There’s still no word on the fate of “Frasier.”
Execs from NBC and Paramount Network Television are expected to resume negotiations today over the hit sitcom’s future, with both sides still hoping to complete a deal that will keep the skein on the Peacock web. Still, some roadblocks remain, insiders familiar with the talks said.
NBC appears ready to commit to three more seasons of “Frasier,” thus satisfying one of Par’s major demands. As for a pricetag, insiders said the web has agreed to a moderate bump upward in the show’s license fee, which now hovers around $5 million per episode. As a result, most believe a deal will get done.
Par Television Group chairman Kerry McCluggage, however, is known as an intense negotiator, and persons familiar with the “Frasier” talks said that hasn’t changed. As a result, there’s still a chance NBC could simply walk away from the bargaining table or that Par could decide to accept bids from competing webs interested in landing the show — most likely Par sibling CBS or ABC.
McCluggage’s efforts to get tough haven’t always worked. Many execs believe the Par topper’s tactics resulted in a premature end to Fox’s “Beverly Hills, 90210” (produced by Spelling Television, a Par unit). In addition, McCluggage is said to have walked away from an early offer by ABC to pay nearly a million dollars per episode to renew “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”; the WB ended up buying the show for around $650,000 per episode.
McCluggage did not return a call seeking comment. Spokesmen for NBC and Par declined to discuss the negotiations.