In 2004, the hit NBC sitcom Frasier came to an end after 11 seasons. Fans are oftentimes unhappy with the way the ending of a sitcom is handled. As the NBC network had experienced previously with the dismally received Seinfeld finale. The finale of Frasier became an exception. It is because the final two-part episode of the series generally beloved by both critics and fans. Now, a potential reboot stands to undue the original series’ perfect ending. Which is a bittersweet prospect for fans of the show. As negotiations continue to go on for the prospective reboot. Join Facts Verse as we examine the scene that took Frasier of the air for good.
The Series Finale of Frasier Aired in 2004
2004 ended up being a fairly tough yet momentous year for the NBC network. That year, two of the network’s biggest sitcoms came to an end after being on the air for around a decade each. Those sitcoms were Friends and Frasier, but the Frasier finale is the one that we’re going to be focusing on in this video. Frasier premiered in 1993 and was a spin-off of the series Cheers. It is which first introduced the character of Frasier Crane during the premiere of it’s third season. Cheers’ writers initially didn’t except for the character to appear in more than a few episodes. But Kelsey’s performance ended up winning over the audience.
Few Could’ve Predicted Frasier Crane’s Popularity
Kelsey Grammer’s turn as the character of Frasier Crane during the early episodes of Cheers’ third season proved such a hit with audiences that the writers realized that they may have a new main character on their hands. The character of Frasier initially intended to provide some romantic competition for Ted Danson’s character of Ted Malone. It is forming a love triangle with Shelley Long’s Diane Chambers. However, once that arc resolved, the show’s writers ended up finding a permanent place for the character of Frasier within the series’ titular bar.
As Cheers went on, the character of Frasier became more and more of a central focus. With audiences loving the juxtaposition of the psychiatrist’s sophisticated demeanor against the show’s more blue-collar characters. When it was time for Cheers to come to an end in 1993, Frasier viewed as the most lucrative character to place into a potential spin-off.
The final episode of Cheers aired on May 20, 1993. And the first episode of Frasier premiered on September 16 of that same year. True to it’s titular character’s spirit, the show had a much drier sense of humor than Cheers. The show also took place in the more sophisticated location of Seattle, as compared to Cheers’ Boston location. The series followed the character of Frasier after moving to Seattle to start up a radio program. And also saw him attempting to patch up his estranged relationship with his father and brother. Those characters, of course, would be John Mahoney’s Martin Crane and David Hyde Pierce’s Dr. Niles Crane, respectively, with the latter being Frasier’s fellow psychiatrist.
Frasier Proved an Unlikely Success with Audiences
Many wondered if Frasier was going to have a hard time connecting with audiences on account of the show’s dry tone in comparison to Cheers. However, the show proved an unlikely success! A big part of the show’s appeal was the aforementioned characters of Martin and Niles. Both of whom provided unique sorts of comic foil to the comparatively stern and serious character of Frasier himself. Frasier’s father on the series could never understand a word of what his two sophisticated sons were saying. Though he still managed to find it in his heart to love them. Meanwhile, Niles was always a little bit goofier than his older brother.
Frasier was such a success that there were arguably Cheers fans who grew to love the spin-off series even more than it’s parent program. Like it’s parent series, Frasier ended up lasting for 11 seasons before finally being taken off of the air. The finale of Frasier named “Goodnight, Seattle”. And it took it’s name from the signature ending line that the character of Frasier used on his in-show radio program. The finale also featured a custom animated intro that feature a rainbow over the main intro’s traditional Seattle skyline.
“Goodnight, Seattle” proved a perfect denouement for Frasier and the rest of the supporting characters on the series. Much of the finale revolved around the character of Frasier trying to figure out his future. Frasier’s last love interest on the series was a character by the name of Charlotte, who was a matchmaker played by Laura Linney. In the finale, Charlotte moves off to Chicago and Frasier opts not to come along. Of course, the character of Frasier always afraid of commitment over the course of the series’ run. So this choice certainly wasn’t out of character.
However, Frasier ended up deciding by the end of the finale that he wanted to make things work with Charlotte after all. While Frasier is supposed to be boarding a plane to San Francisco to start a new radio program in the venerable California city. He instead has a change of heart and opts to head to Chicago to pursue Charlotte. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
“Goodnight, Seattle” Gave Everyone a Happy Ending
The finale of Frasier might sound a little bit cheesy on paper, but audiences and critics loved it! As compared to the Seinfeld finale, which doubled down on the creators’ insistence that none of it’s character should ever grow or progress over the course of the series. The finale of Frasier showcased some immense growth from the character of Frasier himself that fans of the popular character truly appreciated. By the time that Frasier came off the air, audiences had spent around two decades with the character of Frasier Crane and truly wanted to see him get a happy end. The appreciably open-ended finale suggested that Frasier had finally accepted love in his life and was no longer afraid of commitment. Which meant a lot for his character.
While the issue of Frasier and his self-sabotaging love life proved the main concern of Frasier’s finale. The finale also tied things up nicely for the rest of the series’ beloved characters. We finally got to see the character of Frasier get a “thank you” from father Martin Crane. And which was a callback to the very first episode of the series. Besides this, we also got to see Dr. Niles Crane become a father. Over the course of Frasier, Niles fell head over heels in love with the character of Daphne Moon, who portrayed by actress Jane Leeves. Daphne was the caretaker of Frasier and Niles’ father, and she eventually grew to love Niles back.
Niles and Daphne married by Frasier’s series finale. And that finale also depicted Daphne giving birth to a son by the name of David. Many fans might not have aware, but this baby actually named in honor of one of Frasier’s co-creators. That co-creator was a man by the name of David Angell, who had tragically passed away in the 9/11 attacks. David’s sister amongst the members of the studio audience whose reactions can heard during Frasier’s finale. And she deeply honored by the homage.
One of the finale’s big emotional moments came when it was time for the character of Frasier to give his final radio broadcast to the city of Seattle. And the scene ends with a shot of some strange men lurking behind the studio’s soundproof glass. While these men might not have been instantly recognizable to most audience members. And it would later revealed that the men were Frasier’s producers.
A Different Dog Played Eddie in the Finale
Besides all of the characters that we’ve already mentioned, another memorable character on Frasier was Martin Crane’s dog, whose name was Eddie. Throughout the majority of the series, a dog by the name of Moose played the character of Eddie. However, Moose had grown too old by the time of Frasier’s finale. And subsequently had to replaced in the two-part episode by his understudy, named Enzo.
Sometimes Cheesy Can Be Okay!
The finale of Frasier pleased critics and audiences alike. And still stands today as a great example of how to end a series without pissing off fans. The finale was so effective that Tina Fey claims she used it as inspiration when crafting the finale of her own NBC sitcom, 30 Rock. According to Tina, watching the Frasier finale made her realize that moments that might seem cheesy on paper can actually be really effective in the context of a series finale. It is particularly when that series finale involves characters that audiences love.
The Cast of Frasier Went from Seattle to Hawaii
Following the filming of “Goodbye, Seattle” the cast and crew of Frasier were treated to a week-long vacation in Hawaii. Many were sad to see the series go, but it had to come to an end sometime! A big part of why the series ended up getting cancelled after 11 seasons was because of Kelsey Grammer’s salary. And as the actor was said to be making a mind-blowing $2 million per episode by the show’s 11th season. However, budgetary problems or not, the show had arguably done enough by 2004. And it’s season finale ended up being the perfect capstone to the beloved comedic series.
Will a Potential Reboot Ruin Frasier’s Perfect Ending?
While Frasier had a perfect ending, it appears that a prospective reboot may eventually come to mess this up! Kelsey Grammer has been talking about a reboot of Frasier for years. And it seems that the talks are only ramping up. It’s unclear who all will be returning for this potential reboot series. But Kelsey claims that he intends to get all of the original series’ living main cast members back. This includes all of the main cast members besides John Mahoney.
There are plenty of fans who would be grateful to see the return of Frasier Crane. But there are also plenty who fear that this potential reboot might ruin the original series’ perfect ending. The success of Frasier’s finale stems from the fact that the audience got to see the character of Frasier get a happy ending. But a happy Frasier likely wouldn’t be an interesting enough character to fuel his own reboot series.
After 11 seasons, Frasier ended it’s run with a series finale that has gone down in history as one of the most crowd-pleasing ever. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that one of the co-creators of Frasier was killed in the 9/11 attacks. And that Kelsey Grammer was said to have been making $2 million per episode by the series’ end? As always, like this video to show your support. And subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!