Thursday, July 26, 2018

Will there be a FRASIER reboot?

An article appeared on trade websites saying a FRASIER re-boot may be in the works. So naturally I was bombarded with inquiries about it.

Here’s what I know:

Very little.

I don’t think the plan is to reboot like WILL & GRACE where everyone in the original cast comes back and the show picks up where it was. I understand the plan for FRASIER is more of a spinoff in another city with other characters. The article says Kelsey is meeting with writers.

Has anyone come up with an idea that he likes and wants to do? I have no idea. Who are the writers he’s meeting with? Don’t know that either.

I do know this: the new series will be compared to the original and that will be a tall order.

I’m more interested in who the creative team will be. Remember, so much of FRASIER was the writing. If some of the original writers want to come back then I’d be interested too.

The sense I get is that this is still a long ways off. But it’s certainly intriguing, isn’t it?

Hey, what about if he opens a surf shop in Hawaii? BIG WAVE FRASIER’S. Where’s Kelsey’s number?

UPDATE (since a few of you have asked):  One of the big attractions of participating in this new version of FRASIER (should all the planets line up) is the opportunity to work again and write again with David Isaacs.  "Levine & Isaacs" would return!  

64 comments :

Jeff S said...

I was thinking he could move to Miami and buy a house with a lanai from the 90 something Rose Nylund with the condition that she be allowed to live out her days there. Rose inherited the house when Blanche died. She's become more cantankerous over the years and now has a Russell Terrier for a companion. Golden Frasier?

Carol said...

How old would 'Frederick' be at this point? Maybe the show could be about him moving in with Frasier. 😁

Annie C said...

I would dearly love to see Frasier again -- with the right writers. The way his character developed over the years from Boston to Seattle, from Lilith and Sam to Dad and Niles was written so real I feel I know them all.

Frasier Crane is a hoot with a heart. Bring him back WITH LEVINE!

Janet Ybarra said...

I realize that this might be a big if, but if as you say they, they came up with a great creative team, could this potentially reunite you and David as an active writing/producing team?

That would be cool.

Ben K. said...

I have the perfect angle:

When a stuffy intellectual moves in with a raucous blue-collar family, can they all get along? Tune in to "Frazier and the Conners" this fall and find out!

TireKicker said...

IF this happens, the first call should be to Levine and Isaacs.

Peter said...

If you, David and the other original writers like Joe Keenan aren't involved, I'm not interested.

I swear that I will lose the will to live if it's a new team of writers who are from the pop culture references school of comedy or the Chuck Lorre soulless rapid fire one liners school of comedy.

Just today I saw a great rerun of a classic episode, the one where Frasier has had enough of rude people and throws a guy out of Cafe Nervosa. It had sharp, sophisticated writing that I sometimes fear has gone out of fashion.

Roger Owen Green said...

I hope it doesn't happen. Without John Mahoney, it loses some of its humanity. Still, if David Hyde Pierce were on board, it COULD be interesting...

VP81955 said...

This "Frasier" would be as different in cast and setting from its predecessor as the first "Frasier" was from "Cheers" -- in other words, not a reboot, but a "move on." (Hey, if my life story was made into a sitcom in 2018, it would surely be different from its 1993 equivalent.) That doesn't mean the new "Frasier" would necessarily be better or worse, merely different, with its own identity. (Nearly all of my 1993 "castmates" back east either are no longer part of my life here in Los Angeles, or are dead.)

We often forget that Kelsey Grammer not only is an actor (and a fine one), but a producer of several TV series -- some of which he's appeared in, others which he hasn't (e.g., "Medium"). He understands what goes into creating a "universe," from the characters to the setting. And I'm certain he wouldn't associate himself with a series that would cheapen the legacy of such an iconic and beloved (if at times exasperating) character. If it comes to pass, I wish him well.

McAlvie said...

This is one of the few instances where I think it really could work, because the original was not tied to any particular decade. It would just be new trendy restaurants and even older priceless art. I do think it would have to include David Hyde Pierce, as Niles Crane became just as important as Frasier and audiences would miss his presence. Much as I'd love to see the whole cast together again, (RIP John Mahoney) I think new characters would work as antagonists and foils for the Crane brothers.

But, of course, without the writing and a showrunner with a really good feel for the original, you wouldn't have the magic.

Rich Johnson said...

How about a prequel, instead. We go back to the early 50s and watch rough and tumble Seattle beat cop Martin Craine meet, woo and marry his high class girl from a rich family.

Matt said...

I'd be all for it. But if it becomes yet another vehicle for "politics", I'm out in a microsecond.

Rashad Khan said...

Or, he could chuck it all and move to Dallas, where he can work as a pet psychiatrist and meet the love of his life (a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who's younger than even his own son).

"Dr. C in the Big D" -- Part of the new Thursday "Must-See TV" Lineup! This Fall, on NBC!

David Long said...

Someone mentioned Frederick and Frasier moving in together? What if Frasier finds himself as the Martin Crane role, physically impaired (probably from that stroke Frasier seemed to always be on the verge of) forced to accept being cared for by his son.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

The only reboot I'm interested in seeing is the M*A*S*H reboot Ken wrote earlier this year - shame that David Ogden Stiers passed away, though I doubt he would have agreed to comeback for it.

Peter said...

I just googled Trevor Einhorn, who played Frederick. He's now 29 and still acting. He was in Mad Men and is currently doing a series called The Magicians.

Mike Barer said...

Unlike the other reboots, in my opinion, Frasier was a classic show with great writing, great acting, and great situations. My guess is that anything done now would be a total let down.

Terrence Moss said...

that seems the most logical to me. turn the original premise on its head.

Janet Ybarra said...

We are unfortunately decades beyond any sort of MASH reboot with original cast--even if such a thing would be a good idea, which I am dubious about. Not only have several pivotal cast members passed away, those who remain are in their 70s and 80s. Not sure they are in a position to stand up to the rigors of producing series television. That's no slight. I saw an interview with Alan Alda where he was asked about doing cartwheels at the Emmys and he said his cartwheel days were behind him.

Terrence Moss said...

i'm sold.

Andrew said...

@Peter,
It demonstrates what a great show Frasier was, that I can remember that scene you described even though I haven't seen it in a long while. "Then perhaps what you need is an etiquette lesson!" I think I've even used that line, tongue in cheek.

In that episode, Jerry Orbach was one of the guest callers. I once watched an interview with S. Epatha Merkerson, who of course was the lieutenant on Law and Order. She played the role of Daphne's therapist in one episode of Frasier. She said it was Orbach who first told her years earlier that she should be watching Frasier. She fell in love with the show based on his recommendation. So she was thrilled to actually have a guest appearance on her favorite comedy.

Janet Ybarra said...

My question about these reboots--and mind you I don't have the data in front of me--is whether or not they will have ratings staying power?

Just anecdotally, I recall a lot of fanfare when the WILL AND GRACE reboot first premiered but then later it seemed to generate less attention.

Mike Doran said...

Off-topic:

Years back, I had an idea for a one-off scene (maybe a teaser), involving Frasier and Niles having an abstruse argument about The Mind; Martin is off to one side, going out of his gourd.

Martin finally gets up to leave; Frasier and Niles call him on it.

Frasier: Are we boring you, Dad?

Martin: You would be, if I had any idea what the hell you were talking about. (continues to leave)

Niles: You never really appreciated what Frasier and I have done with our lives, have you?

Frasier: If it had been up to you, what would you have wanted us to be?

Martin (exasperated): Marty Junior and Mike! (leaves the room as Frasier and Niles do a long fade-out take)

The rest of the show has a runner where Frasier and Niles argue about which one of them would have been Marty Junior.

Never gonna happen, of course; still, it might have worked …

blinky said...

Frasier moves back to Boston and opens an coffee shop next to Cheers.

Gary Theroux said...

As I recall, in the last scene of the last episode of "Frasier" Frasier was flying to Chicago in hopes od connecting with his latest love. His Dad had remarried and Niles and Daphne had just come parents via the birth of their child in a vet's office (!). I think Ken's opening comment about how tough a challenge it would be to reboot "Frasier" at this point is accurate in that, without question, "Frasier" ranks as the very best sitcom in television history. As we know, spinoffs rarely work -- which is why it seemed impossible to top "Cheers" once it went out of production. But then "Frasier" did so, spectacularly -- so who knows? "Frasier" ended with its huge and devoted audience wanting more -- and with the right plot situation, returning and new characters and again the perfect mix of top-notch production expertise and superb writing, maybe a "Frasier" reboot would work. It is no secret that many of the best "Frasier" episodes were crafted to perfection by Ken and David. As someone who's been enjoying "Frasier" reruns on Netflix for years, I know I would be watching the reboot -- eager to cheer the results.

VP81955 said...

One angle that excites me about the "Murphy Brown" revival is that her son Avery (the one Dan Quayle so inveighed against) now has not only grown up, but has become a conservative -- Alex Keaton, the next generation! -- and hosts a morning cable news program on an ersatz Fox News channel that competes with Murphy's show. That promises plenty of conflict, both intergenerational and ideological. Smart move by Diane English, and smart by CBS to have it follow "Mom," easily the best series in the Chuck Lorre stable. Both shows should boost each other.

Callie Ray. said...

Ken, I'm in favor of the reboot and I hope that you and David Issacs will be called back to write the series.

Baylink said...

Frazier was one of the rare radio station on TV series that got good notices from actual radio station engineers about the design of its control room. If in fact a reboot gets anywhere near a set, I know six dozen radio engineers that would be overjoyed to help you come design a new radio station. Please, let me know.

Vrej said...

The new angle should be Frasier is now getting into podcasting (since radio is waning) and some humour is derived from a middle-aged man navigating an industry generally dominated by much younger people.

I was 12 when Frasier started and I never missed an episode, but it's not enough to just trot out some familiar faces. The writing needs to be there or they shouldn't bother. I'll definitely check it out though!

DanB said...

My version:

Things didn't work out in Chicago, because that's just how Frasier's love life has always gone. Let's give a little bit of continuity there for easy laughs. Quickly calls Bebe to see if that San Francisco job is still open. Huzzah, it is! For a while, at least. Local TV news figures out it can charge a few thou to conduct "interviews" with local businesses in the spot where they were paying top dollar for psychiatrist commentary. Frasier's connected and lands comfortably with a publishing deal and professorship at UCSF.

Frederick dropped out of college to work at a friend's startup that was wildly successful due in large part to his contributions. Let's say he wasn't so great with the business side of things and never got himself a proper title. When the company was sold, he was quickly let go, perhaps in part because he's an old man of 30. Hard time finding a new job because, well, he's got the diplomacy skills and bluntness of a modern day Martin Crane (hey, college changes people). Time and money have run out, and facing eviction, he moves in with his dad. We won't add a tacky chair, because let's just not go that far.

Yes, I know it's a bit too standard network derivative, but there you go.

Diane D. said...

Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce are amazing, but if the creators don’t realize that “so much of FRASIER was the writing”, and don’t bring back some of the original writers (specifically Levine and Isaacs), I will not be watching it. No matter how good it might turn out, I have reached a point in my life where I can’t enjoy a movie or TV show just because it’s good—I can’t get the back story out of my head.

Bob Gassel said...

Would love to see Fraiser and Lilith giving it another shot...

ROb in Toronto said...

This brings up a Friday question for Ken :

With this new trend of rebooting old favorites, do you think this will change the way showrunners decide to end current and future sitcoms by leaving them more open-ended in case of a future revival ?

Rob D said...

If a show comes back with minimal changes to the cast and concept, I prefer the term “revival” or “reunion” instead of reboot. A reboot implies a significant overhaul, a restart, a re-imagining, and so on. So, while I would be open to a Frasier revival, but I would be against a reboot.

Peter said...

And James Burrows better be one of the directors.

Johnny Walker said...

Kelsey wants that record doesn't he? ;-) Who can blame him? He came so close.

Very exciting news. I wonder who he's talking to? I hope there's SOME connection to the Cheers/Frasier lineage, but maybe he thinks a completely different team is needed? James Burrows AT LEAST, surely?

Fascinating.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@Janet Did you actually read Ken's M*A*S*H reboot treatment?

https://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2018/01/if-they-ever-did-re-boot-of-mash.html

That's why it would be hilarious: poking fun of how M*A*S*H lasted longer than the actual Korean War to the point that the original castmembers have aged, but the passage of time has supposedly still only been a couple of years.

MikeN said...

Black family moves into Frasier's old place, contents and all.
"This wine is fruity and precocious."
Anthony Anderson, sitting in John Mahoney's chair-
"That's not the only thing in here that's fruity and precocious!"

Nancy said...

I hope you invite Kelsey Grammer to your podcast. Will be great and also will give an opportunity to know about the re-boot.

Alex Bell said...

I see your readers are again busy with suggestions for you!

How does this work, BTW? This subject is all over the internet now, and most sources say Kelsey is talking to writers with pitches. Will you be making a pitch? Or does your experience preclude the need for that?

Anonymous said...

Frasier lost everything in the GFC through margin calls, has to live with his son who is now a Trump supporter. Open floodgates.
Dave.

Glenn said...

It would be pretty cool if the new series brought it back to where it all began, and have Frasier come back to Boston to spend more time with his son. He's now the Martin role, trying to understand today's youth. Though I think he would have to be married or with someone stable...having Frasier in his 60s still chasing women is kind of sad.

Linda Ginsburg said...

Two words for Kelsey Grammer: Godfather III

J Lee said...

I don't think you'd want to do Boston as the setting, since it would make it too tempting (for the network, if not for the writing staff) to try an integrate some of the "Cheers" regulars into the show on a too-regular basis. But it would have to be set in a city you could see Frasier Crane settling into, with or without Niles living in the same general area (I'd vote for Denver, since like Seattle it's a quirky enough and large enough place to work without being too familiar, as any sitcom placed in Los Angeles or New York feels nowadays).

David G. said...

Could the show they put on right after this be a "Tortelli's" revival...?

Diane D. said...

That’s scary, Linda Ginsburg. I would hate to see that happen, but if they have Kelsey and David Hyde Pierce (with brilliant writing), how can they go wrong? Two genuinely great actors playing two of the most engaging and hilarious characters ever created—that should surely be enough! I read several critics who also mentioned the chemistry between Kelsey and David—the kind of magic that can’t be taught, it’s just a gift when you get it (according to the Charles Brothers).

Markus said...

Man, so just when I bought the complete Frasier DVD box with all seasons you're telling me it's going to be incomplete now? Oh phooey.

blogward said...

I'm glad you're not involved, Ken. Sorry to snark, but Frasier jumped the shark when Niles and Daphne married. I read about a possible 'Lilith' spinoff, which might be funny given the recent popularity of analysts in shows about sociopaths, but a 'Frasier' reboot starts with the concept that 'A classic TV show returns because no-one has any better ideas'. And no John Mahoney? No Moose?

Mitchell Hundred said...

I hadn't heard about this before (although it doesn't surprise me).

Although if this is the direction they're going with it, I am not on board.

Mitchell Hundred said...

Sorry, I meant to link to this tweet. I'd actually be okay with an all-lesbian Frasier.

Andrew said...

I saw a suggestion online that they simple re-air the old episodes of Frasier, but call it "Niles."

Anonymous said...

I would really rather see Cheers come back than just Frasier.

I'd love to see the gang come back without even acknowledging the passage of time. They've just always been there and nothing's changed.

Your pal in Milwaukee,
Jim

TireKicker said...

Frasier (the show) will have been gone at least 15 years by the time a re-boot gets on the air.

So...

Chicago has happened and is over. Maybe Frasier is a widower now. He had his happy relationship for 15 years and has lost it. He doesn't want to be to Frederick what Marty was to him (Frasier's age would be roughly what Marty's was during the original series), so he goes home to Seattle. Maybe for Marty's funeral...and he just stays.

Roz is still General Manager at KACL, and wants to combat political talk with Frasier's old brand of radio psychology. It's a great opportunity for Frasier to work out some of his issues (aging, loss, his relationships) while helping others.

Niles and Daphne are still in Seattle and have remained together and have two teen-aged children, which causes trouble for Frasier's natural desire to draw Niles into schemes to climb Seattle's social ladder (something that can never quite get out of Frasier's system).

And the rest is up to the writers. But if you can get Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde-Pierce, Peri Gilpin and Jane Leeves back together (with Levine and Isaacs), you've got the best shot at a show imaginable. And it leaves open room for guest shots from Bebe Neuwirth and (if it makes sense) the old "Cheers" cast.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

VP81955: I hadn't heard that about MURPHY BROWN, but that does sound good. Um...are they going to get Haley Joel Osment to play Avery? He's the right age. :)

Peter: If you think Lorre's comedies are soulless I have to think you haven't seen MOM. (Actually, I'd argue that others of his comedies also have soul to them, but MOM in particular...)

wg

Coram_Loci said...

A conflicted Frasier owns a franchise of "I'm Listening" quickie psychiatric offices (McSessions). He's helping more people, blue collar people, albeit in a shallow way. Yet, he's still burdened by the pangs of guilt over not being a "real psychiatrist" and not having the esteem of the snooty set.

The fame and money from running the psych mills allow for more a lavish lifestyle (to indulge his snobby ambitions) but also the responsibility to travel, meet and help his hoi polloi patients.

DwWashburn said...

Someone (maybe SNL) said after Frasier went off the air and it was announced that Kelsey had played the same character for more than two decades that Kelsey had accepted a role in a Broadway production of "The Greatest Story Ever Told". In it he would play the role of . . . Frasier Crane.

Loosehead said...

The big challenge with a "resuming" Frasier, is avoiding him being the oldest swinger in town. He can't keep dating attractive ladies as he approaches old age, or at least, I don't think it would be very funny. Maybe quite sad, actually. So, he has to be out of the game, somehow, either partnered up, or literally not doing that stuff anymore. Also, would he still be working at the radio station? Still, I'm sure Levine and Isaacs can figure something out.

Greg Ehrbar said...

Sid & Marty Krofft Present "The Frasier Crane Variety Hour" with Caroline Rhea as "Fake Roz."

VP81955 said...

Or perhaps put Frasier in a place that's perceived as "anti-quirky," e.g., Des Moines, where he unexpectedly gets a job. His perceptions of the city are downright patronizing ("Not even Penn alums choose to work in Iowa!"), but the locals show him the error of his ways.

Cap'n Bob said...

This has disaster written all over it. As the man said, you can't go home again.

E. Yarber said...

No more Boston or Seattle or Chicago. Fraiser Crane and George Maharis travel America in a Corvette solving the personal problems of strangers while looking for the One-Armed Niles.

Colin Stratton said...

As much as I loved the show, and as much as I wish you success if you are involved, I am hoping it does not cone to fruition. Reason being, reboots suck! Frasier was on for eleven years and the last couple of seasons were awful. There is nothing left to say. Anyone who has dared to watch any reboot will tell you there was no need to do it except for money and the lack of creativity.

Duff Harris said...

I really wouldn't mind seeing Frasier living in San Francisco after having achieved some success as a local TV host, probably married again (unhappily). He'd have to return to Seattle to bury his father and decides to stay with Niles and Daphne while his marriage is on the rocks.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Would Kelsey Grammer play Fraser or another actor?