Frasier was an American TV situation comedy. A spin-off of the highly successful situation comedy Cheers, it starred Kelsey Grammer, reprising his character of Dr. Frasier Crane. It became even more successful than its spin-off parent, a television first. Its first episode aired on NBC on September 16, 1993, and its last episode aired on May 13, 2004.
The show was created by David Angell, Peter Casey , and David Lee, (Grub Street Productions ) in association with Paramount Television. Angell, a former Cheers writer, was a victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Casey had also worked on Cheers and, with Lee, on Wings.
Dr. Frasier Crane is a psychiatrist who hosts a radio talk show in Seattle on KACL 780AM. His friend and producer is single mother Roz Doyle, and his colleague, the sports show host Bulldog Briscoe is always on hand to annoy Frasier and hit on Roz. Frasier lives with his father, retired cop Martin Crane, who was shot in the hip at work and walks with a cane. Martin is looked after by his Manchester-born health care worker, Daphne Moon, who is the love interest of Frasier's brother Niles Crane, a fellow psychiatrist who is even more stuffy and pompous than Frasier. Completing the lineup is Martin's dog Eddie (Moose, a well-trained Jack Russell Terrier) who responds with alacrity to the other characters but stares uncomprehendingly at Frasier. When not hosting his radio program, Frasier drinks coffee at the Cafe Nervosa, a pre-Starbucks Seattle coffee house.
Niles had a crush on Daphne for 7 years, despite his marriage to Maris Crane. Maris is never seen fully or heard, only referred to (see unseen character).
After a lengthy divorce and other complications, Niles declared his love for Daphne. They married and in the series finale she gives birth to a child they name David, in honor of the late David Angell.
Most of the humor is derived of Frasier and Niles competing against each other, and trying to be as snobby as possible. Other themes include Frasier's search for romance, social class conflict with his blue-collar ex-cop father and the lifestyle of a minor celebrity.
The series finale
On May 13, 2004, the series finale of Frasier aired. Watched by 25.4 million viewers.
Several circumstances led to the decision to end the series:
- The high cost, which amounted to $75 million for the last season;
- The actors and actresses felt that continuing series much longer would inhibit on their film careers
- The series had matched Cheers in number of seasons, a goal Grammer had for the show
- The changing airing time of the show. It was moved several times, and had to compete against very popular shows like American Idol and 24.
- The decline in ratings
Guest stars in the series finale included Wendie Malick, Anthony LaPaglia, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Grant, Laura Linney, Jason Biggs, and Jennifer Beals.
The last show was dedicated to the creator of Frasier, David Angell who died in the American Airlines Flight 11 on the 9/11 attacks.
As of 2004, the series won 37 Emmys, more than any other show; Kelsey Grammer won six of them, including one for the final season.
Grammer played Dr. Frasier Crane for twenty years, which tied the James Arness portrayal of Marshall Dillon on Gunsmoke in terms of character longevity.
Grammer was briefly the highest-paid TV star in history, reaching a salary of $1.6 million per episode for the last two seasons; his record was surpassed by Ray Romano within a year.
Running 11 full seasons, Frasier is the longest-running official prime time series spin-off to date.
Last updated: 10-13-2005 10:23:11