Among the many TV reboot ideas constantly being churned out by Hollywood these days, few have produced more elaborate, acrobatically shoulder-straining shrugs than the prospect of a Frasier revival. Even for people who actively self-identify as Frasier fans—presumably spurred by a combination of the three Ns (Netflix, nostalgia, and Niles)—actual enthusiasm for the project is rare outside of a demographic best identified as “Actually, literally Kelsey Grammer.” And yet, it is 2019, and so the cosmic ballet must continue, with Grammer caught walking around London a few weeks ago with a folder with “Frasier” printed on it, and a facial expression best described as “Hey, ask me about my Frasier reboot plan.”
Or, rather, plans: Per Deadline, Grammer revealed this week that there are not just one, but six different ideas currently brewing to bring the reign of tossed salads and scrambled eggs back to the airwaves. Now, in Grammer’s telling, the members of this sextet of conceptual brain bombs are all kind of similar, differing mostly in which city they might plop Dr. Crane down in this time—the original series saw him bailing on Seattle in favor of Chicago—and how they might best attempt to re-capture the energy that the late John Mahoney brought to the show as Frasier’s cranky, no-nonsense father Martin. This is clearly a blatant smokescreen, though; you don’t contemplate the rich narrative tapestry of the Frasier Cinematic Universe without truly plumbing the depths of where your balding, wine-fevered muse might take you.
And while we have literally no inside track whatsoever on what these six different projects might entail, we do have a boundless imagination in our brains, the Frasier Wiki open on our browsers, and a weekend afternoon to kill, so let’s take a stab at it: Here are our best, good-faith guesses for the six Frasier reboot ideas:
In the dark future of Seattle, 2096, only one thing is certain: F.R.A.S.I.E.R. is listening. A city-wide surveillance system whose totalitarian aims are masked by the golden-throated voice of the city’s favorite radio psychologist of yesteryear, the Freeform Radical Anthropomorphic pSychological Intervention and Elimination Reconnaissance system seeks to solve the city’s mental problems—whether they want it to or not. Only the grizzled-but-sassy aging radio producer who once fielded his calls understands the threat the system poses; when she comes across a British waif who claims to have the power to see the future, will Roz and her half-human, half-canine companion Ed-E be able to turn the tide? Hour-long drama, HBO.
Who says TV’s current glut of cool-down half-hour chat programs can only be applied to shows that are currently airing? Each episode of CotToC will see Grammer and the ubiquitous Yvette Nicole Brown talk to members of the show’s cast and crew, attempting to jostle their memories of filming episodes of the series some 20 years in the rearview. In the first episode, Grammer spends fully 15 minutes of the show’s run-time attempting (unsuccessfully) to convince Brian Klugman that he had a multi-season arc on the show as an irritating teenager named Kirby. Half-hour chat show, AMC.
Sometimes, crime is the ultimate sport. Inspired by the heroic sacrifice and career of the tragically murdered Martin Crane, sportscaster Bulldog Briscoe (still Dan Butler) hangs up his microphone and picks up the badge, signing on with the Seattle PD. It’s The Rookie meets the bookie as Bulldog navigates the world of criminal sports betting, makes enemies, and—in a season-long arc—attempts to work out which of Martin’s Hannibal-ass sons messily murdered and devoured their dearly departed dad, attempting to hide the remains in his ugly old green chair. Hour-long streaming procedural, Hulu.
We’re just saying, this would make a billion dollars, and probably blow people’s minds. Half-hour sitcom, NBC.
In the vein of HBO’s In Treatment, each episode of Crane & Crane would focus on the beating heart of the Frasier milieu: The therapeutic experience. Reuniting Grammer with David Hyde Pierce, the series would see the two brothers go into practice with each other—just like in that one season 3 episode, “Shrink Rap”—but rather than focusing on farce or wordplay, the emphasis would be on their sessions with clients, digging in to deep-seated neuroses and long-buried traumas. Each episode would end with the two brothers meeting up at the Starbucks built on the ruins of Cafe Nervosa, reflecting on how their clients serve as shadows of themselves, and questioning whether happiness is even achievable in this fallen world. [Note: We would actually watch this.] Hour-long drama, cut into four-minute interstitial segments airing between other shows on Crackle.
David Hyde Pierce Does Silent Pratfalls For Our Enduring Amusement, Just Like In That Episode Where He Sets His Own Pants On Fire, Which Is The Best Frasier Bit Ever, Fight Us
Self-explanatory. Half-hour episodes, YouTube.
Call us, Kelsey. We have to assume at least one of these is spot-on.