One of the most notable absences of the upcoming Frasier reboot will be Frasier’s father Martin Crane, which may be a big problem for the project. Still holding the Guinness World Record for most Emmys won for a comedy series, Frasier can easily be regarded as one of television’s more successful spinoffs. Its success becomes even more impressive considering that Frasier’s run happened during a period of other comedy sitcom mega-hits like The Simpsons, Seinfeld, and Friends. With this considered, it’s no surprise that Paramount is developing a Frasier reboot for its streaming service, Paramount+.
With the 2018 death of Martin actor John Mahoney, Kelsey Grammer’s confirmation that the Frasier reboot will address Martin’s absence is a show of respect for the actor and character, if not a necessity given the circumstances. Other Frasier regulars not expected to return to the reboot are Niles, Daphne, and Roz, yet even then there are rumored possibilities that these characters could make guest appearances. However, given the unique significance of Martin in Frasier, it’s a particularly clear obstacle that the reboot must face.
Can Frasier Really Work Without Martin?
At first glance, Martin serves a similar purpose to characters like Daphne and Roz in that he is a grounded audience stand-in that contrasts with the pretentious high-intellectual nature of Frasier and Niles. However, how he markedly differentiates from the likes of Daphne and Roz is that his fatherly status gives him both a sense of authority and a deep closeness over Frasier and Niles. It’s hard to imagine any character striking the kind of tender balance Marty provides in Frasier.
Granted, Frasier’s reboot success shouldn’t be dismissed due to its missing characters. Being that Frasier is a wildly different spinoff from its parent show Cheers in virtually every way it could be and still succeeded as much as it has, the Frasier reboot could still be fantastic even with some missing elements from the original show. The Frasier reboot will not have Marty, and this reason alone can create some understandable apprehension about touching Frasier again. However, the Frasier reboot is yet to introduce new characters for audiences to love. With that said, Martin Crane is a character that will forever hold an important place in television history, and Mahoney’s performance created him in a way that few actors could.
Martin Could Still Provide The Emotional Core Of Frasier’s Reboot
Even without Mahoney, the spirit of Martin Crane can still resonate through the Frasier reboot. There are many ways in which the Frasier reboot can honor Martin, whether it be reincorporating Martin’s famous chair or making callbacks to Martin throughout the show. The Frasier writers were, thankfully, smart enough to understand Marty beyond the blue-collar veneer. He resonated with his sons and gave them meaningful life lessons through his own unique wisdom and humor. He was never one to take Frasier too seriously, yet was still immensely proud of him. Despite his absence, Martin’s emotional influence can still exist quite strongly in the Frasier reboot.