‘Frasier’ Makes a Television Comeback: No Prior Fandom Required to Enjoy Its Humor

by Joshua Brown
Frasier revival

Joe Cristalli might be considered to have manifested his role as co-executive producer and co-showrunner for the revamped “Frasier” series through social media engagement.

A decade ago, as an aspiring television scriptwriter and avid “Frasier” fan, Cristalli initiated a Twitter account dedicated to crafting “sporadic jokes” tied to the show and its famous protagonist, portrayed by Kelsey Grammer in both “Cheers” and the original “Frasier.”

“In hindsight, it was rather trivial, attracting limited attention. I believe it garnered around 3,000 followers at its peak,” he reflected during a recent discussion.

During that time, “Frasier” had been off the airwaves for a decade. Nonetheless, Cristalli utilized this platform as a medium for honing his writing skills, mainly because he was profoundly captivated by the distinct comedic style of the series.

Years later, upon learning that Grammer was considering a revival of the iconic character, Cristalli had his agent forward a selection of scripts along with samples from his Twitter feed devoted to “Frasier” to Grammer’s team. Ultimately, he was hired to work alongside Chris Harris, a writer for “How I Met Your Mother,” as co-showrunners for the new series, which premiered on October 12 on Paramount+.

In the reboot, Grammer reprises his role as the sophisticated psychiatrist, Frasier Crane, who relocates back to Boston. His son Freddy is now an adult and employed as a firefighter, compelling Frasier to reassess and prioritize their relationship. Concurrently, Frasier embarks on a new vocational journey as a Harvard professor.

Scripting for such a verbally ornate character is a stimulating challenge, remarked Harris. The constraints of time dictate that not every line can be in the traditional verbose “Frasier” style. “Those stylistic moments are reserved for specific instances,” Harris explained, a point of moderation that he helped Cristalli appreciate.

“I once included an extremely specific reference to the fourth season of ‘Frasier,’ to which Chris astutely suggested that perhaps the humor should have universal appeal,” Cristalli observed. “While there are nods to the original series, the intent is to incorporate them subtly and gracefully. Thus, catching those references is a bonus, but not a necessity for enjoying the show,” he added.

The series embraces a traditional approach by utilizing a multi-camera setup and performing in front of a live audience, a deviation from the more prevalent single-camera comedies currently in production.

“It’s exhilarating to perform in front of a live audience; the real-time feedback is incredibly gratifying,” Harris noted, expressing optimism that the format will gain renewed popularity.

Veteran sitcom director James Burrows, known for his work on “Taxi,” “Friends,” and “Will & Grace,” directed two episodes. Having worked with Grammer on both “Cheers” and the original “Frasier,” Burrows’ participation brought a sense of relief and authenticity to the set.

Grammer, according to Cristalli, undergoes a gradual transformation into the character. “It’s as if he dons the character incrementally, finally merging into Frasier Crane seamlessly,” he said.

For the musical aspect, father-son composer duo Bruce and Jason Miller were tasked with refreshing the iconic “Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs” theme, originally composed by Bruce Miller. After initially presenting a more modern version, they reworked it to better reflect the character’s current life stage, ultimately using a smaller ensemble for the final rendition.

The show features a bar named Mahoney’s, as an homage to the late John Mahoney. Unlike the iconic bar in “Cheers,” Mahoney’s serves as a gathering place for a diverse group, ranging from firefighters to academics.

“Situated near Cambridge, it’s an older establishment,” said set director Glenda Rovello.

“A poignant line, where Frasier reminisces about time spent in a particular bar, remains in the script as an apt tribute,” added Burrows.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Frasier revival

What is the primary focus of the article?

The article primarily focuses on the revival of the iconic sitcom “Frasier,” discussing its new narrative elements, the team behind it, and the production format.

Who are the key people behind the new “Frasier” series?

The new series is led by co-showrunners Joe Cristalli and Chris Harris. Kelsey Grammer reprises his role as Frasier Crane, and veteran sitcom director James Burrows directs two episodes.

Is the new “Frasier” series similar to the original?

While the new series pays homage to the original, it introduces new narrative elements and characters. It aims to balance nostalgia with universal humor that doesn’t require prior knowledge of the original series.

What is unique about the production format of the new “Frasier”?

The new “Frasier” stands out for its use of a multi-camera setup and live audience, a deviation from the more prevalent single-camera comedies.

Who composed the theme music for the new series?

The father-son composer duo Bruce and Jason Miller were responsible for updating the iconic “Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs” theme.

Is there a tribute to John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father in the original series?

Yes, the new series features a bar named Mahoney’s, which serves as a tribute to the late John Mahoney.

Where can viewers watch the new “Frasier” series?

The new “Frasier” series debuted on October 12 on the streaming service Paramount+.

Does the new “Frasier” series appeal only to fans of the original?

No, the show is designed to balance references to the original series with new, universally appealing humor, making it accessible to both long-time fans and new viewers.

More about Frasier revival

  • Frasier Revival on Paramount+
  • Joe Cristalli’s Twitter Feed
  • Interview with Co-Showrunner Chris Harris
  • Kelsey Grammer’s Career Highlights
  • The Evolution of Multi-Camera Comedies
  • Tribute to John Mahoney
  • The Original “Frasier” Series Overview
  • Bruce and Jason Miller’s Musical Contributions

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RachelZ October 9, 2023 - 11:22 pm

So Kelsey Grammer’s involved in the theme music again, thats awesome! Wonder how the new version sounds.

TVBuff101 October 10, 2023 - 1:16 am

Multi-cam comedies with live audience are rare these days. Glad Frasier is bringing that back. theres something special about that format.

Mike_the_Critic October 10, 2023 - 7:11 am

A bar named Mahoney’s? What a nice touch. Keeping the spirit alive while moving on.

JohnDoe October 10, 2023 - 1:36 pm

Wow, never thought they’d bring Frasier back. But it seems they’re doing it the right way, not just banking on nostalgia. Gotta check it out.

EmilyR October 10, 2023 - 4:06 pm

Joe Cristalli went from tweeting about Frasier to running the show?! That’s like every fan’s dream come true.

FrankM October 10, 2023 - 8:03 pm

Live audience, multi-cam and James Burrows involved? This feels like a real return to form. Can’t wait.

SarahJ October 10, 2023 - 8:12 pm

New series sounds cool, but balancing the old with the new is always tricky. Hope they don’t mess it up.

NostalgiaFan October 10, 2023 - 8:17 pm

I’ll watch anything Frasier tbh. But it’s nice they’re trying to make it good for everyone, not just the fans.


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