NBC lately has been promoting “Friends” as the best comedy in TV history — a claim some, including “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer, might take issue with.
Indeed, Grammer did just that at a news conference Monday, officially announcing the end of his 11-year-old show (Daily Variety, Jan. 12). In his usual polite but firm manner, Grammer made it known that such a boast was, well, nonsense.
“I don’t blame them for saying that,” Grammer said of NBC’s promos. “Though we all know it’s not true.”
NBC topper Jeff Zucker isn’t apologizing for calling “Friends” TV’s best-ever laffer, but did say “Frasier” will be getting some props from the Peacock now that its fate has been sealed.
“Now that we know for sure this is the final season of ‘Frasier,’ we’ll be able to promote the end of the two greatest comedies in TV history,” he said. Introducing the “Frasier” cast at Monday’s event, Zucker also called Grammer “the single-most important person to NBC for the last 20 years.”
So where does all this leave other classic NBC comedies such as “Seinfeld” and “Cheers”?
“I’m only concerned with what’s on TV now,” Zucker quipped.
Grammer and the rest of the “Frasier” crew were feeling particularly punchy in front of the press.
Exec producer David Lee, for example, said that despite recent last-minute conversations between Grammer and NBC about extending the show, “We had no intention of going on.”
Showrunners Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan also candidly admitted that, with barely three months before the March 24 taping of the final episode, they haven’t figured out how to end “Frasier.”
“We don’t have a clue how we’re going to end, to be honest with you,” Lloyd said.
Meanwhile, the actors confirmed that, as a gift to the show’s crew, they’re treating everyone associated with “Frasier” to a weeklong wrap party — in Hawaii.
“We’ll probably end up with a couple of luaus and some people face down in a bowl of punch,” Grammer quipped.
NBC is expected to announce soon when the one-hour “Frasier” finale will air, with some industry insiders speculating the net may choose to sked the finale on a Thursday.