Today is not a good day to be in Kelsey Grammer’s shoes. For today, the popular actor will spend the next few hours taking to the airwaves, chatting with media outlets around the world in an effort to drum up some much-needed publicity for his new ABC show HANK. A show that finds itself on the brink of cancellation thanks to the not-so-perfect storm of both poor reviews and ratings. How do we know this you ask? Well, your very own TV Addict just had the opportunity to pepper the actor with a few tough questions of our very own. And we have a feeling, we went easy on him!
The TV Addict: Why do you think HANK hasn’t connected with viewers in the same way in which FRASIER or CHEERS did?
Kelsey Grammer: In previous years there was more of a willingness to allow a show to grow, find an audience, get its sea legs. Now, you have to pretty much hit it out of the park, right out of the box. Which certainly is not easy. Especially when you’re well known for a previously somewhat successful character, the American audience specifically has a lot of trouble adjusting to a beloved actor of a beloved character making a change. With both the character of Hank, and Chuck from BACK TO YOU, audiences always ask, “Where is that loveable wonderful man that was Frasier?”
Aside from the obvious disappointment, what was your reaction to last week’s news that every Wednesday night comedy on ABC was picked up with the exception of yours?
Yes, well that certainly was an interesting signal to get. Obviously there is a little bit of of a reluctance in that we are the only multi-camera show on ABC. And while some people object to the laugh track, but just been replaced by musical rhythms in other shows. Same device, different sound. We’re just doing our best to make a great show and hopefully they’ll [ABC] sees the wisdom in keeping us around. We just hope we get a chance.
Why should audience give your show another chance tonight?
Well, this episode is funny. Arguably in the pilot you introduce the characters and hope for a couple of laughs, the subsequent show reminds people what the show is about, while the third episode (Tonight on ABC at 8PM) gets to finally divert a little bit. It’s the way we did it with FRASIER and CHEERS. Tell ’em, remind ’em, then start to do different things. Tonight’s episode focuses on Hank’s daughter Maddie (Jordan Hinson) who Hank thinks should get a job at the mall. Thinking it will help, Hank gets a job working with her where both Hank and Kelsey get to make a bit of a fool of himself collectively, it’s a silly show and a lot of fun.