Former “Frasier” scribes/producers Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan are coming back for one more serving of tossed salad and scrambled eggs.
Emmy-winning duo — who guided the Par-produced NBC laffer through the bulk of its most successful years — have agreed to return as exec producers for show’s 11th (and final) season, which begins this fall. They’ll share showrunning duos with current exec producer Dan O’Shannon, a studio rep confirmed Thursday.
As part of the agreement, Keenan and Lloyd have inked a new, two-year, seven-figure overall production and development deal with Paramount Network Television. They’ll create, develop and exec produce series projects for the studio once “Frasier” wraps next May.
Return of Keenan and Lloyd is a major coup for Par and NBC, which have watched “Frasier” lose 20% of its young adult aud this season as part of the Peacock’s overall Tuesday night slump. NBC execs have admitted the net has done the show no favors by giving it poor lead-ins this year and by shifting strategies on the night.
With Keenan, Lloyd and O’Shannon in place, NBC no doubt hopes “Frasier” will be re-energized leading into its final season. To help give the show a boost during the summer, Peacock is moving the skein to the plum 9:30 p.m. Thursday slot behind “Will & Grace” on May 22, keeping it there until at least the end of June.
In addition to snagging a sweet new overall deal, Keenan and Lloyd get something perhaps even more valuable by returning: a chance to guide the closing chapter in one of the most successful comedy franchises in small screen history.
Lloyd, who’s repped by Bob Broder, is one of the rare showrunners who stayed with a show through most of its life. He worked on “Frasier” from its first season in 1993 until May 2000, serving as exec producer of the series for all but one of those years and winning six Emmys.
Keenan joined “Frasier” in 1994 and by 1997 was co-exec producer of the series. In 1999, the UTA-repped scribe was named exec producer of the show. Keenan wrote more than 20 episodes of the series, winning two Emmys in the process; he also won four comedy series Emmys as a producer on the sitcom.
In 2001, Keenan and Lloyd began developing new projects for Par as a team, landing a blind series commitment from CBS. That commitment led to this fall’s short-lived “Bram and Alice.”