‘Frasier’: Why the Original Pitch for the ‘Cheers’ Spinoff Wouldn’t Have Worked

by Joe Rutland
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Kelsey Grammer plays Dr. Frasier Crane on the classic TV show Frasier and is based in Seattle but there was a different plan. Of course, we’ve all been keen to watch what the good psychiatrist does with his radio show and family. The incidents that happen among Frasier, Niles, Daphne, Martin, and Eddie the dog are enough to bring laughs. Frasier has everything take place in the Pacific Northwest but the Cheers spinoff was a bit different.

Co-Creator of ‘Frasier’ Says Original Plan Put Character In New York As Publisher

Peter Casey, one of the co-creators of Frasier, talks about the original idea. He writes for Ken Levine’s blog that Grammer didn’t want to keep playing Frasier Crane. They came up with a new concept for the character. As Casey writes, “Kelsey would play this very high-brow, eccentric multi-millionaire publisher (think Malcolm Forbes) in New York who was paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident.” OK. Casey adds that this publisher runs his business from bed at a Manhattan penthouse.

“His live-in nurse would be a very street smart, dedicated Hispanic woman (we pictured Rosie Perez) who would be a thorn in his side, but bring out the humanity in him,” Casey says. Well, Grammer liked the idea but Paramount was not too hip about it, though. “They said we were crazy if we didn’t capitalize on the popularity of CHEERS and the huge audience that would tune in to the finale. They ultimately persuaded Kelsey they were right and when he told us he was willing to do the CHEERS spin-off, we reluctantly agreed.”

Show Also Was Originally Set For Denver Before Being Moved To Seattle

Here’s another tidbit. The show’s adjusted plan was going to have it set in Denver. When the show was getting put together, though, Colorado just passed some anti-gay legislation. That didn’t sit well with the creators. So, the show’s setting was moved to Seattle. Back in the 1990s, the city was getting started with the grunge scene and its coffee environment.

Frasier has been a part of the classic TV world for many years. From watching Frasier and Niles deal with brotherly issues to Martin wanting his own TV chair, the antics keep people watching. Since the show finished its run on NBC, John Mahoney, who played Martin, has died. There have been talks about a reboot of the sitcom. And if it comes about, don’t be surprised to see a little reminder of Martin. Grammer might just keep that armchair around on the show’s set. If you see it, then it could be a reminder for Frasier as well as viewers of both Martin and Mahoney.

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