His new TV family and how the show pays tribute to John Mahoney

If the ’90s really are in style, then Frasier Crane has chosen the perfect time to make his return.

Almost 20 years after saying goodbye Frasier, Kelsey Grammer is back as the psychiatrist and radio presenter who graced our television screens from 1993 to 2004. However, his days on radio and in Seattle are over – as are those of the show’s original cast. Actually the new Frasier moves the action to where we first met the character in the season three premiere Bottom up: Boston.

About the Paramount+ revival – created by Joe Cristalli (Life in pieces) and Chris Harris (How I Met your mother), who serve as showrunners – Frasier, who recently lost his father Martin (played in the original). Frasier by the late John Mahoney) decides it’s time to spend more time near his son Freddy, whom he rarely sees. (The character made a few appearances in the show’s first season.) Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott), a Boston firefighter, is now in his mid-30s and doesn’t necessarily share his father’s desire to mend their relationship.

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Fraiser Fall TV Preview

Chris Haston/Paramount+ “Frasier”

“There’s a lot of Martin in Freddy,” said famed director James Burrows, who co-created and directed most of it Bottom up and also stood behind the camera for a few dozen episodes Frasier (and the first two episodes of this revival), explains EW. “Joe and Chris specifically wanted Frasier to take care of his son… because the relationship with Kelsey and Mahoney was wonderful. So they tried to take advantage of that and I think they succeeded.”

That relationship will be the focus of the show, in which the two are surrounded by friends, family and colleagues: There’s Freddy’s friend and roommate Eve (Jess Salgueiro), a bartender and aspiring actress; David (Anders Keith), Niles and Daphne’s son, who travels to the East Coast with his Uncle Frasier; Alan Cornwall (Nicholas Lyndhurst), an old friend and colleague of Frasier’s who is a professor at Harvard; and Olivia (Toks Olagundoye), chair of Harvard University’s psychiatry department, who tries to recruit Frasier as a lecturer there.

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Fraiser Fall TV Preview

Chris Haston/Paramount+ Kelsey Grammer and Jack Cutmore-Scott on the new “Frasier”

After a long, successful career – which includes a stop in another city, briefly explained in one episode – Frasier has no financial concerns; He’s rich, to be honest. His new apartment is just as stylish and stylish as the one he lived in with his father and brother in Seattle. And his taste for expensive bourbon hasn’t diminished.

“We want to present someone who is familiar to the audience, but who has also lived a life for 20 years since we saw him,” Harris explains in an interview conducted before the WGA strike began. “When I talk to Kelsey about it, this is a man who is a little bit looser than he used to be, a little more comfortable. He’s done well, he’s had some success, and the pilot is about realizing that part of his life where he was may not have been as successful as he thought, and what that means for him in the future means.

Part of this realization stems from the death of Martin, which was alluded to Frasier by John Mahoney, the died in 2018. But his memory is still alive in the series, which pays tribute to the character in the pilot. “It’s a wonderful scene at the end of the show,” says Burrows. “It’s about two and a half, three minutes without laughter. You have to be brave to do that.”

And the actor’s own legacy lives on in the new series at the neighborhood bar called Mahoney’s. “I liked Cheers better, but for some reason they didn’t want to do that,” jokes Burrows.

But this iconic bar is not forgotten. Frasier actually refers to his former pub in the first episode – although never directly by name.

“It’s the only line in the pilot that I asked for [Cristalli and Harris] “Not to lose,” Burrows remembers. “It touches my heart, but it’s also a way of acknowledging the birth of the character – and they were nice enough to leave that line in.”

Fraiser Fall TV Preview

Fraiser Fall TV Preview

Chris Haston/Paramount+ Kelsey Grammer returns in “Frasier.”

Also part of the revival is the live studio audience, filmed using a multi-camera format at Paramount Studios Bottom up And Frasier were before.

“I did a few pilots along the way [the pandemic] There were four cameras, but there was no audience. It breaks my heart,” Burrows said. “I’m a theater rat. I was trained in theater. My father was in the theater. And so I know that either Tuesday or Friday one of these sitcoms is premiering, and I live for the audience reaction.”

When EW visited the set to film the ninth episode of season one, the audience’s excitement was palpable, especially when Grammer stopped by to greet and thank everyone for coming. The recording was efficient – ​​just over three hours – and Grammer, who occasionally sat on Frasier’s apartment sofa between takes and sang along to each song to entertain the audience, didn’t miss a note.

Fraiser Fall TV Preview

Fraiser Fall TV Preview

Chris Haston/Paramount+ Kelsey Grammer greets viewers at a taping of the new ‘Frasier’

“No matter what we say, he knows what Frasier says and what Frasier doesn’t say. He has no problem telling us, ‘Frasier would never say that. Frasier would say…'” Cristalli says. “I’m a big fan of the original. I’ve seen them all – I’ve seen them all a hundred times. Nobody knows this guy better than Kelsey, and he has great instincts. He can laugh at you.” “Looks like Frasier. This is not surprising; He knows what he’s doing and he’s very good at it.”

Burrows too. “When I put my stamp on a show, as I like to call it, most of my successful shows are all about families. And they’re not necessarily a traditional family, mother, father, son and daughter; “They are a group of people who come together to be happy in the world and respect each other. And deep down, I dare say, we love each other. So that’s what I tried,” says the director. “I had a great time in the first two episodes. It’s been a while since I’ve done a multi-camera show, and a while since I’ve done this Frasier. And I am a man who believes that laughter prolongs life. And sitting on that stage and watching the audience go crazy is an incredible joy for me.”

The new Frasier premieres October 12th on Paramount+ (CBS will air the first two episodes on October 17th).

Be sure to check out the EWs Fall TV Preview cover story Gen V – as well as all of ours Fall TV Preview 2023 contentis published until September 21st.

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