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Hank: Kelsey Grammer says He Scrapped the Cancelled Sitcom

HankOf ABC’s new sitcoms, Hank was by far the most-troubled. While The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town all attracted varying degrees of positive reviews and ratings, Hank didn’t get either.

After five weeks on the air, production was shut down and ABC pulled the Kelsey Grammer sitcom from the Wednesday night schedule. A new interview indicates that Grammer was at least in part responsible for the cancellation.

According to an interview with Contact Music, Grammer knew that Hank wasn’t working. He felt the Thanksgiving episode was very funny but the next one was lacking. He said, “Honestly, it just wasn’t very funny… We finished and I was like, ‘Oh boy, there wasn’t a laugh in the house on this one.’ And I called the president of Warner Brothers… and I said, ‘Listen, when can we put a bullet in this thing?'”

The actor says it was taking a lot to even drive to work, knowing what he had to look forward to. “It was just too much work and the drive here was killing me. I live in Malibu, which is only 20-something miles away but it could be two hours one way… We were rehearsing for 10 or 12 (hours) so my whole life suddenly was gone.”

ABC hasn’t announced any plans to air the five remaining episodes so it’s hard to say when TV viewers will see Grammer on the small screen again. The actor will soon be hard at work on another project though. He’s set to star in the Broadway revival of the 1983 Jerry Herman/Harvey Fierstein musical, La Cage aux Folles. Grammer will play the lead character, Georges, the cross-dressing master of ceremonies at a drag nightclub.

The show’s currently playing in London and the US version is expected to debut on April 18th at the Longacre Theatre.

What do you think? Was Grammer really responsible for getting Hank pulled or was the cancellation already in the works? Do you think the sitcom would have been cancelled mid-season or would ABC have let the 13 episodes play out?

 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Joey August 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm

I personally feel he should have left well enough alone and let CBS pick back up, “Back to You”, the show had so much promise. Of course, I don’t suspect Patricia Heaton or Ty Burrell sticking around if their respected shows “The Middle” and “Modern Family” launched in the “Back to You” second season. I mean part of the principal cast would have been gone, but I am glad and thankful it was cancelled when it did because it did bring at least two great shows out of 3 with former “Back to You” stars back-to-back, but “Hank” never caught on like Heaton’s The Middle and Burrell in Modern Family.

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bryan April 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I think kelsey Grammar was responsible for getting the show cancelled when he did……and what he did was save abc alot of money and time. the show’s writing, in my opinion, was absolutley awful.

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Ed December 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I saw the show a couple of times and while not great wasn’t bad either. I think ABC should have let the other 5 episodes run before making the decision to cancel. Five shows is just too soon.

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Solanine December 14, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Please forgive the following dramatic metaphor: “Hank” was like the dregs of a once great wine that had been poured out into many glasses over a long period of time. Most people agree that “Cheers” was a great show, a good first glass. Grammer didn’t even appear until the third season, but soon fit right in. The second full glass, “Frasier”, was equally as good as the fame and good times grew. Many similarities in plot and characters can be seen in “Back to You”, a third glass that was never finished, with Chuck’s character taking a step down the success ladder in the first episode. Yet the glass is refilled with what is left, “Hank”, which is completely different from how this started, a powerful man knocked to the ground. I say it’s time to open a new bottle and taste something fresh. I am not Hindu, but I believe in the re-incarnation of actors and love to see what or who they return as in the next chapter of their lives.

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LOFan December 14, 2009 at 2:17 am

Interesting. I love Grammer, but disagree with his take on his own show. Hank was the one new show I watched every week.

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teresa young December 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Hank just wasn’t Kelsey worthy. I loved him on cheers and Frasier. Why not get the cast together and do it again.

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Sammy December 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm

If true, give Kelsey Grammer a lot of credit. He could have just taken a paycheck and put out a bad product. The pilot was bad, and the second episode was worse. I like the rest of the Wednesday lineup on ABC but for Hank, we are better off without it.

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admin December 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm

@Sammy: I wonder if Grammer’s less-affluent co-stars felt the same way.

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Martin December 9, 2009 at 8:31 am

Kelsey has been unable to find the exceptional cast he was surrounded by in both Cheers and Frasier. They were likable and believable. The commaraderie of the casts was obvious and made both shows the classics they are today. I groaned at the prospect of Hank. Would love to see a reunion of Frasier.

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Dan December 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I always knew the series wouldnt make it. The chemistry between Kelsey Grammer and Melinda Mcgraw was great but the storylines and writing was horrible, the kids were annoying and the most of the time funny David Koechner couldnt even help the series. ABC should have used Samantha Who for 8pm but they opted for the cheaper Hank. Hopefully ABC will air the remaining 5 episodes in the summer, but even thats unlikely.

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Lindsey Lee December 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I suspect Kelsey realised based on his extensive acting in tv shows that this one didn’t have the spark I only watched the first episode but didn’t like it and it didn’t do Kelsey justice. I think the tv people had the same idea though as they will have seen it wasn’t working especially with so much competition. I don’t like him in this type of father and husband role but I did like him in Back to you which he did very well in shame that was cancelled it was the type of role fitting for him he needs to be in a intelligent job or power as Kelsey plays those best. I hope he finds the right show for his talent.

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