Frasier

Last updated

Frasier
Frasier Logo.JPG
Frasier title screen from the first half of the first season has a lit antenna spire at the Space Needle, one of the animated gags.
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Based on Cheers and the character Frasier Crane, created by Glen and Les Charles
Starring
Theme music composerBruce Miller and Darryl Phinnesse
Ending theme"Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs" by Kelsey Grammer
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons11
No. of episodes264 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Maggie Blanc
Camera setup 35 mm film; multi-camera
Running time2123 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution [2]
Release
Original network NBC [3]
Picture format
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 16, 1993 (1993-09-16) 
May 13, 2004 (2004-05-13)
Chronology
Preceded by Cheers (1982–1993)
Related shows The Tortellis (1987)

Frasier ( /ˈfrʒər/ ) is an American sitcom television series that was broadcast on NBC for 11 seasons, premiering on September 16, 1993, and concluding on May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee (as Grub Street Productions) in association with Grammnet (2004) and Paramount Network Television. The series was created as a spin-off of Cheers , continuing the story of psychiatrist Frasier Crane as he returned to his hometown of Seattle and started building a new life as a radio advice show host while reconnecting with his father and brother and making new friends. Frasier starred Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, and John Mahoney. The show was critically acclaimed, with the show itself and the cast winning thirty-seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a record at the time for a scripted series. [4] It also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years. [5] In 2019, the possibility of a revival was discussed, with original intentions to air in 2020. [6] [7] [8]

Contents

Overview

Harvard-trained psychiatrist Frasier Crane (Grammer) returns to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, following the end of his marriage and his life in Boston (as seen in Cheers). His plans for a new life as a bachelor are challenged when he is obliged to take in his father, Martin (Mahoney), a retired Seattle Police Department detective, who has mobility problems after being shot in the line of duty during a robbery.

Frasier hires Daphne Moon (Leeves) as Martin's live-in physical therapist and caregiver, and tolerates Martin's dog Eddie. Frasier frequently spends time with his younger brother Niles (Pierce), a fellow psychiatrist. Niles becomes attracted to, and eventually falls in love with, Daphne (notwithstanding his own marriage).

Frasier hosts The Dr. Frasier Crane Show, a call-in psychiatry show on talk radio station KACL. His producer Roz Doyle (Gilpin) is very different from Frasier in many ways. She is earthy, direct, and, at least early in the series, has superficial relationships with many men. However, Roz and Frasier share a professional respect and a wry sense of humor, and over time, become close friends. Frasier and the others often visit the local coffee shop, Café Nervosa.

The Crane brothers, who have expensive tastes, intellectual interests, and high opinions of themselves, frequently clash with their blue-collar worker, average Joe father. The brothers' close relationship is often tense, and their sibling rivalry intermittently results in chaos. For a pair who make a living solving others' problems, they are often comically inept at dealing with each other's myriad hangups. Other recurring themes include Niles's relationship with his unseen character wife (later ex-wife) Maris, Frasier's search for love, Martin's new life after retirement, and the various attempts by the two brothers to gain acceptance into le tout Seattle.

Frasier seasons
SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankHouseholds (seasons 1-4)/
Viewers (seasons 5-11)
(in millions)
Tied with
(applies to seasons 1-4 only)
First airedLast aired
1 24September 16, 1993 (1993-09-16)May 19, 1994 (1994-05-19)716.8N/A
2 24September 20, 1994 (1994-09-20)May 23, 1995 (1995-05-23)1514.5N/A
3 24September 19, 1995 (1995-09-19)May 21, 1996 (1996-05-21)1113.6 20/20
4 24September 17, 1996 (1996-09-17)May 20, 1997 (1997-05-20)1611.8N/A
5 24September 23, 1997 (1997-09-23)May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19)1316.7TBA
6 24September 24, 1998 (1998-09-24)May 29, 1999 (1999-05-29)322.5N/A
7 24September 23, 1999 (1999-09-23)May 18, 2000 (2000-05-18)620.1N/A
8 24October 24, 2000 (2000-10-24)May 22, 2001 (2001-05-22)1815.8N/A
9 24September 25, 2001 (2001-09-25)May 21, 2002 (2002-05-21)1615.0N/A
10 24September 24, 2002 (2002-09-24)May 20, 2003 (2003-05-20)3212.5N/A
11 24September 23, 2003 (2003-09-23)May 13, 2004 (2004-05-13)3510.1N/A

Characters

Main

Recurring

Notes

The main cast remained unchanged for all 11 years. [9] When the series ended in 2004, Grammer had portrayed the character of Frasier Crane for a total of 20 years, including his nine seasons on Cheers plus a one time performance as the character on the series Wings which earned Grammer an Emmy nomination; at the time, he tied James Arness' portrayal of Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke for the longest-running character on primetime television. [10] The record has since been surpassed in animation by the voice cast of The Simpsons , and in live action by Richard Belzer's portrayal of John Munch and Mariska Hargitay's portrayal of Olivia Benson (both on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit , among several other series). Grammer was briefly the highest-paid television actor in the United States for his portrayal of Frasier, while Jane Leeves was the highest-paid British actress. [10] [11]

Grammer, Hyde Pierce, and Mahoney advertising U.S. treasury bonds in 1996 on set.

In addition to those of the ensemble, additional story lines included characters from Frasier's former incarnation on Cheers, such as his ex-wife Lilith Sternin, played by Bebe Neuwirth, and their son Frederick, played by Trevor Einhorn.

Reunions

Grammer had been the voice of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons since 1990. In a 1997 episode (while Frasier was still in production), the character's brother, Cecil Terwilliger, was introduced, played by Pierce, as referenced in the episode title, "Brother from Another Series". The episode contained numerous Frasier references, including a Frasier-style version of The Simpsons theme for a transition and its iconic title card for the same thing. Pierce returned as Cecil for the second time (the first since Frasier had concluded) alongside Grammer in the 2007 episode "Funeral for a Fiend". The episode introduced the brothers' father, Dr. Robert Terwilliger, who was portrayed by Mahoney.

Cast reunions also occurred on four episodes of Hot in Cleveland , which featured Leeves in the main cast along with Wendie Malick (who played Martin's girlfriend towards the end of Frasier). In the season-two episode "Unseparated at Birth" and season-three episode "Funeral Crashers", Mahoney guest-starred as a waiter smitten with Betty White's character. Gilpin appeared in the episode "I Love Lucci (Part 1)", and Tom McGowan (who played Kenny Daly) appeared in "Love Thy Neighbor" as a casting director. Hot in Cleveland was created and produced by Suzanne Martin, who wrote multiple episodes of Frasier.

Production

Creation

During the eighth season of Cheers, Grammer made a deal with former Cheers producers David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee (who were moving on to produce Wings ) that they would do a new series together once Cheers ended. [12] Once it became clear during the 10th season that the 11th would be the last, the group began working on their next series together. [12]

Grammer did not originally want to continue playing Frasier Crane, and Angell, Casey, and Lee did not want the new show to be compared to Cheers, which they had worked on before Wings. The three proposed that the actor play a wealthy, Malcolm Forbes-like paraplegia publisher who operated his business from his apartment. The main show featured a "street-smart" Hispanic live-in nurse who would clash with the main character. [12] While Grammer liked the concept, Paramount Television disliked it, and suggested that the best route would be to spin off the Frasier Crane character. [12] Grammer ultimately agreed to star in a Cheers spin-off, but the producers set the new show as far from Boston as possible to prevent NBC from demanding that other characters from the old show make guest appearances on the new show during its first season. After first choosing Denver, Angell, Casey, and Lee ultimately chose Seattle as the setting. [13]

The creators did not want Frasier in private practice, which would make the show resemble The Bob Newhart Show . From an unused idea they had for a Cheers episode, they conceived the concept of the psychiatrist working in a radio station surrounded by "wacky, yet loveable" characters. [12] After realizing that such a setting was reminiscent of WKRP in Cincinnati , the creators decided to emphasize Frasier's home life, which Cheers had rarely explored. [13] Lee considered his own experience with "the relationship between an aging father and the grown-up son he never understood" [14] and thought it would be a good theme for Frasier. Although Frasier had mentioned on Cheers (in two episodes) that his father, a research scientist, had died, [15] Angell, Casey, and Lee did not realize this was the case, as they were not working on Cheers during the season those two episodes were filmed. The creative team was already well into the development process when Grammer pointed out the discontinuity; they decided to overlook it, initially retroactive continuity the character's backstory. In a second-season episode, the discrepancy was resolved, as Frasier revealed he had lied to the Cheers gang about his father.

One element of the original concept that was carried over was the live-in health-care provider for Frasier's father. Grammer points out that very little of the Frasier Crane of Cheers carried over to Frasier, as his family history was changed (though this was later adjusted); the setting, his job, and even the character himself changed from the Cheers predecessor, having to be more grounded as the central character of the show so the other supporting characters could be more eccentric. [12]

Casting

Martin Crane was based on creator Casey's father, who spent 34 years with the San Francisco Police Department. The creators suggested to NBC that they would like to cast someone like Mahoney, to which NBC told them if they could get Mahoney, they could hire him without auditions. [12] Both Grammer and the producers contacted Mahoney, with the producers flying to Chicago to show Mahoney the pilot script over dinner. Upon reading it, Mahoney accepted. Grammer, who had lost his father as a child, and the childless Mahoney immediately built a close father-son relationship. [14]

In discussing Martin's nurse, Warren Littlefield of NBC suggested she be English instead of Hispanic and suggested Leeves for the role. [12] Grammer was initially reluctant, as he thought the casting made the show resemble Nanny and the Professor , but approved Leeves after a meeting and read-through with her. Mahoney and Leeves quickly bonded over their shared English heritage; Mahoney was originally from Manchester where Leeves's character is from. [12]

The character of Niles was not part of the original concept for the show. Frasier had told his bar friends on Cheers that he was an only child. [12] [14] However, Sheila Guthrie, the assistant casting director on Wings, brought the producers a photo of Pierce (whom she knew from his work on The Powers That Be ) and noted his resemblance to Grammer when he first appeared on Cheers. She recommended him should they ever want Frasier to have a brother. The creators were "blown away" both by his resemblance to Grammer and by his acting ability. [13] They decided to ignore Frasier's statement on Cheers and created the role for Pierce. [12] [16] Pierce accepted the role before realizing he had not read a script. Once he was given a script, he was initially concerned that his character was essentially a duplicate of Frasier, thinking that it would not work. [12] The first table reading of the pilot script was notable because the producers had never heard either Pierce or Mahoney read lines because they were cast without auditions. [12]

The only main role that required an audition was Roz Doyle, [13] who was named in memory of a producer of Wings. [17] The producers auditioned around 300 actresses with no particular direction in mind. Women of all ethnicities were considered. [12] Lisa Kudrow was originally cast in the role, but during rehearsals, the producers decided they needed someone who could appear more assertive in her job and take control over Frasier at KACL, and Kudrow did not fit that role. The creators quickly hired Gilpin, their second choice. [18] [19]

The original focus of the series was intended to be the relationship between Frasier and Martin, and it was the focus of most of the first-season episodes. Once the show began airing, Niles became a breakout character, and more focus was added to the brothers' relationship, and other plots centering on Niles, starting in the second season. [20] The producers initially did not want to make Niles's wife Maris an unseen character because they did not want to draw parallels to Vera, Norm's wife on Cheers. They originally intended that she would appear after several episodes, but were so enjoying writing excuses for her absence that eventually they decided she would remain unseen, and after the increasingly eccentric characteristics ascribed to her, no real actress could portray her. [12]

Sets and settings

Frasier's apartment was designed to be ultra-modern in an eclectic style (as Frasier himself points out in the pilot). One of the show's signature elements that it became well known for was the apartment's design which included elements such as a slightly split-level design, doors with triangular wooden inlay features, numerous pieces of well-known high-end furniture (such as a replica of Coco Chanel's sofa, and both Eames Lounge Chair and Wassily Chair) and a notable view from the terrace which was frequently complimented by visitors. The main set consisted of the open-concept living area with a sitting/TV space and dining area on the lower level and a piano exit to the terrace on the rear upper level. The set also included the kitchen through an open archway. A small section of the building corridor and elevator doors was built, as was a powder room near the front entrance. Two corridors off the living area ostensibly led to the apartment's three bedrooms. Sets for each of these rooms were built as separate sets on an as-needed basis. [21]

No building or apartment in Seattle really has the view from Frasier's residence. It was created so the Space Needle, the most iconic landmark of Seattle, would appear more prominently. According to the season-one DVD bonus features, the photograph used on the set was taken from atop a cliff, possibly the ledge at Kerry Park, a frequent photography location. Despite this, Frasier has been said to have contributed to the emergence of an upscale urban lifestyle in 1990s Seattle, with buyers seeking properties in locations resembling that depicted in the show, in search of "that cosmopolitan feel of Frasier". [9]

Another of the primary sets was the radio studio at KACL from which Frasier broadcasts his show. The studio itself consists of two rooms: the broadcast booth and the control room. A section of the corridor outside of the booth was also built (visible through the windows at the back of the studio) and could be shot from the side to view the corridor itself. The set was designed based on ABC's then-brand-new radio studios in Los Angeles which the production designer visited. Technical elements such as the microphones were regularly updated to conform with the latest technology. Although the studio set lacked a "front" wall (the fourth wall), one was built for occasional use in episodes with certain moments shot from behind the broadcast desk, rather than in front of it as usual. [21]

The producers wanted to have a gathering place outside of home and work where the characters could meet. After a trip to Seattle, and seeing the many burgeoning coffee shops, the production designer suggested to producers that they use a coffee shop. Unlike many of the relatively modern coffee shop designs prevalent in Seattle, the production designer opted for a more warm and inviting style which would appear more established and traditional. Stools were specifically omitted to avoid any similarity to the bar on Cheers. Several Los Angeles coffee shops were used for reference. A bookcase was added on the back wall, suggesting patrons could grab a book and read while they enjoyed their coffee. The show used three versions of the interior set depending on how much space other sets for each episode required. If space for the full set was not available, a smaller version that omitted the tables closest to the audience could be used. If space for that set was lacking, a small back section of the back of the cafe at the top of the steps could be set up under the audience bleachers. A set was also used on occasion for the exterior patio. [21]

Filming

The cast had an unusual amount of freedom to suggest changes to the script. Grammer used an acting method he called "requisite disrespect" and did not rehearse with the others, instead learning and rehearsing his lines once just before filming each scene in front of a live studio audience. Although effective, the system often caused panic among guest stars.

In 1996, Grammer's recurrent alcoholism led to a car accident. The cast and crew performed an intervention that persuaded him to enter the Betty Ford Center, delaying production for a month. [14]

Only one episode, "The 1000th Show", was filmed in Seattle. [22] As with Cheers, most episodes were filmed on Stage 25, Paramount Studios, [14] or at various locations in and around Los Angeles.

The KACL callers' lines were read by anonymous voice-over actors during filming in front of a live audience, and during post-production, the lines were replaced by celebrities, who actually phoned in their parts without having to come into the studio. The end credits of season finales show greyscale headshots of celebrities who had "called in" that season. Celebrities providing voices as callers include Gillian Anderson, Kevin Bacon, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Cindy Crawford, Billy Crystal, Phil Donahue, David Duchovny, Hilary Duff, Olympia Dukakis, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Art Garfunkel, Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Ron Howard, Eric Idle, Jay Leno, Laura Linney, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma, William H. Macy, Henry Mancini, Reba McEntire, Helen Mirren, Estelle Parsons, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Christopher Reeve, Carly Simon, Gary Sinise, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Stiller, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, and Eddie Van Halen. Some "callers" also guest-starred, such as Parsons and Linney, who played Frasier's final love interest in the last season.

Credits

The show's theme song, "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs", is sung by Grammer and is played over the closing credits of each episode. Composer Bruce Miller, who had also composed for Wings, was asked to avoid explicitly mentioning any subjects related to the show such as radio or psychiatry. After Miller finished the music, lyricist Darryl Phinnesse suggested the title as they were things that were, like Frasier Crane's patients, "mixed up". The lyrics indirectly refer to Crane's radio show; "I hear the blues a-callin", for example, refers to troubled listeners who call the show. [23] Grammer recorded several variations of the final spoken line of the theme, which were rotated for each of the episodes. Other than season finales, a short, silent scene, often revisiting a small subplot aside from the central story of the episode, appears with the credits and song, which the actors performed without written dialogue based on the scriptwriter's suggestion. [24]

The title card at the start of each episode shows a white line being drawn in the shape of the Seattle skyline on a black background above the show's title. In most episodes, once the skyline and title appear, the skyline is augmented in some way, such as windows lighting up or a helicopter lifting off. The color of the title text changed for each season (respectively: blue, red, green, purple, gold, orange, yellow, light green, light orange, silver, and metallic gold). Over the title card, one of about 25 brief musical cues evoking the closing theme is played. [23]

Revival

Talks of a revival began in 2016, but were initially denied by Grammer, though they resurfaced in mid- to late 2018, with Grammer confirming they were looking into it. In February and March 2019, he said in several interviews that a reboot was likely. Grammer has said the revival will be a "third act" for the Frasier Crane character and is likely to be in a new setting other than Seattle. He has also indicated a new series will pay tribute to John Mahoney. [7] [25] [26] [27] [28] In late 2019, Grammer said "we've hatched a plan for Frasier reboot", and it was originally reported that it would air in 2020. [6] [29]

Relationship to Cheers

With the exception of Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley), all the surviving main regular cast members of Cheers made appearances on Frasier. Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth) was the only one to become a recurring character, appearing in a total of twelve episodes.

In the eighth-season Cheers episode "Two Girls for Every Boyd", Frasier tells Sam Malone (played by Ted Danson) that his father, a research scientist, had died. [15] In the Frasier season-two episode "The Show Where Sam Shows Up", when Sam meets Martin, Frasier explains that at the time, he was angry after an argument with his father on the phone. [30] However, in "The Show Where Woody Shows Up", when meeting Martin, Woody says he remembers hearing about him. [31]

In the ninth-season episode of Frasier, "Cheerful Goodbyes" in 2002, Frasier returns to Boston to give a speech and Niles, Daphne, and Martin come along to see the city. Frasier runs into Cliff Clavin (played by John Ratzenberger) at the airport and learns that Cliff is retiring and moving to Florida. Frasier and company attend Cliff's retirement party, where Frasier reunites with the rest of the gang from Cheers (minus Sam, Woody, Diane and Rebecca), including bar regular Norm Peterson (played by George Wendt), waitress Carla Tortelli (played by Rhea Perlman), barflies Paul Krapence (played by Paul Willson) and Phil (played by Philip Perlman), and Cliff's old post-office nemesis Walt Twitchell (played by Raye Birk). [32]

In the 11th-season episode of Frasier, "Caught in the Act", Frasier's married ex-wife, children's entertainer Nanny G, comes to town and invites him backstage for a rendezvous. Nanny G appeared on the Cheers episode "One Hugs, The Other Doesn't" (1992) and was portrayed by Emma Thompson. [33] In this episode of Frasier, she is portrayed by Laurie Metcalf. [34] A younger version of the character (this time played by Dina Waters) appears in the second episode of season 9 of Frasier, “Don Juan in Hell: Part 2,” along with Neuwirth and Shelley Long reprising their roles of Lilith and Diane Chambers, respectively. In this episode, Rita Wilson also reprises her role as Frasier's mother, Hester, which she briefly debuted in the season 7 premiere, “Momma Mia"; in "Don Juan in Hell: Part 2," Diane also references the season 3 episode of Cheers, “Diane Meets Mom,” in which Hester (then portrayed by Nancy Marchand) threatens Diane's life. Diane (again portrayed by Long) plays a central role in “The Show Where Diane Comes Back” (season 3, episode 14) and had a brief cameo in the season 1 episode “Adventures in Paradise: Part 2.”

Some cast members of Frasier had appeared previously in minor roles on Cheers. In the episode "Do Not Forsake Me, O' My Postman" (1992), John Mahoney played Sy Flembeck, [35] an over-the-hill jingle writer hired by Rebecca to write a jingle for the bar. In it, Grammer and Mahoney exchanged a few lines. Peri Gilpin appeared in a Cheers episode titled "Woody Gets an Election" [36] playing a reporter who interviews Woody when he runs for office.

The set of Frasier was built over the set of Cheers on the same stage after it had finished filming.

Reception

Critical reaction

Frasier is one of the most critically acclaimed comedy series of all time and one of the most successful spin-off series in television history. [37] Critics and commentators have broadly held the show in high regard. [38]

Caroline Frost said that the series overall showed a high level of wit, but noted that many critics felt that the marriage of Daphne and Niles in season 10 had removed much of the show's comic tension. [39] Ken Tucker felt that their marriage made the series seem desperate for storylines, while Robert Bianco felt that it was symptomatic of a show that had begun to dip in quality after so much time on the air. [40] [41] Kelsey Grammer acknowledged the creative lull, saying that over the course of two later seasons, the show "took itself too seriously". [42] Commentators do, however, acknowledge that there was an improvement following the return of the writers Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan, although not necessarily to its earlier high standards. [40] [42] [43]

Writing about the first season, John O'Connor described Frasier as being a relatively unoriginal concept, but said that it was generally a "splendid act,” while Tucker thought that the second season benefited greatly from a mix of "high and low humor.” [44] [45] Tucker's comment is referring to what Grammer described as a rule of the series that the show should not play down to its audience. [46] Kevin Cherry believes that Frasier was able to stay fresh by not making any contemporary commentary, therefore allowing the show to be politically and socially neutral. [43] Other commentators, such as Haydn Bush disagree, believing the success of Frasier can be attributed to the comedic timing and the rapport between the characters. [47] Joseph J. Darowski and Kate Darowski praise the overall message of the series, which across eleven seasons sees several lonely, broken individuals develop warm, caring relationships. While individual episodes vary in quality, the series as a whole carries with it a definitive theme and evolution from pilot to finale. [48] The Economist would devote an article to the 25th anniversary of the show's premiere stating, "it is clear that audiences still demand the sort of intelligent and heartfelt comedy that “Frasier” provided." [49]

In spite of the criticisms of the later seasons, these critics were unanimous in praising at least the early seasons, with varied commentary on the series' demise ranging from believing, like Bianco, that the show had run its course to those like Dana Stevens, who bemoaned the end of Frasier as the "end of situation comedy for adults". [50] Critics compared the farcical elements of the series, especially in later seasons, to the older sitcom Three's Company . [51] [52] [53] NBC News contributor Wendell Wittler described the moments of misunderstanding as "inspired by the classic comedy of manners as were the frequent deflations of Frasier’s pomposity." [51]

In 2017, 13 years after the show ended, Frasier was said to have experienced a "renaissance" on Netflix and "achieved a second life as one of the streaming service’s most soothing offerings". [54]

Awards

The series won a total of 37 Primetime Emmy Awards during its 11-year run, breaking the record long held by CBS' The Mary Tyler Moore Show (29). It held the record until 2016 when Game of Thrones won 38. [55] Grammer and Pierce each won four, including one each for the fifth and eleventh seasons. The series is tied with ABC's Modern Family for the most consecutive wins for Outstanding Comedy Series, winning five from 1994 to 1998.

Grammer has been Emmy-nominated for playing Frasier Crane on Cheers and Frasier, as well as a 1992 crossover appearance on Wings , making him the only performer to be nominated for playing the same role on three different shows. The first year Grammer did not receive an Emmy nomination for Frasier was in 2003 for the 10th season. However, Pierce was nominated every year of the show's run, breaking the record for nominations in his category, with his eighth nomination in 2001; he was nominated a further three times after this.

In 1994, the episode "The Matchmaker" was ranked number 43 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. [56] In 2000, the series was named the greatest international programme of all time by a panel of 1,600 industry experts for the British Film Institute as part of BFI TV 100. [57] In 2002, Frasier was ranked number 34 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. [58] In a 2006 poll taken by Channel 4 of professionals in the sitcom industry, Frasier was voted the best sitcom of all time. [59]

Fandom and cultural impact

Frasier began airing in off-network syndication on September 15, 1997. [60] It is available on Cozi TV, Hallmark Channel, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CBS All Access, Peacock and Crave in select countries. Netflix stopped offering the show from 2020. [61]

The show's popularity has resulted in several fan sites, podcasts, and publications. Podcasts that look primarily at the show include Talk Salad and Scrambled Eggs with Kevin Smith and Matt Mira, Frasierphiles,The Frasier Analysis.

A soundtrack to the series was released in 2001. [62]

Books

  • Cafe Nervosa: The Connoisseur's Cookbook, claimed to be authored by Frasier and Niles Crane and published while the show was still in production. [63]
  • Frasier: A Cultural History by Joseph J. Darowski and Kate Darowski, published by Rowman & Littlfield in 2017 as part of their Cultural History of Television series, analyzes the show and offers insights into onscreen stories and behind-the-scenes efforts to shape it. [64]
  • Frasier: The Official Companion to the Award-Winning Paramount Television Comedy by Jefferson Graham offers a behind-the-scenes look at the series and several collections of scripts. [65]
  • My Life as a Dog, published as an autobiography of Moose, the dog who played Eddie in the first several seasons. [66]

Merchandising

Home media

Paramount Home Entertainment and (from 2006 onward) CBS DVD COZI TV have released all 11 seasons of Frasier on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4. A 44-disc package containing the entire 11 seasons has also been released.

On April 7, 2015, CBS DVD released Frasier: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. [67]

DVD releases of Frasier
DVD NameEp #Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete 1st Season24 eachMay 20, 2003November 24, 2003January 13, 2004
The Complete 2nd SeasonJanuary 6, 2004June 7, 2004June 3, 2004
The Complete 3rd SeasonMay 25, 2004September 6, 2004September 10, 2004
The Complete 4th SeasonFebruary 1, 2005July 18, 2005July 20, 2005
The Complete 5th SeasonJune 7, 2005November 27, 2006January 11, 2007
The Complete 6th SeasonSeptember 13, 2005May 14, 2007May 3, 2007
The Complete 7th SeasonNovember 15, 2005July 9, 2007July 12, 2007
The Complete 8th SeasonJune 13, 2006February 4, 2008February 14, 2008
The Complete 9th SeasonMay 15, 2007April 28, 2008July 31, 2008
The Complete 10th SeasonDecember 11, 2007July 28, 2008November 6, 2008
The Complete 11th & Final SeasonNovember 16, 2004September 15, 2008January 15, 2009
The Complete Series264April 7, 2015October 6, 2008July 30, 2009
Christmas Episodes8October 10, 2017

The first four seasons were also released on VHS along with a series of 'Best Of' tapes. These tapes consisted of four episodes taken from seasons 1–4. No more video releases have been announced.

VHS releases of Frasier
Video nameRelease date
The Best of Frasier 1 – From Boston to Seattle1999
The Best of Frasier 2 – Crane Vs. Crane1999
The Best of Frasier 3 – Serial Dater1999
The Best of Frasier 4 – Like Father Like Sons1999
The Best of Frasier 5 – Brotherly Love1999
The Best of Frasier 6 – Love Is in the Air1999
The Best of Frasier Box Set1999
The Complete 1st SeasonJuly 16, 2001
The Complete 2nd SeasonDecember 3, 2001
Season 3 – Part 1May 6, 2002
Season 3 – Part 2July 1, 2002
Season 4 – Part 1October 14, 2002
Season 4 – Part 2November 18, 2002

One Frasier CD has been released featuring a number of songs taken from the show: Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs was released on October 24, 2000.

Books

Several books about Frasier have been released, including:

Frasier books
TitlePublisherISBN
The Best of Frasier Channel 4 Books ISBN   0-7522-1394-6
Cafe Nervosa: The Connoisseur's Cookbook Oxmoor House ISBN   0-8487-1550-0
Frasier Pocket Books ISBN   0-671-00368-2
The Frasier Scripts Newmarket Press ISBN   1-55704-403-1
Goodnight Seattle Virgin Books ISBN   0-7535-0286-0
Goodnight Seattle IIVirgin Books ISBN   0-7535-0717-X
What's Your "Frasier" IQ: 501 Questions and Answers for FansCarol Publishing ISBN   0-8065-1732-8
The Very Best of FrasierChannel 4 Books ISBN   0-7522-6179-7
Frasier: A Cultural History (The Cultural History of Television)Rowman & Littlefield ISBN   1-4422-7796-3

Related Research Articles

Kelsey Grammer American actor, comedian, singer, producer, director, writer and activist

Allen Kelsey Grammer is an American actor, comedian, singer, producer, director, writer and conservative political activist, best known for his two-decade-long portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. He is also known for his performance in the political drama series Boss for which he won a Golden Globe Award, and the period drama series The Last Tycoon, as well as his voice work in The Simpsons, Anastasia (1997) and Toy Story 2 (1999). He has also appeared in various television shows such as 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Frasier Crane Fictional character in the television series Frasier and Cheers

Dr. Frasier Winslow Crane is a fictional character on the American television sitcoms Cheers and Frasier, portrayed by Kelsey Grammer. The character debuted in the Cheers third-season premiere, "Rebound " (1984), as Diane Chambers's love interest, part of the Sam and Diane story arc. Intended to appear for only a few episodes, Grammer's performance for the role was praised by producers, prompting them to expand his role and to increase his prominence. Later in Cheers, Frasier marries Lilith Sternin and has a son, Frederick. After Cheers ended, the character moved to a spin-off series Frasier, the span of his overall television appearances totaling twenty years. In the spin-off, Frasier moves back to his birthplace Seattle after his divorce from Lilith, who retained custody of Frederick in Boston, and is reunited with a newly-created family: his estranged father Martin and brother Niles.

Niles Crane

Niles Crane is a fictional character on the American sitcom Frasier, a spin-off of the television show Cheers. He was portrayed by David Hyde Pierce. Niles is the younger brother of Frasier Crane.

Lilith Sternin Fictional character in the series Cheers and Frasier

Lilith Sternin is a fictional character on the American television sitcoms Cheers and Frasier, portrayed by Bebe Neuwirth. The character first appears as a date for Frasier Crane, though mutual hostility and discomfort causes the evening to end badly. Several months later, Lilith meets Frasier again and, with some help from Frasier's ex-fiancée, Diane Chambers, they start a romantic relationship, eventually living together, marrying, and having a son, Frederick.

Martin "Marty" Crane is a fictional character from the American television show Frasier, played by actor John Mahoney. An army veteran and retired police detective, he is the father of Frasier and Niles Crane.

Jane Leeves English actress

Jane Elizabeth Leeves is an English actress. She played Daphne Moon on the television sitcom Frasier from 1993 until 2004, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. She is also known for her role as Joy Scroggs on TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland.

Daphne Moon

Daphne Crane is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Frasier, played by Jane Leeves. An English immigrant from Manchester, Daphne is employed by Frasier as a live-in housekeeper and physical therapist for his father, Martin. Her relationship with Frasier's brother Niles is a major plotline of the series, progressing from Niles' secret infatuation to their eventual marriage later in the show.

The Good Son (<i>Frasier</i>) 1st episode of the first season of Frasier

"The Good Son" is the pilot episode of the television sitcom Frasier. The episode premiered on September 16, 1993, on NBC. This first episode seeks to establish the show, introduce the primary characters and settings, and distance itself from its parent, Cheers.

Roz Doyle Fictional character from the TV show Fraiser

Rosalinda "Roz" Doyle is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Frasier. She is played by Peri Gilpin. Roz is the producer of Frasier Crane's Dr. Frasier Crane Show on KACL 780 AM. Although initially reluctant to take the job, she and Frasier soon become good friends.

Goodnight, Seattle 23rd episode of the eleventh season of Frasier

"Goodnight, Seattle", by Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan, is the series finale of the American sitcom Frasier. It aired on May 13, 2004, in the 11th year of the series. In syndication, it is a two-part episode.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 1)

The first season of Frasier originally aired from September 16, 1993 to May 19, 1994 on NBC, consisting of a total of 24 episodes.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 2)

The second season of the American sitcom Frasier commenced airing in the United States on September 20, 1994 and concluded on May 23, 1995. It continues to follow Dr. Frasier Crane's experiences as a radio psychiatrist and efforts to get closer to his father and brother. The second season aired Tuesdays at 9:00 pm in the United States, after moving from its previous Thursday night time slot. The season was released on DVD as a four-disc boxed set on January 6, 2004 by Paramount Home Entertainment.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 3) Season of television series

The third season of Frasier originally aired from September 19, 1995 to May 21, 1996 on NBC, consisting a total of 24 episodes.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 4)

The fourth season of Frasier originally aired from September 17, 1996 to May 20, 1997 on NBC, consisting a total of 24 episodes.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 5)

The fifth season of Frasier originally aired from September 23, 1997 to May 19, 1998 on NBC. The fifth episode is the only episode of the series to have scenes filmed on location in Seattle.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 6)

The sixth season of Frasier aired from September 24, 1998 to May 20, 1999 on NBC, consisting of a total of 24 episodes. Beginning with this season, the show took over the time slot previously occupied by Seinfeld after Jerry Seinfeld turned down an offer to renew his show for a tenth season.

<i>Frasier</i> (season 11)

The eleventh and final season of the American sitcom television series Frasier originally aired from September 23, 2003 to May 13, 2004 on NBC. The opening title screen color was changed to gold.

"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz" is the tenth episode of Frasier 's sixth season. It first aired on NBC in the United States on December 17, 1998. In the episode, Frasier, while shopping for Christmas gifts meets a stylish Jewish woman, Helen Moskowitz, who asks him to take her daughter Faye on a blind date. This leads to a deepening relationship between each other. Helen on Christmas Eve makes a stop by Frasier's apartment, unaware that he is not Jewish and so he and the family must pretend that they are to survive the visit.

"The Show Where Sam Shows Up" is the 16th episode of the second season of the American sitcom Frasier. This episode originally aired on Tuesday, February 21, 1995, on NBC, intended as part of a February ratings sweep by the network. It features a special guest appearance of Ted Danson as Sam Malone, a recovering sex addict, bartender and ex-baseball player. In this episode Sam arrives in Seattle to see his old friend Frasier, and then is introduced to Frasier's family at a dinner in Frasier's home, where the inconsistencies about Martin's supposed "death" are cleared up. While visiting Seattle, Sam ends his relationship with a woman named Sheila after discovering her dalliance with other men. Danson's appearance in this episode has received mixed reviews, and the positive highlight about it is his interaction with the cast of Frasier.

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Further reading