‘Frasier’ Reboot: Kelsey Grammer Says the New Show Has to Fix 1 Problem Disney Channel Sitcoms Caused

The Frasier reboot is still in development at Paramount+. Kelsey Grammer would return as Frasier Crane and executive produce the new series. In a recent interview, Grammer said the task at hand is greater than simply bringing back Frasier. He believes they have to bring back the sitcom itself. 

'Frasier': Kelsey Grammer sits with a cup of tea in front of bookshelves
Kelsey Grammer | CBS via Getty Images

Grammer was a guest on Rob Lowe’s Literally! Podcast on Jan. 26. Grammer said Disney Channel sitcoms have faced him with an uphill battle reviving his traditional sitcom. While developing the Frasier reboot, Grammer will next appear in Flowers in the Attic: The Origin.

The ‘Frasier’ reboot can’t do what Disney Channel sitcoms did

Traditional sitcoms filmed in front of a live studio audience, with three or four cameras simultaneously, went out of favor in the last 20 years. Chuck Lorre still makes them like The Big Bang Theory, Mom and Bob Hearts Abishola. But, network comedies went the way of The Office and 30 Rock. Disney Channel was keeping the format alive with shows like The Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana, but Grammer said they were not up to snuff. His Frasier reboot will show them how sitcoms are done.

Multi-cam has suffered a bit of a depopulation, I guess. I think it’s poised for a pretty good comeback but they’re going to need it better. Honestly, a lot of kids maybe between 15 and 25 right now basically just got raised on multi-cams that were made by Disney. I’m not saying anything wrong about Disney but those particular shows were pretty formulaic and the punchlines were pretty predictable. They were pretty much in a cadence that was 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3. And so there was no real reliance on the audience for those. There was no real engagement with the audience. There was a presumption that oh, they’ll watch this no matter what as long as we make a big enough, silly enough gesture as a punchline, the audience will do what we expect them to do. 

Kelsey Grammer, Literally! with Rob Lowe podcast, 1/26/22

Disney kids may have grown up enough to appreciate the ‘Frasier’ reboot

It’s been a decade since Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly. Fans of those shows have grown up. They also got pickier about the kind of shows they watch. The Frasier reboot can fill that gap, Grammer hopes. Frasier Crane is a psychiatrist, and was a radio show host for 11 seasons. Wherever the Frasier reboot finds him, it will appeal to sophisticated audiences.

“Unfortunately, the audience did do what an audience should do,” Grammer said. “They tuned out. So we need to go back to the drawing room a little bit and get it crafted the right way again. Human, funny, intelligent and far out. A more thorough examination of the human experience in any situation merits more attention.”

Kelsey Grammer did not watch ‘Hannah Montana’

Grammer did see some of the Disney Channel shows with his children but admitted Hannah Montana was not one of them. The Frasier reboot on Paramount+ can also avoid one of the limitations of its NBC run: commercial interruptions.

“I never actually did see that show,” Grammer said. “It sort of fell in the cracks of my set of kids. I had three sets. I think what’s happened is they make a presumption about what a teen is interested in and they need to connect it to selling things. You end up with a kind of shrill, attention getting series of slapstick moments. It is sort of slapsticky. There is that at least but it doesn’t have the same content, the thing that sneaks in underneath and gets you and you go, ‘Oh yeah, no, I get it.’ That’s fully up to the audience, as silly as that is.”

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