The past few years have seen an influx of legendary multi-camera sitcoms returning to the airwaves, with everything from “Will and Grace” to “Night Court” receiving a reboot. So it was only a matter of time before Kelsey Grammer saw his longtime dream of playing Frasier Crane again come true. A “Frasier” revival is currently in production for Paramount+, with legendary sitcom director James Burrows helming the first two episodes.
But rather than see Frasier return to his old stomping grounds in Seattle — or Chicago, where he ended up in the series finale — the new episodes will be set in Boston. That means that beloved characters like Niles and Daphne won’t be appearing — but Grammer is confident that Frasier Crane can live on without them.
Appearing on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” Grammer gave an update on the reboot and explained why he thinks the new season can serve as a fitting conclusion to Frasier’s four decade story arc that began on “Cheers.”
“We were first circling it five years ago, and finally got through the development process,” Grammer said. “It’s been through several manifestations — we originally wanted everyone to be back, and we still moved Frasier, because he left Seattle in the previous incarnation. And this needs to be another act for him. Jane [Leeves] and David [Hyde Pierce] and Peri [Gilpin] were sort of on the fence and we couldn’t quite make it all happen. In the end it turned out to be a great thing. Frasier’s going back to Boston to tie up some loose ends in his life.”
Seeing Frasier Crane without Niles will certainly take some getting used to for many fans of the original series, but Grammer and Burrows might be uniquely qualified for the challenge of making it work. After all, they’re the ones who successfully took the character away from his “Cheers” friends in the first place. Grammer has previously spoken about the character’s resiliency and explained why he thinks the new series will be able to split the difference between nostalgia and originality.
“He’s our brave little soldier that continues on in life, finding new challenges, and a new love and new people and a new city and stuff like that,” Grammer said in a recent interview. “I’m really very excited about it, and we’ll certainly always honor the past. We have to honor the fact that John Mahoney died and that [Niles and Frasier’s father Martin Crane] is no longer with us. We’ll be dealing with that for sure.”