Fun 'Frasier' Facts You Might Not Know

Though he was initially reluctant to do so, Kelsey Grammer allowed his Cheers character, Dr. Frasier Crane, to be spun off into a separate series in 1993. Millions of Frasier fans are glad that he did. Since I certainly count myself among those fans, I thought I'd share more about how the series came to be.

1. Why the first idea didn't work

Early in 1993, Kelsey Grammer approached David Lee, David Angell, and Peter Casey (the brains behind the sitcom Wings) and asked if they'd be interested in creating a show for him. Grammer knew that Cheers' days were numbered, and thought it was time to strike out on his own. Both he and the creative team thought that any use of the Frasier Crane character would encourage unfair comparisons to Cheers, so their initial ideas involved Kelsey playing a paralyzed media mogul cared for by a street-smart nurse in a Manhattan penthouse. Paramount hated the idea and convinced all concerned that they'd be nuts not to capitalize on the built-in Cheers audience.

2. The Secret Behind the Show's Setting

Once it was agreed that Grammer would continue as Dr. Crane, the creators still wanted to distance themselves from Boston and the whole "crossover syndrome." They knew that the network would insist on having both Wings and former Cheers characters make guest appearances if the show was set anywhere in Massachusetts, so they moved Frasier across the country to Seattle. The gourmet coffee scene was taking root in that area, which provided a central meeting place for the characters. The creators didn't want Frasier Crane to work in private practice, which had already been done in The Bob Newhart Show. Grammer's resonant voice seemed natural for radio, so the concept of a call-in psychiatry show seemed natural. WKRP in Cincinnati had been set at a radio station, however, so writers needed to develop some sort of home life for Frasier.

3. The Real Life Inspiration

As it happened, David Lee was an only child and his father had recently suffered a debilitating stroke. Lee had to move back in with his mom for a while to help care for his dad during his rehabilitation. That situation gave him an idea. Why not have Frasier suddenly be forced to care for an aging parent? This role was filled by John Mahoney as Frasier's father Martin, a retired policeman who'd been injured in the line of duty. Not only would this angle provide the series with plots revolving around him at home, it also allowed the creators to incorporate one of their original ideas from their first series pitch "“ a home health care worker.

4. Daphne Moon or Daphne Luna?

The production team had Rosie Perez in mind to play Martin's nurse during their original pitch. But Warren Littlefield, then the president of NBC, thought that British actress Jane Leeves was perfect for the role. Kelsey had reservations about Jane; he thought an English character in such a role might be too reminiscent of Nanny and the Professor. But after a series of screen tests, it became apparent that Leeves brought the perfect mix of quirkiness, fun and warmth to the character and was hired.

5. How Poor Phoebe Got Fired

The role of Frasier's producer was the least developed when the pilot script was written. A casting call was announced and the role was eventually whittled down to two actresses: Lisa Kudrow and Peri Gilpin. The producers found Kudrow to be extremely funny, and able to make even the most mundane lines sound hilarious, so she was hired. During the first few days of rehearsals for the pilot episode, however, the writers found themselves having to re-write the characters of Roz and Frasier. It seemed that while Lisa was funny, she just couldn't play "forceful." It soon became apparent that that the role of Roz would have to fall to someone who, although less educated than Dr. Crane, would be in control of things at the radio station. They needed a character who could hold her own whenever Frasier became too pompous, and that someone was Peri Gilpin. Lisa was a trouper when the news was delivered, and landing a role on Friends the following year certainly helped to ease her pain.

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The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
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most popular Netflix show in each country map
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most popular Netflix show in each country map key
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If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation?

HighSpeedInternet.com recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

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Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed
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Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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