‘Frasier’: How the Show’s Creators Settled on Seattle as the Location for the Show

by Suzanne Halliburton

How would Frasier look against a Rocky Mountain back drop? Rather than all those umbrellas, we’d see snow.

Initially, the creators of Frasier, a spinoff of Cheers, wanted the show set in Denver. It was all far away from Boston, where fans came to love snooty psychiatrist Frasier Crane.

David Lee, one of the show’s creator, explained to Vanity Fair in 2018 why Denver was nixed as a setting.

“We had to get far away from Boston, so the show could have its own brand,” Lee said. “We settled in Denver, but then Colorado passed this egregious anti-gay amendment. “

Lee said “We couldn’t in good conscience base the show there. We thought Seattle seemed up-and-coming.”

The “egregious anti-gay amendment” was passed in 1992 by voters in Colorado. Earlier, the cities of Denver, Boulder and Aspen announced policies that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, the group Colorado for Family Values pushed an amendment that would keep cities from drafting these kinds of anti-discrimination policies.

The amendment passed. A number of celebrities, including Barbra Streisand and Madonna, called for a Colorado boycott. The U.S. Supreme Court declared the Colorado measure unconstitutional in 1996.

Setting Probably Didn’t Matter — Frasier Was Top Show From Anywhere

Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer, ran from 1993-2004. And it was one of the best shows on television during its run. The show won 37 Emmys. And for five straight years, the show took home the Emmy for best comedy series.

And although it mattered to the show’s plot, Frasier had little to do with Seattle. It was filmed almost exclusively at sound stages in the Los Angeles area. However, it did spend one episode in Seattle, which was said to be Frasier Crane’s hometown.

For the show’s 100th episode, the crew filmed Frasier and his brother Niles going through downtown Seattle. In the episode, the two were trying to get to a party to celebrate the 1000th episode of Frasier’s radio call-in show. The party was supposed to be at Seattle’s famous Space Needle. You can see the attraction from Frasier’s high-rise condo.

And about that fancy Frasier condo. It was all fake, too. It’s where Frasier lived with his father, Martin, and his personal aide, Daphne. The condo supposedly had three bedrooms and three baths. The art is fancy and so was the furniture. There’s a baby grand piano and a chair modeled after Coco Chanel’s chaise lounge.

The sleek apartment was supposed to be in Elliott Bay Towers, but there’s no such place in Seattle. Plus, the backdrop used for the condo was taken from Kerry Park in the city. No condo could have that same view.

But we’re still wondering what Frasier would look like as a show set in Denver. There’s a reboot coming next year to Paramount+. The show ended in 2004 with Frasier leaving Seattle, so who knows where the good doctor ends up in the show’s next life.