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Frasier







Frasier

Category: Sitcom

Rating: PG

Created by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee

Stars: Kelsey Grammar, David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, and Dan Butler (Seasons 4-6, recurring otherwise)

Number of Seasons: 11

Number of Episodes: 264

Orginal run: September 16, 1993 to May 13, 2004

Preceded by: Cheers (1982-1993)

The show is a spin-off of Cheers, starring Kelsey Grammer as psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane. The show won a record 37 Emmy Awards during its run, and a poll taken by the British Channel 4 of the sitcom industry voted the show the best sitcom of all time.



Premise

Psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Grammer) returns to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, following the break up of his marriage and his life in Boston (which was covered in the series Cheers). His plans for his new life as a bachelor are complicated when he is obliged to take in his father, ex-police officer Martin Crane (Mahoney), who had to retire and is unable to live by himself owing to an injury caused by being shot in the line of duty.

Frasier and Martin are joined by Daphne Moon (Leeves), Martin's eccentric, British, live-in physical therapist and caretaker, and Martin's dog Eddie (Moose). A frequent visitor to their apartment is Frasier's younger brother Niles (Pierce), a fellow psychiatrist who, like Frasier, is pompous, snobbish, and overly intellectual. Niles' hidden love for Daphne forms a complex story arc that spans the entire series.

Grammar's character hosts a popular radio talk show on KACL 780AM (named to honor the show's creators, Angell, Casey, and Lee).





Plot Themes

Many running jokes develop throughout the series. The main joke/conflict is the between Frasier, Niles, and Martin. The two sons are upper class snobs while Martin is a blue collar down-to-earth father. A running theme is the fact that Kelsey Grammar's character and the father character played by John Mahoney (Martin) can't see eye to eye on things are have conflicts within the living space. The Crane brothers are both similar in snobbiness but Grammar's character is not only the bigger brother but cool-headed. The two brothers often try to outdo each other. A storyline that develops is Niles' infatuation with Daphne. She doesn't suspect anything in the early seasons. Niles' marriage breakdown opens the road toward Daphne (When Niles isn't begging Maris back). Maris is never seen. Norm from Cheers had a similar situation where he has a wife named Vera. She is never seen. Other storylines were : Frasier's search for love, and the two brothers attempting to gain acceptance into Seattle's cultural elite.



Click here for a great Frasier video clip



Cast

Regulars:

Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane. Grammer sang the song heard during the closing credits, "Tossed salad and scrambled eggs", by Bruce Miller and Daryl Phinessee. In the episode "Are You Being Served" it is revealed that Grammar's character and his brother Niles were named after two lab rats their mother was using in an experiment.

David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Niles Crane. In Season 2's "The Show Where Sam Shows Up", one of the first things Sam Malone says when he first meets Niles is how he looks exactly like Frasier when he first knew him back in Boston. In his previous series, The Powers That Be, Hyde Pierce played a very similar character, a stuffy milquetoast with a mad passion for the maid. In an interview, Hyde Pierce explained that the original concept for the show did not include a brother for Grammar's character. He says a casting director for the show saw a photo of him and commented how much he resembled Kelsey Grammer.

John Mahoney as Martin Crane. In a final-season interview, Mahoney said the first offer he received to play Martin Crane consisted of a phone call from Grammer in which he asked, "Will you be my Dad?"





Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon. Leeves used a mixture of different Northern English accents to portray a stereotypical working class Briton. However, this contrasts with her natural accent which is southern English, as Leeves hails from Essex. Leeves was once a member of "Hill's Angels", the troupe of female extras on Benny Hill's television shows.

Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle (named in honor of a producer of Wings, which shares show creators with Frasier). Lisa Kudrow was originally cast as Roz, but was replaced before production began. "Moose" and Moose's son "Enzo" as Eddie, the Jack Russell Terrier. Eddie received more fan mail than any other cast member in the show.

Lizzie Partridge as Eddie's lovely dog walker. Partridge was added as the dog's next best friend, despite appearing in 21 episodes her character was never given a proper name as writers did not feel she deserved one.

Dan Butler as Bob 'Bulldog' Briscoe, the obnoxious host of a radio sports show. Butler was made a series regular for seasons 4 and 5, and served as a recurring guest star in other seasons.

Recurring guest stars:

Edward Hibbert as Gil Chesterton, food critic at the radio station

Bebe Neuwirth as Lilith Sternin, Frasier's ex-wife (also on Cheers)

Trevor Einhorn as Frederick Crane, Frasier's son. The character was first played in Season 3 by child actor Luke Tarsitano. The following season, Einhorn took over for the rest of the series.





The writers had Grammar's character say that he missed Frederick in the pilot episode so that the audience wouldn't view him as deserting his son.

Tom McGowan as Kenny Daley, the station manager Patrick Kerr as Noel Shempsky, a geeky station employee Harriet Sansom Harris as Bebe Glazer, Frasier's amoral agent Marsha Mason as Sherry Dempsey, Martin's lady friend Saul Rubinek as Donny Douglas, Daphne's fiancé Jane Adams as Mel Karnofsky, Niles' girlfriend and (for a few days) wife

Millicent Martin as Gertrude Moon, Daphne's mother

Brian Cox as Harry Moon, Daphne's barfly father

Anthony LaPaglia as Simon Moon, one of Daphne's brothers.

Although not noticed by the average American viewer, aside from her mother, none of Daphne’s relatives nor her ex-boyfriend have Manchester accents, despite supposedly being from there. They mostly have Southern English (i.e. London) accents, while her brother Nigel's is Cockney. While three of Daphne's brothers appear in the series finale, none of the actors playing them is English. LaPaglia is from Australia, Richard E. Grant from Swaziland and Robbie Coltrane from Scotland.Brian Stokes Mitchell as Cam Winston, Frasier's upstairs neighbor and nemesis Wendie Malick as Ronee Lawrence, Martin's girlfriend and eventual wife

Grammer has been Emmy-nominated for playing the same character on three different shows: Cheers, Frasier and a guest appearance on Wings. 2003 was the first year that Grammer didn't receive an Emmy nomination for this series. David Hyde Pierce's streak remains unbroken.

In a retrospective review in The Radio Times Guide to Television Comedy, Mark Lewisohn called the show a "comedy masterpiece".



Episodes

The season 4 episode "Head Game" only featured Frasier for the first few minutes, with the rest of the episode centered around Niles. This role was written for Frasier, but Grammer was being treated for his addiction problems, so it was re-written for Niles instead. This is also the reason why Niles fills in for his brother on his radio show, because the show is integral to the plot.

During season 8, Jane Leeves' pregnancy was disguised by a storyline involving a severe over-eating disorder; later, her pregnancy leave was accounted for by having Daphne go to a health spa to cope with her weight problem. Daphne lost 4.4 kg (9 lbs 12 oz) at the spa, an inside joke referencing the birth weight of Leeves' daughter, Isabella.



In conjunction with the final double bill of the show in Season 11, an extra special episode/program entitled "Analyzing the Laughter" was aired. The plotline was that Frasier meets with an analyst for a review of his life (effectively the past 11 seasons of the show plus brief look at Frasier in Cheers). He discusses his background, his relationships with his family and friends and the major events that have transpired in his life over the past year. The show is simply a collection of flashbacks of past classic scenes from the history of the series, and so is more a thinly disguised walk down memory lane for avid fans' nostalgia. This special was shown two days in advance in the US to the airing of the double-bill finale, but on the same night in the UK for the same respective double-bill finale.



Production

The show is set in Seattle, Washington, but only one episode, "The 1,000th Show", was filmed there. The remainder was filmed on Stage 25 (location), Paramount Studios, and at various locations in and around Los Angeles.

No building or apartment in Seattle really has the view from Grammar's Character's residence. It was created so the Space Needle would appear more prominently. According to the Season 1 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. Only once was there an exterior shot facing Frasier's apartment building, in Season 4 episode "The Impossible Dream".

The radio station callers' lines were spoken by anonymous voice-over actors while filming the show in front of a live audience. This gave the cast something to which they could react. During post-production, the lines were replaced by celebrities, who literally phoned in their parts without having to come into the studio. The end credits of season finales would show headshots of all the celebrities who had "called in" that season.

Cheers Connections

Every regular cast member of Cheers appeared in at least one episode, except for Kirstie Alley (Rebecca Howe) and the late Nicholas Colasanto (Coach).

Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth) was the lone character of Cheers, other than Grammer, to become a consistent recurring character on the show.





Kelsey Grammer has said that "The Show Where Diane Comes Back" is one of his favorite episodes. On Cheers, Shelley Long did not like the Frasier character and lobbied hard to get Grammer removed from the show. The producers disagreed, noting that the audience liked him. When Long's character, Diane Chambers, appeared on this show, Grammer said it was an opportunity for them to make peace. Apart from this episode, Long played Diane Chambers in two other episodes. The first was a brief surprise cameo in a 1994 episode, and once again in the 2001 season premiere, both times as figments of Frasier's imagination.

John Mahoney appeared in an episode of Cheers, as Si Phlembeck, an over-the-hill advertising executive hired by Rebecca to write a jingle for the bar. Grammer and Mahoney shared a few lines.

The plot of an episode of Frasier is somewhat similar to the Cheers episode.

In the eighth season Cheers episode "Two Girls for Every Boyd", Frasier tells Sam Malone (Ted Danson) that his father, a research scientist, had died. In the Season 2 episode "The One Where Sam Shows Up", when Sam meets Martin, he brings up the discrepancies. In an example of retconning, Frasier explains it away by saying he had just had a fight with his father on the phone and he was very angry with him at the time. In "The One Where Woody Shows Up", Woody Boyd upon meeting Martin says he remembers hearing about him - probably from Sam talking about his experiences in Seattle when he returned to Boston.

Robert Prosky played the father of Cheers regular Rebecca. He appeared in Season 4 as a J.D. Salinger-like writer who strikes up a friendship with Martin.

Peri Gilpin was in a Cheers episode titled "Woody Gets an Election", playing a reporter who interviews Woody when he runs for office.



Niles' wife Maris is never seen (at least her face) or heard from. The same device was used for Vera, Norm Petersen's wife in Cheers. This method is used again when Martin meets the woman he has been watching from across the street via his telescope, and for Senator Antler when he arrived at Frasier's apartment. After Cheers had finished filming, the bar was taken down and the sets for this show were built over it. The producers made certain there were no stools in the coffee shop to distance it visually from the Cheers bar.

Frasier's mother, who in the is always remembered as a sensitive, intelligent woman and a wonderful mother, appears in an episode of "Cheers" (played by Nancy Marchand) when she threatens to kill Diane Chambers with a gun she has with her if the relationship with Grammar's character is not ended immediately. She was portrayed in a 2001 episode (in flashback) by Rita Wilson.

Appearances Outside of The show

In the eighth season The Simpsons episode "Brother from Another Series", David Hyde Pierce guest stars as Cecil Terwilliger, brother of Sideshow Bob, a recurring over-cultured villain voiced by Kelsey Grammer. The episode also alludes to Niles' wife, Maris Crane (when Bart jumps on Cecil's back and shouts "Guess who!", Cecil guesses "Maris?")and makes use of subtitle slides Frasier employs. Sideshow Bob and his brother

Cecil Terwilliger reappeared an episode of The Simpsons, entitled "Funeral For A Fiend", with Grammer and Hyde Pierce reprising their respective roles and John Mahoney as their father.

 

 

 

 

 

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