In his upcoming Starz show “Boss,” Kelsey Grammer plays Tom Kane, the cutthroat Mayor of Chicago who’s hiding a dark secret. The character is a marked turn from his comedic roles on “Frasier” and subsequent short-lived sitcoms “Hank” and “Back to You.” He credits a desire for a major life overhaul with his decision to move into the dramatic arena.
“In the last couple of years I decided I needed to make a life change,” Grammer told a room full of reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills on Friday. “You’re all familiar with what’s gone on in my personal life – maybe not all the details because I don’t talk about them,” he joked, referring to his highly publicized divorce from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Camille Grammer, and their recent custody battle. “After my heart attack, which was three years ago, I spent the next several months looking at my life and I cast my net over the next thirty, or twenty, or forty years, and I just decided I didn’t want to have that story be my last,” he confessed. “I decided that it was time to make changes that involved my career as well as my personal life, so it just made sense.”
Grammer also said the atmosphere of the industry shifted for him after the cancellation of “Hank,” a sitcom that he jokingly said “wasn’t really funny” anyway. He talked of the boredom he felt with repeated storylines, which ultimately lead to its demise. “We had one idea for ‘Hank’ that just kinda kept being retold until about eight shows in,” he said. “So I called the head of Warner Brothers and said, ‘Peter, how do we put a bullet in this thing?’ And we did about three days later – it was DOA. But then that was the catalyst for the most extraordinary journey of my life – both on a personal and professional level.”
“Boss” premieres Friday, Oct. 21 at 10/9c on Starz.
Preview Grammer’s “Boss” Turn Below: