Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers Sept. 18-24.
The upcoming “Frasier” reboot is a spinoff of a spinoff, to some extent. Kelsey Grammer’s character, Frasier Crane, originated on “Cheers” (1982-93), then had an 11-season run on NBC’s “Frasier” (1993-2004), which won 37 Emmy Awards.. Here’s what we know about the new show.
• WHERE AND WHEN? It premieres on Thursday, Oct. 12, on Paramount+. On Oct. 17, CBS, Paramount+’s corporate sibling, will give the reboot a broadcast sampling of two episodes, to pique interest in the show and encourage fans to subscribe to Paramount+. The first season will be 10 episodes.
• CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE NEW SHOW IS SET? Our fussy psychiatrist is coming back to Boston, the city where we first met him on “Cheers.” After “Cheers” ended in 1993, he moved to Seattle, where he lived with his father and spent time competing with his psychiatrist brother, David Hyde Pierce’s Niles.
• WHAT, NO NILES? Frasier will be surrounded by an entirely new ensemble. Early on, the plan was to bring back the cast from the original series (without John Mahoney, who died in 2018). But Pierce “decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles,” Grammer said before production began. “It just took us to a new place, which was what we originally wanted to do anyway, which was a Frasier third act. It’s an entirely new life for him.”
• WHO’S IN THE NEW CAST? Jack Cutmore-Scott will play Frasier’s son, Freddy; Nicholas Lyndhurst will be one of Frasier’s old college friends; Jess Salgueiro is Freddy’s roommate; and Anders Keith is Frasier’s nephew, David, the son of Niles and Daphne.
• WILL ANY ORIGINALS RETURN? Lilith, Frasier’s ex-wife, and Roz, his former producer, are going to make brief appearances, bringing back Bebe Neuwirth and Peri Gilpin in those roles, respectively. No doubt Frasier’s return to Boston is a bit of a trigger for Lilith, who is not excited to share the attentions of their son, Freddy.
• WHO’S DIRECTING? The legendary James Burrows, whose long resume includes 237 episodes of “Cheers,” is at the helm of the first two episodes.
• CAN I SEE TRAILER #1? The move to Boston is crystal clear in the first teaser, which shows the Seattle skyline of the original series become the Boston skyline, including the Zakim Bridge. It also gives us Grammer singing a new version of the “Frasier” theme song, “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs,” complete with an updated last line: “Frasier has reentered the building.”
• CAN I SEE TRAILER #2? And this longer one tells a lot more about Frasier’s relationship with his son, which is comically fraught. As we learn at the end of the clip, our guy is still open to dating.
• WILL THE WRITERS IGNORE FRASIER’S PAST? Often, reboots erase or downplay elements from the original series if they don’t fit into the new set-up. But the writers are not going to ignore Frasier’s history, most notably his father, Martin, a retired cop. Martin is embedded in the premise of the show, as Frasier moves to Boston hoping to spend time with his son because he lost his own father. At the end of the new pilot, there is an emotional scene that pays tribute to Martin. And Frasier’s son, who is now a firefighter in his 30s, is not unlike his grandfather. “There’s a lot of Martin in Freddy,” James Burrows told Entertainment Weekly.
• WILL FRASIER GO TO THE CHEERS BAR? In another touching nod, the new “Frasier” doesn’t find Dr. Crane returning to the Cheers bar where we first met him. Instead he goes to a neighborhood spot, which has a familiar name: Mahoney’s.
• DO YOU NEED A REFRESHER? If you’re feeling your interest rising, and perhaps some nostalgia, you have plenty of time to revisit the original series, which is available on Paramount+ in its entirety. There are only 264 episodes.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
1. The fourth and final season of Netflix’s “Sex Education” arrives on Thursday (happy face/sad face). I’m a fan of leaving audiences wanting more, but I’ll miss the characters this fine series has given us. (Here’s the season four trailer.) The performances have been delightful from the funny and poignant Ncuti Gatwa as Eric, from Asa Butterfield as the self-conscious Everyboy Otis, and from Gillian Anderson as Otis’s sex therapist mother, Jean. Season four will find Otis and Eric at a new school, with Otis trying to set up another sex clinic. Maeve (Emma Mackey) is at college in the US, and Dan Levy joins the cast as one of her teachers.
2. As a bit of an insomniac, I’m curious about this British comedy, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+. “Still Up” is about two people who spend all night pillow-talking, despite never having met. She’s an illustrator named Lisa (Antonia Thomas), he’s a journalist named Danny (Craig Roberts), and the cast includes Blake Harrison, Luke Fetherston, and Rich Fulcher. (Trailer here.)
3. Dan Harmon, the guy behind “Community” and “Rick and Morty,” brings another animated comedy to TV. Called, unforgettably, “Krapopolis,” it’s set in mythical ancient Greece (trailer) and follows a family of humans, gods, and monsters trying to run one of the world’s first cities. The voice cast includes Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) and Matt Berry (“What We Do in the Shadows”). The Fox series premieres with its first two episodes Sunday at 8 p.m.
4. An extraordinary person in extraordinary times. The three-part BBC docuseries “Becoming Frida Kahlo” premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. on GBH 2. It will look at the life of the artist, including her relationship with artist Diego Rivera, whom she married twice (trailer here). Celebrity, tragic losses, health issues, iconic paintings, an affair with Leon Trotsky, it’s all accounted for in the series.
5. Apple TV+ is premiering a four-part docuseries on the careers of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. “The Super Models,” directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams and Larissa Bills, looks at the ups and downs of these women, who triumphed on the catwalk in the late 1980s and early ‘90s and changed the power dynamic in the fashion industry. There are fresh interviews with and archival footage of all four women. (Here’s the trailer.) The series debuts Wednesday.
“American Horror Story: Delicate” Season 12, featuring Kim Kardashian. FX, Wednesday, 10 p.m.
“The Continental: From the World of John Wick” A three-part prequel spinoff, featuring Mel Gibson. Peacock, Friday
“The Morning Show” Season three of the glossy soap. Apple TV+
“Wilderness” A marriage on the rocks in this revenge thriller. Amazon
“Dreaming Whilst Black” Trying to make it as a filmmaker in London. Showtime
“Only Murders in the Building” The third season is a silly pleasure. Hulu
“The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” Sigourney Weaver stars in this domestic-abuse drama. Amazon
“Minx” The comedy returns in good form for season two. Starz
“Justified: City Primeval” Timothy Olyphant returns as Raylan Givens in this miniseries. FX, Hulu
“The Afterparty” Season two of the murder-mystery comedy is set at a wedding. Apple TV+