Kelsey Grammer has been attached to his Frasier Crane character for 40 years and he’s gotten around a lot, too. Grammer actually played Crane in two different television shows before Frasier joined the NBC lineup. The character has been through some changes, too.
For starters, Frasier made his first appearance on Cheers in 1984. He helps treat Diane (Shelley Long) back to health after she entered a psychiatric treatment center. Diane did this after breaking up with Sam (Ted Danson) at the end of Season 2. When Season 3 rolls around, Diane and Frasier are an item, even after he’s been her psychiatrist.
They would eventually break up, leading Crane to find another woman. That eventually led him to Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth), who became Frasier’s wife. Frasier and Lilith made regular appearances at the Cheers bar. By the time Cheers ended its run, Grammer was a full-time cast member.
Kelsey Grammer Takes ‘Frasier’ Over To ‘Wings’
With Cheers scoring good ratings for the network, the show decided to have its first spinoff. That was the short-lived The Tortellis, starring Dan Hedaya as Carla’s ex-husband Nick Tortelli and Jean Kasem as Loretta. It only lasted 13 episodes and did not feature Crane at all.
But our friendly psychiatrist did make a stop on Wings, which was created by Cheers producers David Lee, David Angell, and Peter Casey. Besides Crane, Cliff (John Ratzenberger), Norm (George Wendt), and Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) also popped up on Wings.
Frasier shows up on Wings in a third-season episode titled Planes, Trains, and Visiting Cranes. In the episode, Crane is in Nantucket to host a low self-esteem seminar. Helen (Crystal Bernard) is on to Crane’s bull and tells everyone at the seminar that he’s a fraud. Frasier spends the rest of his time there trying to make things right, Collider reports.
Kelsey Grammer liked working on Wings so much that he asked the show’s creative team to work with him. “I approached the guys from Wings, Angell, Casey, and Lee,” Grammer said in an interview with broadcaster Rich Eisen. “I said, ‘No kids, no dogs, and no wives.’ So we got rid of Lilith not because it wasn’t possible to do that show, but […] I thought we were kind of a one-joke couple.”
Sitcom Did Meet Some of Grammer’s Wishes
Did Kelsey Grammer get his wishes granted? For kids, well, there wasn’t a regular cast member kid. Yet Freddy, played by a young Trevor Einhorn, popped up here and there. Dogs? Eddie, the friendly Jack Russell terrier, became the bane of Frasier’s existence. What about wives? Grammer won that battle, sort of. Frasier never remarried but Lilith made some appearances throughout the show’s 11-season run.
And now we come to the Paramount+ reboot of Frasier. He’s moved from Seattle back to Boston, where he’s got a whole new cast of characters to deal with all the time. A grown-up Freddy, played by Jack Cutmore-Smith, works on his relationship with his father. Others fill out the show’s cast, and Frasier wrapped up its first season on the streaming platform. It looks like Frasier will return for a second season, letting Grammer keep on playing his famous role.
There was a time, though, when Cheers ended that Grammer wanted his character to stop, too. That didn’t happen and the first incarnation of this sitcom won Emmy awards.
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