Looking back, “Frasier” producer David Lee could only marvel at how easily the show’s key elements had coalesced. And a prime example of that was the casting process.
In a 2010 interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Lee described how quickly and painlessly they were able to cast the lead actors on “Frasier.” It owed a lot to their pitching strategy with the network.
“Usually casting is so difficult and takes so long,” Lee said. “And when you’re pitching a pilot to the network, you say things like – you try to have an actor in mind, so that you can plant that picture in the person you’re pitching to’s mind, so that they get a clear idea of what the character’s like.”
So for example, they told the network that besides Frasier actor Kelsey Grammer, they were looking at actors like John Mahoney and David Hyde Pierce for the father and brother characters.
The network’s reaction to each? “Oh, we love [that actor]! If you can get him, he’s pre-approved.”
They went through that process for most of the show’s lead characters, with the network pre-approving all their chosen actors.
“The only one we didn’t know was Roz that day,” Lee explained. “And within two weeks, I think we had everybody. I mean, it was the quickest network casting. When I talk about ‘Frasier’ somehow capturing the zeitgeist and everything just seeming to work from the beginning, that was a good example of that.”
Watch Lee speak about the casting process here:
‘Frasier’ Revival Is in the Works
Paramount+ recently announced that it will be airing a “Frasier” revival sometime in 2022. According to Forbes, Grammer refers to the project as Frasier’s third act. He played Frasier on “Cheers” from 1984 to 1993 and then again on “Frasier” from 1993 to 2004. Over the course of his time on “Frasier,” Grammer won four Emmy Awards.
“There’s going to be some nuances that are different, but of course it will be the same basic guy,” Grammer told Forbes. “We’ve got a script and we’re doing a polish on it.”
The cast will be missing Mahoney, who died in 2018 of complications from cancer. He was 77.
“We’re doing our best to woo all the actors back and we have a couple things in mind there and I think it’s looking pretty good,” Grammer said.
CBS Studios will be producing the reboot. David Stapf, the current CBS Studios president, told Variety that fans had called for the show to return.