Thursday, May 28, 2009

Inside info about FRASIER

First off, thanks so much to all of you who took the time to write in yesterday. WOW! I'm really blown away. If you haven't weighed in yet, I'd love to hear from you.

One feature that seems popular is the Friday questions. When I don't have the answer I try to go to the person who does. In this case, David Lee, one of the creators/executive producers/writers/directors of FRASIER. Thanks, David!

Dhppy asks:

I noticed the Frasier logo was always silver colored in it's final season. Was that designed to be a sign of it's platinum year or something to that effect?

As far as I recall, silver was chosen for the final year because it was one of the only colors left. It may have had some special significance as I don't remember using a metallic color before. Not sure. Changing colors every year was decided early on because when we watched CHEERS in syndication we found ourselves often asking "Which season was that show?" We now have replaced that question with "Which season was orange?"

Dhppy also wants to know:

Was there ever talk of getting Jean Smart as a regular on Frasier?
Not really. We of course loved her, but we found on FRASIER that it was better just to leave things open no matter how terrific the actor, so that if a story arc ran its course we could wrap it up rather than be stuck "servicing" an actor week after week . We did this over the years several times with terrific actresses since Frasier was always finding a woman of whom he thought "this time I think she's really the one" only to have it turn out badly.

Thanks again, David. What's your question?


RAC said...

"Which season was orange?" Hilarious!

My question is, Have I missed any particularly good sitcoms since quitting tv last summer? I'd love to hunt them down on the internet or on dvd, if there are any great recommendations!

Dhppy said...

And here I thought I was being observant. I had no idea every season had it's own logo color.

Thanks for the answers. I loved Jean Smart on the show. Who knows, maybe she drew from that moody Lana for her work as the crazy First Lady on 24. Frasier probably came this close to being brained by one of his African fertility symbols.

-bee said...

About MASH:

For a show set in Korea, there was never a major character in the series who was Korean.

I can think of all kinds of possible reasons that would have been the case - but am wondering if it was something you or other of the show's creative forces grappled with.

Andy Ihnatko said...

"Frasier's" set was both very pretty and very functional for storytelling. During your favorite scene with the "nosy" couple, Frasier could herd Marty into the kitchen for a private scolding.

But "Seinfeld"'s small open-plan apartment meant that either the characters had to be totally open with each other, or else George had to keep stewing over what Elaine said long enough for he and Jerry to talk about it at the coffeeshop later on.

Could you talk a bit about how a set design affects the writing, and how the writing can influence a set design? Does the designer know what writers generally want, or does he get a specific wish list for the show? And are writers sometimes limited or even inspired by the set they've inherited?

Barn.Door said...

What was your take on the 30 Rock hat tip to the MASH finale? Sorry if you've answered this and I missed it.

Reno said...

I loved the Marsha Mason "arc," and have always wondered if she was hired originally to do a short series of shows, or if one appearance happened to work so well, an arc was quickly developed. The banjo was a touch of genius.

Charlotte, NC

Mark Murphy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frasier Fan said...

Jean Smart's character always makes me laugh. "Put your brother on." Put your brother on." "PUT YOUR BROTHER ON THE PHONE"

I always thought she made a great friend for Frasier and was glad she popped up now and then. But I agree having her there all the time would have been unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

I always thought it was weird that the people who make the most ridiculous mistakes, like not knowing the difference between "it is" and "its", "then" and "then", or "should have" and "should of" (wtf?) were the native speakers. I remember a post on one of these "writer advice blogs" actually explaining it, and giving tips on how to avoid it. really? (it could have been Jane Espenson, I don't remember)

Barking Up Trees said...

concur on jean smart... i thought there was real chemistry there...

p.s., cannot tell you how disturbed i was when i discovered kelsey supported john mccain... >gah!<

DavidinPS said...

Please enlighten us, Anonymous.

What is the difference between "then" and "then"?

Or do you not make ridiculous mistakes?

Merry Di's Life and Travels said...

I just re-read the original MASH novel and couldn't stop laughing. I assume you and your partner read the book before writing for the series. Did it help or hinder you when coming up with ideas or writing an episode? On a similar note, back then I read all the MASH Goes to Wherever books, and it had pictures of the cast on it. Did they have any feeling on having their faces on the tie-ins? Did the show's writers?

Chris Ayers said...

Love the blog...two quick MASH questions.

Do you think, had Larry Linville stuck around, that Frank Burns could have been "redeemed" as a character and evolved much like Winchester did in the later years of the show?

Also, in the episode where BJ is making Charles think he's gaining & losing weight, were you the "Beanpole Levine" whose pants made Winchester think he'd gotten fat?

Thanks again.

Chris Ayers

Anonymous said...

In Frasier's apartment he has some really great art. There is one painting I do not know who the artist is. Maybe someone else does. It is the red, white, blue & black painting of a couple of vases hanging on the back wall going to Daphne's bedroom.

Anybody know?

Please and thank you.

Er. said...

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Anonymous said...

There are two closely spaced vertical paintings on the wall just to the left of Frasier's fireplace. Very interesting art. The one on the left is blue on black (or dark), with some brown tones in the corner. The one on the right has red with some green, also on black (or dark). Does anyone know the artist, or the title(s) of the paintings(s)?

Anonymous said...

In answer to the first anonymous question about the painting on the wall to Daphne's room (the painting of two vases, with red, blue, black, and white)... that painting is by Otterson, from 1939. The original is owned by Art and Artifacts in Los Angeles. I am the anonymous who posted the question about the pair of paintings on the wall to the left of the fireplace in Frasier's living room / apartment. If anyone knows about those paintings, please let me know... thanks! - Mike

JeJe said...

The art to the left of the mantle on the Fraser show is by Laddie John Dill. If you are interested in more information about this artist at