Frasier rivaled its guardian present Cheers for recognition, nevertheless it was the second try at a derivative present targeted on one of many titular bar’s patrons.

Unsurprisingly for a massively fashionable sitcom like Cheers, the community tried a derivative, however Frasier was truly the NBC present’s second spinoff try. Frasier targeted on the bar’s resident psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) returning house to Seattle to reconnect together with his household and change into a chat present host on native radio. Premiering in 1993, Frasier ran for so long as its guardian present Cheers, and rapidly grew to become an iconic sitcom in its personal proper.


Aside from appearances by a number of returning Cheers characters in Frasier, viewers of the Kelsey Grammer sitcom may very well be forgiven for considering it was an unique property. So well-defined was the sitcom about Frasier Crane, the snobbish discuss present host, and his sophisticated relationship together with his blue-collar father, Martin (John Mahoney), that Fraiser confidently stepped out of Cheers‘ shadow. However, what’s typically forgotten is that Frasier was truly the second Cheers spinoff, following a failed try six years earlier.

RELATED: How A Missing Cheers Character Almost Made Frasier Very Different

The Tortellis, Cheers’ Original Spinoff Predates Frasier

Dan Hedaya as Nick Tortelli in Cheers and Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane in Frasier

The Tortellis was, like Frasier, a sitcom a couple of household, which targeted on Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya), the sleazy ex-husband of Cheers waitress Carla (Rhea Perlman), and his spouse Loretta (Jean Kasem). The Tortellis premiered on NBC in January 1987, halfway by means of Cheers season 5, and 6 years earlier than Frasier premiered. The spinoff featured visitor look by Cheers’ Norm (George Wendt), Cliff (John Ratzenberger) and Carla, and adopted Nick as he relocated to Las Vegas in an try to win again his spouse Loretta (Jean Kasem).

Nick’s redemptive arc was triggered by Loretta leaving him and a troubling dream that noticed him sure for eternity in Hell for his earlier misdeeds. The comedy of the present was rooted in Nick’s struggles to change into a greater man as he tried to run a official TV restore enterprise in Vegas, nevertheless it did not catch on with audiences. The Tortellis solely lasted 13 episodes on NBC, airing its remaining episode in May 1987, paling compared to Frasier‘s 11 seasons.

Why The Tortellis Was Canceled, But Frasier Succeeded

The Tortellis Is Cheers First Forgotten Spinoff

Nick Tortelli’s dysfunctional household did not enamor themselves to audiences just like the Crane household did, and the present carried out poorly within the rankings. The South Florida Sun Sentinel even criticized The Tortellis for its damaging cultural stereotypes, implying the Italian-American Defamation League would have some robust phrases in regards to the spinoff. Where Frasier continued the story of one in all Cheers bar’s beloved patrons, The Tortellis targeted on a personality who was a everlasting thorn within the facet of Carla. Frasier Crane had many flaws, however there was a vulnerability and insecurity there that endeared him to viewers.

The conflict of cultures between the intellectual Frasier and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and their lowbrow cop father Martin had better comedian potential than Nick Tortelli’s dysfunctional household of Italian American stereotypes. Ultimately, the explanation Frasier succeeded is that it stuffed the hole left when Cheers resulted in a finale that was estimated by NBC to have been watched by 40% of the United States. The Tortellis premiered whereas Cheers was on the peak of its powers, and an viewers that had been nonetheless having fun with weekly installments of Sam (Ted Danson) and his colourful forged of workers and patrons weren’t prone to stick round for an inferior sitcom led by a minor recurring character.

More: Frasier: Everything We Know About the Reboot

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