Frasier celebrated it’s 20th anniversary this year and is still one of our favourite shows and stands as a testament to perfectly crafted sitcoms everywhere. Although it started as a spin off from NBC’s Cheers, it quickly stood on its own two feet and eventually outshone Cheers itself. Here is the tale of how the show came into being… Originally Kelsey Grammer had approached former Cheers producers David Angell (who tragically died aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center, during the September 11 attacks.), Peter Casey and David Lee about producing a show for him due to Cheers nearing the end of its run. Grammer didn’t want to continue playing Frasier Crane, with the producers also wary that a Cheers spin-off would always live in the shadow of the mighty Cheers. A new idea was developed in which Grammer would play a wealthy disabled magazine publisher with a street-smart Hispanic live-in nurse. The network nixed the idea though, as they wanted something linked to Cheers and rallied for Grammer to continue playing Frasier in a spin-off. Grammer eventually relented with Angell, Casey and Lee following suit but to make it different, they decided to set it far away from Boston, so they could build there own take on the character and as a way of preventing NBC demanding a continued parade of Cheers characters guest-appearing in the first season just for a ratings bump. They originally was going to set it in Denver but due to the state of Colorado passing some rather homophobic laws, they settled on Seattle instead. When it came down to what Frasier would be doing in Seattle, the producers didn’t want to see him in private practise so they blew the dust off an unused story idea from Cheers, which saw the Doc sit in temporarily for a local Boston radio host. As they fleshed out the idea, they started to feel that it resembled the CBS sitcom ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ a little to closely, so the writers turned to their own lives for inspiration. The Frasier / Martin dynamic was developed by David Lee, whose own father had recently had a stroke and Lee was called upon to help out his mother care for his now disabled father. Lee brought the idea to Casey and Angell that Frasier would have to care for an ailing, ageing parent.