsey was looking to reboot/continue the show, reporting, “I hear Grammer is currently meeting with writers who are pitching different concepts for the potential follow-up series. If the producers settle on a writer and a premise, the project could move beyond the exploratory stage.”
At the panel, Kelsey discussed the reboot, commenting, “There’s been no premise that has come along that has the necessary fire. A lot of us are quite committed to the concept that you would never try to redo what we once had,” though he did express the desire to bring along his Frasier co-stars. “There has been some discussions; nothing is planned. There is nothing set in stone. In my own personal approach to what I’ve discussed with other people is that I wouldn’t want to do it without these guys. The show would have to have a different foundation, with a new life and a new continuation for all of them, but that they’re still together.”
As to a concept, he noted, “Whatever happens, in my mind, it should be that he sorted out something that he hadn’t had sorted out previously. That would be the stepping point, so we’ll see.”
Whatever it may be, Dr. Frasier Crane, we’re listening.