In 2013, sensing the popularity of reboots and sequels to popular franchises, Kelsey Grammer saw an opportunity to revive his beloved TV character, Dr. Frasier Crane. With the blessing of surviving Frasier creators Peter Casey and David Lee, Grammer arranged a pitch meeting with NBCUniversal. But the execs were stunned two weeks later, when the former Cheers regular showed up with not just a pitch, but a completed draft of a feature-length screenplay.
Emboldened by his recent Golden Globe victory for starring in the gritty Starz series Boss, Grammer had decided to take a shot at writing the script himself. After all, who knew the character better than he did? And in an apparent burst of inspiration, he completed the entire thing in just over a week and a half of near-nonstop writing. His 196-page screenplay presented a dark twist on the Cheers/Frasier universe, picking up ten years years later to show us a broken Dr. Crane, driven to alcoholism and other self-destructive behavior after the tragic loss of his son Frederick.
The execs were all appalled by Grammer’s script. They believed that this reimagining of the iconic character was in poor taste, and at some points downright offensive. When reached for comment, Casey said that he hadn’t read the script himself, but that he was “shocked and disappointed” by what he had heard. Lee and Grammer both prefer not to discuss it. All existing copies of the ill-fated draft were thought to be destroyed, but just this morning, the first four pages of the screenplay were leaked to Tall Peters by an anonymous source.
Here, exclusively on TallPeters.com, is the only known surviving excerpt from Frasier Crane:
Based on characters created by
Glen & Les Charles,
and David Lee
EXT. BOSTON – NIGHT
The filthy, sleazy part of town, where the lost souls roam.
The sidewalks are lined with bums, huddling for warmth among
the rats and the muck. Worn-out, middle-aged prostitutes
compete for the attention of every man foolhardy enough to
stroll through this forsaken neighborhood with a sweaty wad
of cash in hand. In the midst of all the fog and
desperation, we see the visage of an old, forgotten tavern.
Its once-familiar sign, now obscured by crude graffiti, is
just barely hanging on. Looking closely, we can still make
out the name: CHEERS.
It’s a pitiful sight, a dusty shadow of its former self. The
chairs and tables are scattered around haphazardly, and it
looks like no one’s attempted to clean the place in months.
It’s populated by three or four broken men, all sitting in
their separate corners, making no eye contact, and speaking
as little as possible. Except for one, DR. FRASIER CRANE,
drunk and unruly, sloppily dressed in a tattered old
three-piece suit. He’s the only one sitting at the bar.
Sometimes you wanna go! Where
everyboooody knows your naaaaaaame!
The BARTENDER, a young, slender, tattooed man, is clearly
irritated by Frasier’s antics, but he keeps his mouth shut.
Yeah! And they’re always glad you
The other customers all try to ignore him, keeping their
faces firmly planted in their beverages.
Sam! Another scotch, my man! We’re
celebrating tonight, Sam! Oh yeah!
The bartender grabs the cheap whiskey from the rail and
pours a shot in Frasier’s glass.
My name’s not Sam. Five dollars
Put it on my tab!
You don’t have a tab.
Ha! Sam, you old rascal! Here you
are, my good man.
Frasier reaches into his breast pocket and produces a couple
of crumpled up bills, which he tosses onto the bar with a
flourish. The bartender sheepishly accepts the money and
walks away. Frasier raises his glass toward no one.
A toast! To our dear, dear old
friend Coach! May he… rest in
He pauses for moment, suddenly becoming somber, as if a
painful memory has just been triggered. But he brushes it
off and hastily downs his shot, dribbling whiskey all over
his scraggly, gray beard.
(muttering to himself)
That’s a… fine scotch.
Single-malt… aged… 12 years.
Coach would… be proud.
The front door opens, and in walks a FAT MAN. Frasier
reflexively swings around on his bar stool to face him.
Oh, um. Excuse me.
Confused and fearing confrontation, the fat man turns and
leaves the building. Frasier swings back around to the bar
and tries to take another drink from his empty glass. The
bartender walks back over to him.
Alright, man, ya gotta quit doin’
that. You’re scarin’ away the
Hold your tongue, sir! I’ll have
you know, I’ve been a patron of
this establishment for over thirty
Yeah, whatever, pal. If you pull
that shit again, you’re outta here,
Frasier gets up out of his seat, enraged.
Why, this is outrageous! Where is
Sam? I demand to speak with him!
Ain’t no Sam here, ya old wingnut!
You insult me! This is no way to
address a man of my stature. I’m a
doctor, I’ll have you know.
Ya don’t look like no doctor to me,
ya look like a fuckin’ bum
You little punk!
Frasier hurls the glass at the bartender. It misses and
shatters on the floor.
Okay, old man, you gotta get the
fuck outta here.
Fuck you, you ungrateful swine!
Frasier starts knocking glasses off the table and kicking
barstools over, causing as much destruction as he can.
Get the fuck outta here before I
call the cops!
Frasier grabs his coat and walks backwards toward the door,
clumsily shoving chairs and tables as he goes.
You odious fool! Wait until Sam
hears about this!
I said get the fuck outta here!
EXT. BOSTON – NIGHT
Frasier stumbles out into the smoky street, wild-eyed and
angry. He slips his patchy overcoat on, and pats on all the
pockets until he locates his trusty flask.
Goddamn fucking Woody… punk kid.
Thinks he can fuckin’…
He unscrews the lid of the flask and takes a nice, long swig
as he walks down the grimy sidewalk. Here and there, he
almost trips over a sleeping vagrant.
… kick me out… well I’ll…
He pantomimes a kick, nearly falling over in the process,
but regains his balance and continues in no particular
direction. He’s approached by a PROSTITUTE, clutching a
cigarette, barely dressed. She speaks in a raspy voice.
Hey there, sugar, havin’ a rough
You could say that.
Maybe there’s something I can do to
make it a little better.
Well, that sure was an intriguing look into a bold new vision of Frasier that could have been. What do you think? Would you have liked to see this Frasier movie get made? Tell us in the comments below!