Kelsey Grammer considering Frasier revival

Kevin Rawlinson
Sunday 23 October 2011 06:23

Six years ago, when Dr Frasier Crane bid a last farewell with his traditional "goodnight Seattle", the "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs" theme tune played and fans were told for the final time "Frasier has left the building", they could be forgiven for thinking they had seen the last of the psychiatrist.

But now, Kelsey Grammer, the actor who portrayed him for 20 years, says he is "seriously considering" reprising the role in a spin-off, which he said would also heavily feature the children of Dr Crane and his brother Niles.

In a series of online post over more than a month, he told fans "maybe it is time for a Frasier Reunion very interesting to say the least...get ready everyone", before adding: "I'm now really thinking maybe a spin off of would [you] feel about that with like My Son and Niles sibling...cameos by [members of the] old cast?"

Grammer also wrote: "We could do the reunion...from the new coffee shop I like that idea and we can have the Cheers cast there Kristy would love it."

The actor played Dr Frasier Crane for 20 years, beginning in the sitcom Cheers and ending with the final episode of the critically-acclaimed Frasier in 2004. The character, along with his wife Lileth was one of the ensemble cast of Cheers, which included Woody Harrelson and Ted Danson. The show was set in Boston and originally screened in the 1980s and early-90s.

The actor later appeared as Crane in Frasier, in which his character, a psychiatrist, returns home to Seattle after his divorce to work as the host of a phone-in show. His plan to live as a bachelor is foiled when he ends up caring for his father. The former policeman, played by John Mahoney, is forced into retirement after being shot in the line of duty.

His brother Niles, also a psychiatrist and played by David Hyde Pierce, is a major character and is involved in a long-running storyline charting his romantic pursuit of his father's masseuse, Daphne played by the British-born Jane Leeves.

The show's witty dialogue and the ability of its writers to poke fun at its own relatively high-minded subject matter made it a success both in America and in the UK; it is still repeated on British television. At its height, the series attracted 25 million viewers in the USA.

One of the ideas 55-year-old Grammer offered as a possible new direction for the spin-off was to centre it around social media, adding: "now that would be powerful". The actor, who's character was known for the catchphrase "I'm listening", also suggested that storylines come from messages posted on social media sites by fans, prompting some would-be writers to send in ideas.

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"Your son's character could be just like your father's character for some comedy conflict," wrote one. Another proposed that the show "include Roz's Daughter, that would be a triple treat...real chaos.".

Ending in similar fashion to the circumstances in which the series began, Frasier was left open to a possible sequel: After signing off from his radio show, Dr Crane left to start a new life in a new city, San Francisco.

A spokesman for Grammer said: "The original tweet was posted in error", but was at a loss to explain the subsequent posts by the actor suggesting a "Frasier reunion" and discussing plot ideas. The spokesman denied Frasier's return was imminent and Grammer refused to comment.

However, Rebecca Marks, executive vice president of entertainment publicity at NBC, which aired the original Cheers and Frasier shows, said that the company has had "no discussions" about a new spin-off.

While Grammer has not subsequently recreated the level of success he enjoyed with Frasier, his Broadway appearance as one half of a gay pairing in La Cage aux Folles, has received praise.

The Republican Party-member is also the face of a new US television station, described as: "pro-America, pro-business and pro-military sensibilities".

Earlier this year Grammer filed for divorce from his wife of 13 years, the former Playboy model Camille Donatacci. He is currently going out with British air stewardess, Kayte Walsh who is pregnant with his child.

Spin-offs: the successful and the not-so-successful

* Doctor Who and Torchwood

After his triumphant relaunch of the cult sci-fi programme Doctor Who, Russell T. Davies' next project was a resounding success. It was aimed more at a more mature audience than its sister-programme and attracted as many as 5.9 million viewers in its three series to date.

* Friends and Joey

When the long-running Friends - one of the most successful sitcoms of all time - finished in 2004, producers thought that re-introducing one of its characters in a spin-off would be a good idea. Viewers thought otherwise and the show was cancelled in 2006.

* Grange Hill and Tucker's Luck

Based on Peter "Tucker" - Jenkins one of the most popular characters in Grange Hill, Tucker's luck followed the former school pupils' attempts to assimilate to the 'real world'. It was well-received during its two year run from 1983 but never saw success on the scale of its parent, which ran for 30 years.

* Inspector Morse and Lewis

The original series, starring John Thaw as Morse - a Thames Valley Police inspector, ran for 13 years. Its spin-off, in which Morse's partner - played by Kevin Whately - was promoted to inspector as well as title character.

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