NBC pays price for Frasier

Frasier is not going anywhere after all. NBC and producer Paramount Network Television reached a new, three-year pact for the Emmy-award winning series that will keep Frasier on the air through the 2003-2004 season.

NBC will be paying close to $5.5 million per episode over the three years, a "modest" increase that is less than 10%, according to NBC executives. Speculation in Hollywood had Frasier, currently in its eighth season on NBC, moving to co-owned CBS if Paramount couldn't reach a deal with NBC.

Paramount TV Group Chairman Kerry McCluggage says the studio didn't negotiate with any other networks, but added if NBC didn't make a deal, "that there would have been at least two other networks" interested in the series.

NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa said, "We'll never know the truth from this day forward (whether CBS would have taken the show). I know people will make many different claims, but we'll never know the truth."

McCluggage also said that part of the deal also included commitments from NBC to develop other shows with the studio down the road. NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said Frasier is almost a lock to remain on Tuesday nights next season and that the license fee wasn't too high. "We don't think it's a gamble at all," said NBC Entertainment Jeff Zucker. "We have complete confidence in Kelsey (Grammer) and the show. In this environment where it's really hard to create franchises and franchise shows, there is no greater franchise than Frasier."
- Joe Schlosser