Kelsey Grammer Worried 1 Character Would Make ‘Frasier’ Just Like a Show He Hated

Kelsey Grammer spent decades portraying Dr. Frasier Crane, and he is likely to reprise that role once more in a reboot of the famed series FrasierFrasier wasn’t just about the radio psychiatrist. His family and friends were heavily involved in each episode. The group that circled Dr. Crane almost looked a lot different. Way back in the 1990s, when the project was originally under development, Grammer almost vetoed the inclusion of Daphne Moon in the show. He feared having an English live-in caretaker would make Frasier feel too much like a series from the 1970s that he didn’t like. However, Jane Leeves, the actor who portrayed Daphne, quickly won him over.

Kelsey Grammer worried the addition of Daphne Moon would make the show feel like ‘The Nanny and the Professor’

Kelsey Grammer didn’t want the character of Daphne Moon included in Frasier. The famed actor was tapped for a spinoff of Cheers as the original series was ending. He was happy to take on his own show, but he nearly walked away from the project when he learned the show’s creators included the role of a live-in caretaker for Martin Crane in the script.

During a chat with the Los Angeles Times, Grammer revealed that he originally worried that Daphne, who was a bit “psychic,” would make Frasier feel too much like The Nanny and the Professor, a show from the 1970s. The popular sitcom ran for three seasons and centered around Nanny Phoebe Figalilly. Nanny was a British caretaker that appeared unexpectedly at the Everett household. She became the nanny for Harold Everett’s children, using her psychic abilities along the way. Grammer was, allegedly, not a huge fan of the show.

While Frasier did include the character of Daphne, it didn’t have a similar vibe to The Nanny and the Professor. Another show from the 1990s did, though. The Nanny, starring Fran Drescher, borrowed much of its early premise from The Nanny and the Professor

An audition with Jane Leeves changed Kelsey Grammer’s mind

Grammer might have been resistant to the idea, but he was open to entertaining it under one condition. In a 1994 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Grammer said he wanted to be convinced that the character of Daphne wasn’t just going to be a “silly little device.” To get a feel for how it was all going to work, Grammer went in and read with Leeves.

The cast of 'Frasier' sits on a couch together for a promotional photo
The cast of ‘Frasier’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

After one reading, she convinced him that Daphne was the perfect fit and would be bringing something special and significant to the series. He told the publication, “It was instantly: Hire her. That’s fabulous.” 

Leeves did bring something special to the show. Her character also turned out to be a lot more important to the Crane family than it seemed like she would be during the show’s first season. Over time, her relationship with Martin Crane developed and deepened, with the ornery Martin regarding Daphne as a daughter in the show’s later seasons. Eventually, she would officially join the Crane family when she married Dr. Niles Crane

A ‘Frasier’ reboot is still in the works

It feels like forever ago that Paramount+ announced that it was working on a reboot of Frasier. Kelsey Grammer is working with the streaming service provider to get the reboot off the ground. While fans were thrilled by the prospect of reconnecting with the radio psychiatrist so many years after he last signed off, future announcements were slow to come. It’s been months since any official word about the project has been released.

John Mulaney, Peri Gilpin, Jane Leeves and David Hyde Pierce in a promotional photo for 'Frasier'
The cast of ‘Frasier’ | David Rose/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

So, what is going on with the project? While Paramount+ and Grammer are staying relatively quiet about the reboot, other former cast members are talking. Both Bebe Neuwirth and David Hyde Pierce have discussed the project. Pierce and Neuwirth, who played Niles Crane and Lilith Sternin, respectively, both said that they know the project is being developed, and is still happening, but neither know if they will be involved with it. Neuwirth and Pierce are currently appearing together in Julia, the HBO Max original based on the life of Julia Child.

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