Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media:

More tossed salad and scrambled eggs? I always loved Frasier — particularly the show’s ability to combine insights about life with deft character development and sheer hilarity. In fact, I was such a fan that during my years working in Hollywood, a pitched an idea for a sequel series to Chris Maul at Grammnet (Kelsey Grammer’s production company) when it concluded way back in 2004. From what I hear, it doesn’t sound like their moving toward digging up my little idea but if they want to go in a different direction, I’m here. My idea is not for a multi-camera sitcom but for a lighthearted mystery drama ala Monk. Hopefully, like the original Frasier, the premise and characters would offer some opportunities to present reasonably cogent insights about life.

Log Line: Frasier as Columbo

 Concept: Depressed by yet another love gone ridiculously wrong and unfulfilled by his new radio call-in gig, Dr. Frasier Crane – whom we learn actually minored in criminal psychology — accepts an offer to go to work for the Chicago Police Department as a forensic psychiatrist.

 Characters

Dr. Frasier Crane

            The character we know and love from two classic sitcoms moves into the drama arena (ala Lou Grant).  Now, a forensic psychiatrist who insists on becoming more involved in police investigations than his job description calls for, Frasier puts his knowledge of human behavior to use in solving murders.  He’s good at it too – a bit more of a chip off the old block than his (late) detective dad ever realized.

Lt. Shirley Holmes

            The no-nonsense African-American female cop whose cases Frasier is routinely assigned to.  She believes hard evidence and leg work – not “pop psychology” – are the keys to solving crime.  Still, she hates to admit just how often Frasier is right.  She doesn’t find her name humorous and is thus unamused by Frasier’s repeated use of the line “Shirley, you can’t be serious.”  Frasier and Shirley develop a kind of Mulder-Scully/X-Files relationship.

Sgt. Griff King

            Shirley’s young investigative partner is star struck by Frasier – whom he considers to be a celebrity – further exasperating the senior detective.  Frasier, of course, eats up his adoration.

 

Capt. Dan Mahoney

            The head of the detective squad is an old-fashioned – and honest – police commander.  To him the bottom line is that Frasier, despite his idiosyncrasies, is proving to be an asset in solving murders.

The Episodes

  1. “Frame of Mind”

    Frasier’s mentor, a renowned psychiatrist, murders a patient who was threatening to expose their affair while pinning the crime on another severely disturbed patient – who actually cooperates by confessing.

  1. “A Mime is a Terrible Thing to Waste”

    A street mime who often performed in front of Frasier’s apartment is shot dead with a silencer. 

  1. “Method Actor”

    A movie star takes his preparation for the role of a Chicago serial killer more than a bit too far.

  1. “Final Draft”

     A world-famous, but fading, mystery novelist steals his protégé’s ingenious plot twist — which he actually uses to do in the young writer.

  1. “How to Frame a Guilty Man”

    Frasier suspects, but can’t prove, that a popular TV anchorman killed his wife – until a detective with a vendetta against the newsman plants evidence against him.

  1. “Mercury in Retrograde”

    A TV psychic murders the executive who was about to cancel his show – and then leads police to the supposed killer.

  1. “Her Worst Nightmare”

     A shock jock’s obsessed groupie literally dreams of his girlfriend’s murder – as it happens.  When she reports her dream to the cops, she becomes the prime suspect. 

  1. “Abra-Cadaver”

     A magician commits murder while apparently on stage doing a show.

  1. “The Freudian Slip”

     A lingerie mogul murders her partner then attempts to divert Frasier’s suspicions by flirting with him.

  1. “You Have a Friend in Frasier Crane”

The woman who Frasier followed out to Chicago hoping to marry seeks Frasier’s help when her fiancé, a well-known politician, is charged with killing his ex-wife.

  1. Mind Game

     Frasier is called in to determine whether a TV pitchman’s bizarre behavior after being nailed for killing his wife is result of insanity or cold-blooded manipulation of the legal system.

  1. Burying the Hatchets

     When media mogul Ben Hatchet dies in an ironic accident involving a hatchet, he leaves a will that stipulates his fortune will be divided equally by his surviving family members one year after his death.  And suddenly  Hatchets are dropping like flies — victims of bizarre “accidents.”

  1. Crepes of Wrath
    A master chef commits murder when his lover threatens to leave him for another chef — and take his recipes with her.