‘Frasier’ set to return in anticipated reboot, highlighting its superiority over ‘Cheers’

What’s old is new again. 

Everyone’s favorite radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane will once again be hitting the airwaves in a reboot of the iconic sitcom “Frasier,” and Kelsey Grammer will be reprising his role.

The new series is slated to debut later this year on the Paramount+ streaming platform, and I’m stoked.

I love “Frasier.” The titular character always amuses me. 

Whether he is being indignant about some perceived slight, trying to help a caller with an outlandish issue, or frantically scrambling to get himself out of a comical situation, Frasier manages to display incredible intelligence while being a snobby buffoon who seems to be out of touch with reality. 

As a media nerd, I’ve always appreciated that he worked at a radio station, and I liked that the show gave viewers a peek — even if it was a fictionalized view — into how that industry works, both in terms of the production of a show and in general how a station operates. 

Also, the other characters were comedic gold. I’m particularly fond of Frasier’s brother, Dr. Niles Crane. Played by David Hyde Pierce, Niles was high-strung and overflowing with little idiosyncrasies, such as using his handkerchief to wipe down everything before he touched it. Not to mention his first wife, Maris. The fact the audience never sees her is a stroke of genius. Much like the wife of Dr. Bob Kelso from “Scrubs,” not being able to see Maris allows her to be the butt of jokes and a generally detestable character.

Of course, there is also the father of Frasier and Niles, Martin Crane. Played by John Mahoney who died in 2018, his unpretentious and blue-collar character worked as a wonderful foil to Frasier. While Frasier was pouring himself a sherry, Martin would crack open an ice-cold beer. As a retired and physically impaired police officer, he stood in for the everyday blue-collar worker, while Frasier was an uptight, bougie intellectual. 

Then there was Niles’s love interest and Martin’s physical therapist Daphne Moon, who was played by Jane Leeves, and Frasier’s producer Roz Doyle, who was played by Peri Gilpin. These two were standouts as well, though I did like Daphne’s character better when the show leaned more into her “clairvoyant abilities.” 

The storylines and characters, combined with the various locations and sets everything unfolded on, make it superior to “Cheers,” of which “Frasier” is a spinoff. 

Those might be fighting words to some, but “Cheers” wasn’t as dynamic. “Frasier” had more range. It took its characters to different locales and dropped them into hilarious situations. Because of this, the stories had more depth, and the characters were three-dimensional. 

Though “Cheers” is iconic and the characters continue to exist as part of popular culture, watching it feels like looking into an empty pint glass. It’s nothing but flat glass. On the other hand, experiencing “Frasier” means absorbing subtle jokes and nuance that Grammer’s character would see at one of his beloved operas or trips to the museum. 

This superiority can be attributed to the writing on “Frasier.” Everything felt tighter and snappier. It gave the audience credit without having to resort to humor that was too obvious most of the time. That held true for its entire run. “Cheers” dropped off toward the end of its 11-season run, but the story of the Crane crew held strong through all of its 11 seasons. It was consistent. It was hilarious. It was heartfelt. 

It was better than its parent sitcom in every way. Evidence of this is the reboot itself. After all, “Cheers” isn’t being brought back.

Still, the accolades demonstrate this as well. 

“Cheers” received as many as 179 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and it won 28 times. On the other hand, “Frasier” received 108 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and it won 37 times. Additionally, the spinoff outshined its predecessor by receiving a total of 318 nominations for various awards, winning 112 of the top honor designations. 

With such a pedigree, it makes sense that the show is being brought back. 

According to Comic Book Resources, the new “Frasier” has a 10-episode deal, the first of which is titled “The Good Father.” This is an homage to the first episode’s title from the original series, which was “The Good Son.”

This ties into reporting from Us Weekly that indicated the reboot would take Frasier back to Boston because that is where his son, Freddy, lives. PEOPLE also reported that Grammer teased the idea that his old hometown bar could make an appearance. 

Beyond that, though, not a lot is known about what the story of the reboot will be. Variety reported that some of the other characters will be college professors, leaving open the possibility that the series will take Frasier out of the radio station into the classroom.

No matter what it ends up being about, I’m excited to watch it and spend more time with Frasier. 

However, I’m sad that Niles and Daphne won’t be part of the show, which is due to Hyde Pierce not wanting to play the role again and Daphne not having a plot point if her husband Niles and her patient Martin aren’t in the picture.

Thankfully, Roz is slated to make an appearance or two, along with Frasier’s ex-wife Lilith, played by Bebe Neuwirth.

Luckily, Grammer told PEOPLE that the show will address the absence of these other characters, which is good. It will help tie up loose ends.

If they didn’t do that, I’d be mad. I might even borrow a line from Bulldog Briscoe, the sports radio talk show host from “Frasier” played by Dan Butler, and shout, “This stinks! This is total BS!”

Todd Vogts is a native of Canton, a resident of McPherson County, and an assistant professor of media at Sterling College. He can be contacted with questions or comments via his website at www.toddvogts.com.

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About toddvogts 837 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.