The Frasier reboot is currently in the works, but why aren’t fellow hit ’90s sitcoms such as Friends and Seinfeld not getting their revivals?
There’s a good reason why a Frasier revival is in the works, but fellow hit sitcoms such as Friends and Seinfeld have not received a reboot. Kelsey Grammer is currently spearheading the project which will see the Cranes back on the small screen after almost two decades. Frasier was one of NBC’s hit sitcoms in the ’90s and rebooting it made sense given how popular it continues to be. Yet, other comedies from the same era – which remain well-liked – aren’t getting the same treatment.
Grammer – who’s also set to reprise the titular role – Frasier Crane, has been working on the project for a while before it was officially announced in February 2021. Instead of being a network series, the Frasier reboot will be available on Paramount+. Not much has been revealed about its narrative, and there’s still no confirmed cast list. But the fact that the show is set to happen is enough to excite many fans of the original show. Indirectly, it also inspired those who are still holding out hope that Friends and Seinfeld would be rebooted considering that they made up NBC’s great sitcom line-up from the ‘90s.
Unfortunately, there are still no plans to revive either Friends or Seinfeld, and not without reason. Some might wonder why this is the case when Frasier is getting rebooted and all three were successful in their own ways when they first aired two decades ago. For what it’s worth, Friends and Seinfeld remain popular as ever thanks to re-runs and availability on streaming services – so there would definitely be interest for a potential reboot in the same way there’s anticipation for the new Frasier, if not ostensibly more so. So, why aren’t Warner Bros. and Columbia jumping on the opportunity to further capitalize on the shows’ enduring appeal? There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, Friends and Seinfeld were meant to capture a certain period in a person’s life; both were essentially a group of friends living in New York and navigating their personal and professional lives together. Given the time that has passed, it would be difficult to recapture the original vibe of those shows. Frasier, on the other hand, tackled its titular character’s story as a proverbial second act of his onscreen life. The psychiatrist was first introduced as a supporting player on the Boston-based Cheers, but due to his popularity, he was awarded his own spin-off. Since Fraiser already involved seeing different aspects of Frasier Crane’s life, this means it should be less jarring for audiences to see him once more in another era.
Secondly, considering the well-done finales for Friends and Seinfeld, people involved with those shows are understandably afraid to revisit it as it risks ruining their respective legacies. Friends, in particular, had a great ending and the cast of the sitcom know that, so it’s one of the reasons why most if not all of them are opposed to doing a reboot despite being courted for years. If anything, the best that can be hoped for is another reunion special that looks back on the special moments from the show like what HBO Max staged for Friends – a potential that also exists for Seinfeld, especially around any upcoming anniversaries.
As for the Frasier reboot, despite its potential, Paramount still needs to make sure that revisiting the sitcom is justified, or it risks facing the same problems the Seinfeld and Friends reboots would have ultimately come up against. Otherwise, the project could fall flat and effectively taint the legacy of the critically and commercially successful sitcom. Grammer is involved in cracking the revival’s story, and he’s teased before that he likes how the show’s narrative is shaping up. While there still isn’t an official synopsis, it stands to reason that he’ll ensure that the writing is up to the same standards as its parent series.
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