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Kelsey Grammer made us laugh on Cheers and Frasier for many TV seasons in the eighties and nineties, but in more recent years, he’s had trouble landing a TV series that has stuck. His most recent TV series, Partners, was cancelled two seasons ago after a short 10-episode run on FX. He may find better success with his next project, which will bring him into the streaming TV fold over at Amazon.
Kelsey Grammer is set to star in an adaptation of The Last Tycoon. Grammer isn’t the only big name currently signed on to the Amazon project, which will be based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name. White Collar actor Matt Bomer is also set to star in the pilot. The project itself is about a Hollywood studio run by Grammer’s character Pat Brady. Bomer will play “golden boy” Monroe Stahr who sees Grammer’s character as a mentor, but who is hoping to change the studio in 1930s Hollywood. Billy Ray will write and direct. Ray and Christopher Keyser will serve as showrunners.
The Last Tycoon is one of eight pilots currently in development over at Amazon. If you know anything about the Amazon pilot process, you should know that not everything the subscription service produces, pilot-wise, ends up making it to series. Instead, Amazon will release all of the pilots at once on June 17 and will use feedback from audiences to help determine whether or not they will move forward with The Last Tycoon. The other pilots include six kids shows and The Interestings, about a group of artsy teens who meet at camp in the 70s. Numb3rs'David Krumholtz and The X-Files' Lauren Ambrose star. The Interestings is also based on a book, this one written by Meg Wolitzer.
Kelsey Grammer has had a lot of short-lived TV series over the last few years, including Boss, the aforementioned Partners Hank and Back To You. Generally, Grammer has been well-liked on the shows he stars in, but for various reasons, they haven’t been the best fit. Boss, for instance, featured a stunning performance from Grammer as a corrupt Chicago politician who is simultaneously dealing with a degenerative neurological disorder, but was never a huge attention-bringer for Starz during a time when Starz was really trying to ramp up its original programming. Here’s hoping a team-up between Grammer and Bomer will be just the ticket. If not, at least he always has Sideshow Bob to fall back on.
The news comes around the same time that Amazon has renewed its longer running original series Transparent for a fourth season. You can see what Amazon has coming up this summer with our TV premiere schedule.