Kelsey Grammer lobbies to revive ailing sitcom

Thu May 15, 2008 1:07am EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Kelsey Grammer, whose latest sitcom, "Back to You," was canceled by Fox after one season, said on Wednesday he has personally lobbied CBS executives to give his show a second chance on their network.

But the Emmy-winning veteran of "Cheers" and "Frasier" is finding that his star power may not be enough to save the newsroom comedy, which Fox announced last week would not return in the fall.

Grammer, 53, told Reuters that he called CBS Corp chief executive Leslie Moonves on Monday to suggest a pickup, and that Moonves told him his network was "thinking about it."

A follow-up call the next day to Nina Tassler, the CBS Entertainment president, was less encouraging, Grammer said.

"She dismissed it," he recalled.

So did viewers and many critics.

Grammer plays a pompous TV news anchor who lands back at his old Pittsburgh station with his former co-anchor and paramour, played by "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-star Patricia Heaton. With its big-name cast and producers, it is one of the most expensive comedies on U.S. television.

Grammer, who gained fame playing a pompous shrink for 20 years on "Cheers" and its spinoff "Frasier," said he was surprised by Fox's cancellation, and felt the News Corp-owned network had not given the series enough time to establish itself.   Continued...

<p>Kelsey Grammer arrives at Radio City Music Hall in New York, May 16, 2005. REUTERS/Bill Davila</p>