WHAT TO BINGE ON TV
Stream On: What’s old is new—can you go home again? Two reboots

By on October 19, 2023

Frasier and Justified return to television with new seasons in 2023.

NPR reported in August 2022 that in the U.S., streaming captured 34.8% of TV viewership in July, while cable accounted for 34.4% and broadcast TV came in third at 21.6%. With streaming services like Paramount+ producing their own shows there are more opportunities for every kind of programming—including reboots.

FRASIER

/Streaming /🍅57%🍟87% /Trailer /2023 /TV14

“I have reconnected with the hoi-polloi!”

Thirty years ago, Dr. Frasier Crane moved from Boston where he had been a character in Cheers to Seattle to star in his own sitcom, which would run for 11 seasons, win 37 Emmys and be recognized as one of the best sitcoms of all time. This year he returns to Boston … 19 years later.

Joe Cristalli, co-creator of Kelsey Grammer’s new series on Paramount+, said, “I just don’t think it is a reboot because really, Frasier was a spinoff of Cheers. This is kind of just a spinoff of Frasier that we’re calling Frasier. This is his third act. Frasier going to a new place with all new characters in an all-new setting.” James Burrows, co-creator of Cheers, has directed the first two episodes.

I must admit I approach these revisitations with some trepidation: in this case Frasier was one of the greatest sitcoms ever, and rewatching it recently only confirmed that. The original series has aged very well, its star Kelsey Grammer subsequently showing up in 30 Rock, playing himself, carried around in a sedan chair by servants like the show-business god that he is. Now he’s older than John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father, was at the end of the original show. (Mahoney died in 2018.)

So: 2023. Accompanied by his nephew, David (Anders Keith), who was born to Frasier’s brother Niles and his wife Daphne in the original show’s finale, Frasier Crane returns to Boston after his father’s funeral to give a guest lecture at Harvard University as a favor to an old college classmate of his, Alan Cornwall (Nicholas Lyndhurst). David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles, wasn’t interested in “repeating the performance,” Grammer told CNN, and Jane Leeves, who played Daphne, is unavailable, busy on The Resident.

While in town, he drops in on his son, Frederick, now (incredibly) a Boston firefighter (maybe not so incredibly—his grandfather Martin had been a policeman), and Freddy’s roommate, Eve.

It’s at first a little uncomfortable—the new characters don’t seem as if they belong with Frasier, but then it is a new “act” in his life. David does recall Niles more and more as the show goes on. Bebe Neuwirth as Frasier’s wife Lilith Sternin, and Peri Gilpin, as Frasier’s friend and producer Roz, will return. The writing also shows promise: “You know what they say—a ‘no’ is just a ‘yes’ in a trench coat.”

By the end of the first episode I was on board. On Rotten Tomatoes, 54% of 48 critics’ reviews are positive, while 87% of the audience polled enjoyed it. The website’s consensus reads: “With Kelsey Grammer safely back in the role he was born to play, Frasier scores as comfort viewing even if it can’t quite compare to the classic original series.”

 

JUSTIFIED: CITY PRIMEVAL

/Streaming /🍅91%🍟49% /Trailer /2023 /TVMA

Justified is a little different story: It’s only been eight years since it left the air, the show is still popular streaming, and the series was lighter in tone than Frasier. Oddly, I mean, for a hard-core, violent police procedural as opposed to a domestic sitcom, but there it is.

And apart for some grey hair, Tim Olyphant (Deadwood) is still the unflappable but cheerfully trigger-happy Raylan Givens that he always was. Raylan was a recurring character in Elmore Leonard’s canon since 1993, a young but old-school U.S. Marshall complete with Stetson hat based in Miami. Justified was based on Leonard’s novel Fire in the Hole (2001), where Givens is sent under a cloud to his hometown in Kentucky after he first, gave a gunman 24 hours to get out of Miami, and then, shot and killed said gunman in a forced exchange that Givens maintained was “justified.”

Justified: City Primeval is a treatment of an Elmore Leonard “Raymond Cruz” novel, 1980’s City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, which was altered to feature Raylan Givens. Raymond Cruz here is a secondary character, played by Paul Calderón (Bosch, East New York), who originally played him in Out of Sight, another Leonard treatment from 1998. (I think we can expect to see more of Raymond Cruz in future series.)

Raylan, back in Miami in 2023, takes his fifteen-year-old daughter Willa (Olyphant’s daughter Vivian) to a camp after repeated disciplinary problems, and a pair of criminals try to steal his car. He subdues them but misses Willa’s camp deadline, forcing him to take her along while he extradites the men to their hometown, Detroit, where he soon becomes involved with sociopath Clement Mansell, the “Oklahoma Wildman.” It’s a good eight-episode “season,” officially a limited miniseries, with a typical Raylan Givens mixing it up with typical Elmore Leonard characters, and I’m sure that future miniseries, with Olyphant and/or Calderón, will be well-received. The professional critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads “Timothy Olyphant’s quickdraw charm shows no signs of dulling in City Primeval, an introspective and very welcome return for Raylan Givens.”


(Pete Hummers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to earn fees by linking Amazon.com and affiliate sites. This adds nothing to Amazon’s prices.)

Click here for more Stream On: What to watch on TV columns by Pete Hummers. Columns are archived and updated when necessary on Substack.


BIDDER PRE-QUALIFICATION REQUEST:

Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


 



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