Baby, we hear those blues a callin’: Tossed trailers and scrambled eggs. Which is to say that, after literally years of building the idea up—mostly, admittedly, on Kelsey Grammer’s endlessly enthusiastic part—we finally have our first real glimpse at Paramount+’s Frasier sequel series today, as the streaming service unleashed the first trailer for the show early this morning.
Said trailer lays out the premise (previously revealed in various reports about the show) pretty simply: Frasier Crane moves back to Boston to reunite with his son Freddy (now played by Jack Cutmore-Scott), only to discover that his relatively normal kid finds him about as insufferable as the rest of the human race always has. And so, in an inversion of the “blue collar dad, effete sons” formula of the original series, the two men find themselves needing to reconnect, while Frasier carves out yet another new life for himself (which seems quite a bit like his old life, honestly, except he’s a college professor now, instead of a radio host).
Among other things, the trailer gives us a quick run through of the show’s new cast: That includes Jess Salguiero, who plays Freddy’s girlfriend, Eve; Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, a colleague at the school; and veteran British sitcom star Nicholas Lyndhurst as Alan, an old friend of Frasier’s. Perhaps in the interest of keeping the show from being overwhelmed with nostalgia, the trailer notably doesn’t tease announced appearances from either Bebe Neuwirth or Peri Gilpin; it also only gives us about half a second of Anders Keith’s character David, the son of Daphne and Niles from the original series.
In addition to Grammer, who serves as an executive producer on the series, the show is also the brainchild of How I Met Your Mother alums Chris Harris and Joe Cristalli. The creators at CBS Studios have also tapped a verifiable TV legend to direct the show’s first two installments: Cheers co-creator James Burrows, who also directed 32 episodes of the original Frasier. (Meanwhile, Grammer directed the new series’ seventh installment; he previously directed 36 episodes of the old show.)
The overriding question presented by the trailer, though (and the one we suspect the show is going to struggle to answer throughout its 10-episode initial run) is whether this version of Frasier Crane is actually any damn fun to be around anymore—i.e., whether seeing him inevitably talk down to every person in his orbit works as well when the character is an older man condescending to the younger generation as it did back in the 1990s. One of the secrets of the original Frasier was that Frasier himself was almost always the most insufferable person in the room; it was only by surrounding him with people able to bring him down to size—whether it was his father, his co-workers, or, most notably, his even more pretentious brother Niles, with David Hyde Pierce’s absence felt sorely here even in 90-second trailer form—that the show was able to make him even vaguely sympathetic. The series will live or die based on whether Grammer can still be the right kind of unlikable, and whether the people around him are up to the task of keeping him in check.
Frasier premieres on October 12 on Paramount+. A behind-the-scenes special, titled Inside The Series, will air on October 6.