Air Dates: September 16, 1993-May 13, 2004
Stars: Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin
Remember when we asked what could be whiter than a bar in Boston? How about a Frasier Crane-driven show.
Network television loved the character of Dr. Frasier Crane so much that they milked about 20 years of television out of him. After first appearing on Cheers as one of Diane's love interests, Frasier became a regular at the bar, and eventually moved back to Seattle after his relationship with Lilith deteriorated. For another eleven seasons on NBC, Kelsey Grammer started as the good Doc, who went back to his hometown to enjoy the single life. Unexpectedly, he found himself forced to care for his father, a retired cop, and engaging in wonderfully dry talk with his brother Niles, a fellow psychiatrist. One of the show's running gags was that Niles is who Frasier would've been if he never went to Boston and encountered the cast of Cheers. Insert jokes about opera here.
Aside from being arguably the most successful spinoff ever created, Frasier allowed Kelsey Grammer to transform from a supporting character into a leading man, and it provided David Hyde Pierce with his breakout role. At its peak, Frasier was one of the best shows on television, and one of the last truly "adult" sitcoms, filled with witty white humor that left many of us confused. Frasier and Niles were the kings of those awkward, Dennis Miller jokes that nobody laughed at. It's like they were speaking in some secret language.
One amazing fact: While Frasier is one of the most vanilla television shows ever scripted, Grammer was a behind-the-scenes force for shows like Girlfriends and The Game, earning him the adoration of countless black women over the past decade or so.
Frasier fucking Crane. Who knew?