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September 15, 2014

Does Kelsey Grammer think FOX president gave him a heart attack? - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 8th 2009 7:01PM
Kelsey Grammer at TCA 09 session for HankThe title of this post seems far-fetched: How could a big TV star like Kelsey Grammer think that Kevin Reilly, the programming head of FOX, had something to do with the heart attack he suffered a year ago?

If you heard Grammer speak about it during the panel for his new ABC comedy Hank, it's not hard to connect the dots. "I had an event they thought was stress related. You can make of that what you will. It was a rough year," said Grammer, whose FOX sitcom Back to You was cancelled after its first season.

His beef was that he pitched the show to Reilly when the exec was still at NBC, and he passed. Then Reilly got the position at FOX after they bought Back to You. So, basically, the show was airing on a network whose entertainment head already passed on it somewhere else. That, according to Grammer, caused conflict between the network and the writers of the show.

He seems to be happier at ABC and with Tucker Cawley, the EP of Hank, a show about a self-made millionaire whose company fails. Hank and his family downsize and move back to Virginia, where the former exec has to re-learn how to live a normal American life, including dealing with his kids.

By the way, Grammer also produces Medium, which has had its own network transition troubles. Grammer found it odd that "I pitched Medium to Les (Moonves at CBS), who didn't take it, but then (CBS) spent the next four years developing the same show." That show? Ghost Whisperer. But you'll hear no complaints from Grammer now; he's happy the show's been picked up at CBS.

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