Now that the Frasier revival series is finally gearing up, there’s a perfect opportunity for a Cheers reunion too. Dr Frasier Crane was originally intended to appear for only a few episodes as Diane’s (Shelly Long) new love interest on Cheers. John Lithgow famously passed on playing Frasier, and Kelsey Grammar proved so charming and funny that the character evolved into a regular part of the cast. He wasn’t the obvious choice for a spin-off, but he got one regardless when Cheers shut its doors in 1993. Frasier was arguably even more successful than its parent series and is one of the most acclaimed sitcoms of all time.
From his Cheers debut to the end of Frasier in 2004, Grammer played the good doctor for 20 years. After years in development, the star will return once again for a revival series on Paramount+. While it’s risky to return to such a beloved sitcom, there’s a lot of potential in revisiting Dr Crane too. The new Frasier should also see the title character return to Boston and visit his old haunt Cheers for one episode. Assuming the revival airs in 2023, that will mark 30 years since the Cheers finale and Frasier’s first season. In that sense, the timing couldn’t be better for a Cheers reunion, one that catches viewers up on what the regulars have been up to while also exploring how much Frasier evolved after leaving Boston.
A Proper Cheers Revival Is Unlikely Now
Cheers ran for 11 seasons, with many of its stars like Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson going on to bright careers. The sitcom is now seen as a true classic, but strangely, outside of scattered cameos on the original run of Frasier, no reboot has ever been attempted. This could be a lack of interest from some of the cast, who after playing those roles for so long, may have little desire to return. However, Rhea Perlman – who played Carla – stated to ABC in 2022 that “There were years that a few of us lobbied for a revival of ‘Cheers,’ but it was never to be,” citing a lack of interest from its creators. Since a full Cheers revival is doubtful now, staging one for an episode of the Frasier reboot could be the final chance.
Why The Original Frasier Never Featured A Cheers Reunion
Various Cheers cast members visited Frasier in Seattle, including Sam, and Woody, with Frasier’s ex-wife Lilith also making semi-regular guest appearances. The closest the show ever came to a Cheers reunion was season 9’s “Cheerful Goodbyes,” where Dr Crane runs into Carla, Cliff (John Ratzenberger) and Norm (George Wendt) in a Boston airport.
While the series gave updates on the main players of Cheers after it ended, the simple reason it never staged a full reunion is that Frasier would have little reason to return to the bar. In the early days, it would have been seen as a ratings gimmick to have him go back to Boston, and by the time it escaped from under Cheers‘ shadow, it would have been distracting. Still, it was a missed opportunity that such a big crossover didn’t occur, and Frasier’s Paramount+ series could finally correct that.
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