Kelsey Grammer Wants Iconic ‘Cheers’ Actor Back for ‘Frasier’ Reboot
Cheers and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer dropped by the Kelly Clarkson Show on Tuesday. During their chat, Grammer revealed there’s one iconic Cheers star he’s hoping to lure onto his Paramount+ Frasier reboot.
Speaking to Clarkson, Grammer revealed he “would like to see [Shelley Long’s character] Diane come back.” Grammer, who began his long tenure as Frasier Crane on 11 seasons of Cheers, had a brief relationship with Long’s character on the show. She went on to appear on a few episodes of its spin-off series, Frasier, which also ran for 11 seasons from 1993–2004.
Grammer thinks Diane’s return to his Frasier reboot on Paramount+ would “put something to bed” for the characters and “end up with a nice thing between them.” According to the actor, Diane played a pivotal role in Frasier’s development as a character across both shows.
“When I first got the role, the key to Frasier for me was that he loved her with his whole heart, that he loved with all of his being. And that actually defined who he is,” Grammer explained to Clarkson.
He continued: “He’s been that way ever since. He just goes in wholeheartedly with everything—and that’s what makes him funny.”
Diane went on to leave Frasier for hunky barman Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson. When Long departed Cheers after the fifth season to pursue a movie career, to historically mixed results, Danson was “worried” about where the show would go. “I just lost my dance partner. Will this even work?” he recalled of his thought process to Today last year. Long was succeeded by Kirstie Alley, who joined the series as Rebecca Howe at the top of season six.
Grammer’s reimagined Frasier finished its first season in December. Though there’s been no announcement of a second season so far, Grammer told The Hollywood Reporter in December that they have a variety of ideas for new episodes.
“I believe we have a home at Paramount+ for several years to come, and we certainly have several ideas for it,” Grammer promised of a second season. “We haven’t really cracked a storyline yet for season two. We haven’t really gotten into that stuff, but we probably will fairly soon.”
Long’s most recent film appearance was in the 2021 dark comedy The Cleaner. She also guest starred in eight episodes of Modern Family as DeDe Pritchett, ex-wife of Jay (Ed O’Neill) and mother to Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Claire (Julie Bowen). Long anchored one of that series’ most memorable episodes, in which her character dies on a family vacation.