Monday, August 1, 2011

Kelsey Grammer ditches comedy for dark drama

"Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer makes an abrupt change of direction in his upcoming new TV series, playing a ruthless, power-hungry mayor in a drama series that he calls "the greatest time of my life creatively."

After years of playing comedy roles on television, Grammer, 56, says he had decided to return to his roots for the October drama series "Boss" on cable channel Starz.

Grammer stars in "Boss" as Tom Kane, the brooding, manipulative, fictional mayor of Chicago who will do anything to stay in power. But he also has a degenerative brain disease that he is trying to keep secret from family and political foes alike.

Grammer portrayed arrogant psychiatrist Dr.Frasier Crane on the comedies "Cheers" and later "Frasier" for 20 years. But his follow-up TV comedies "Back to You" and "Hank" were commercial flops, and Grammer switched gears last year to appear in the Broadway musical "La Cage aux Folles."

His personal life hit the headlines last year in a messy public divorce from third wife Camille, while she was appearing in the reality show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills".

Grammer did not address the divorce, nor his fourth marriage in March to flight attendant Kayte Walsh. But he said a serious heart attack in 2008 had been the catalyst for change both personally and professionally.

"Boss" makes its debut on Starz on October 21.

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