Production finally began this week on a new, updated “Frasier,” an idea that has been talked about since at least 2018.
The new one is being made for Paramount+, which officially announced the project in February 2021.
The new “Frasier” will have Dr. Frasier Crane living in Boston, the city where the character got his start on “Cheers” in 1984. “Frasier” was spun off from “Cheers” in 1993.
The original “Frasier” had the character living in Seattle, the city where he had grown up. He moved back primarily to take care of his dad Martin Crane (John Mahoney), a former Seattle cop who required long-term physical therapy for an old bullet wound.
Back in his home town, Frasier resumed his close relationship with his younger brother, Niles, (David Hyde-Pierce), also a psychiatrist and, like his brother, a persnickety, snobbish epicurean, art patron, oenophile and relentless social climber.
The first “Frasier” ran for 12 seasons from 1993 to 2004 on NBC. It was revered for its writing, acting and the sophistication of its often farcical and madcap storylines.
The show won 37 Emmys, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. Its 37 Emmy wins was a record for a scripted TV show until “Game Of Thrones” tallied 38. Grammer won four of those Emmys for Outstanding Actor in Comedy Series.
With the character relocating to Boston, Grammer, 67, will have support from an all-new cast, according to a news release from Paramount+ on Wednesday.
The other characters lined up so far include Frasier’s now-grown son, Freddy (formerly Frederick), played by Jack Cutmore-Scott; “Alan,” an old college friend who is now a university professor (Nicholas Lyndhurst); “Olivia,” (Toks Olagundoye), head of the psychology department at the same university; Freddy’s roommate, Eve (Jess Salguerio); and Frasier’s nephew, David (Anders Keith), the press release said.
None of the other characters or cast members from the old “Frasier” -- one of the finest casts ever assembled for a TV sitcom -- are mentioned in the news release. Apparently, none of the characters made the move to Boston with Frasier.
The main supporting cast of the old “Frasier” were David Hyde-Pierce as Niles, Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, Jane Leeves as the live-in physical therapist Daphne Moon, and John Mahoney as Martin. Mahoney passed away in 2018 at age 77.
If any of the original characters will be seen paying a visit to Frasier in Boston, then the news release made no mention of it.
Nor was there was any clue to whether or not Frasier would be employed or retired in the new show. He was a radio personality in Seattle, but a new on-air job in Boston is not mentioned as a possible reason for his move.
“Frasier Crane [is] in the next chapter of his life as he returns to Boston with new challenges to face, new relationships to forge and an old dream or two to finally fulfill,” the news release said vaguely.
The TV Blog first wrote about the possibility of a “Frasier” reboot in July 2018 when the news broke in the trades that month that the project was under discussion between Grammer and CBS.
With that story as a hook, the TV Blog took up the opportunity to propose other fanciful reboots of 1990s network hits.
I went back and reread that 2018 blog this week and was amazed to see that one of the ideas proposed there, strictly in jest, was a reboot of “That ’70s Show” called “That ’90s Show.”
Incredibly, that series actually got made. It premiered on Netflix earlier this month. Wait a minute, shouldn’t I be getting some money for that?
In another story about “Frasier,” the TV Blog was not so prescient. In reporting on Paramount officially announcing the new “Frasier” in February 2021, I posed the following cynical question: “How much do you want to bet it will never happen?” Oh, well, my bad!