Viewers mourning the loss of “Cheers” from NBC’s Thursday night schedule, can take heart that at least one of the beloved characters from the bar where everybody knows your name is coming back this fall.
Kelsey Grammer’s Dr. Frasier Crane returns with his own spin-off, appropriately titled “Frasier,” backed by “Wings” creators David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee, also former writers on “Cheers.”
Grammer says that as long as three years ago the three execs had approached him about the possibility of collaborating on a spin-off or an all-new series once “Cheers” had run its course.
In “Frasier,” the pompous psychiatrist has a new situation and new foils. Frasier has left Boston after a break-up with wife Lilith to pursue a new life in Seattle. Circumstances intervene and he must take in his father, a gruff ex-cop with conflicting interests and values.
The fondness “Cheers” fans hold for the character will draw in viewers, Grammer says, but he’s mindful that the show must stand on its own merits after the initial tune-in. ‘Cheers” casts a long shadow. Now Grammer must show if he can hold a series on his own.
“I hope to take Frasier to the next level of development,” says Grammer. To do that, the show will lean heavily on Frasier’s struggle to get to know hisfather.
Regarding Grammer’s goals with “Frasier,” he claims only to want to “do a good job on an entertaining show.” Beyond that, well, here he sounds a little like Frasier Crane: “I hope the show will lift the burden of the daily traffic of life.”