It appears as though Frasier Crane has finally re-entered the building he left almost two decades ago as the long-awaited Paramount+ sequel to Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier series has begun on Paramount+ for the 10-part series. This time, however, the building is in Boston where the character had originated in Cheers but with “new challenges to face, new relationships to forge and an old dream or two to finally fulfill”.
For the new series, Frasier Crane has moved back to Boston to be closer to his now grown-up son Frederick, who dropped out of Harvard to become a firefighter, and stay on to lecture at his old university.
Nicholas Lyndhurst (Butterflies, Only Fools and Horses, After You’ve Gone, Goodnight Sweetheart, New Tricks) will portray Alan Cornwall, a new character from Frasier’s past. Described as “Frasier’s old college buddy turned university professor, Cornwall is British, he’s boozy, and he’s larger than life. Sporting an intellect on par with Frasier’s, he is insecure about and reluctant to use.
I will admit, the initial thought of Frasier without David Hyde Pierce’s brilliant portrayal of Niles and the absence of the rest of the cast from Jane Leeves (Daphne), the late John Mahony (Martin Crane), Peri Gilpin (Roz) and, of course, Eddie the dog. One can always hold out hope for an ever-so-brief cameo featuring the great Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith) down the road. From the beginning of the first episode, Lyndhurst effortlessly slides right in looking as if he has known Frasier his entire life. According to Variety, plot details reveal that “Alan’s mischievous streak might be just what Frasier could use to shake up his routine, while Frasier’s thoughtful guidance might help Alan find some of the direction he’s been missing in his own life.”
By joining the cast, Lyndhurst will be reunited with Grammer as both starred together in Man of La Mancha for the English National Opera at the London Coliseum. In addition to Lyndhurst, Kelsey Grammer, who played Seattle radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane, will be joined by Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, Alan’s colleague and head of the university’s psychology department, The Expanse star Jess Salgueiro as Freddy’s roommate, Eve, and Anders Keith as Frasier’s nephew David.
The original series, which ended in 2004 after 11 seasons, starred David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Peri Gilpin, none of whom are currently attached to the revival. John Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, passed away in 2018.
Critical reviews seem to be mixed after the opening episode but that is pretty much the case with every situation comedy ever produced. The initial pitch for Fawlty Towers was rejected to the point that the commissioner hoped it would never get made as “the jokes and premise were ‘tired’.” Hopefully, Frasier will be given the necessary time to find its way and place. Is it the old Frasier…No. Does it stand a chance to be better than most of what’s coming out from a comedy standpoint currently…definitely, yes. The ‘new’ Frasier‘ is currently streaming on Paramount+.