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Christopher Lloyd on Back to You

Published September 26, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox.
Back to You Back to You

No, not that Christopher Lloyd. This is the one that produces TV shows. His new one, Back to You, brings both Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton back to television comedy, as a feuding newscaster team on a local TV station.

Coming Back to You


“Steve [Levitan] and I wrote the script on spec more or less, and then we went to Kelsey with it,” said Lloyd. “We talked to him about it in a preliminary way but we went to him with the script and he said he wanted to do it. Probably a week later we had Patty on board and maybe a week after that we had Fred [Willard]. With all that packaged together, then we went to the networks. They were all interested. I think they were pretty thrilled to have a show that had Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton in it.”

With such television legacies, Back to You could not just be any show. They had to be meaningful characters for viewers to tune in week after week. “We wanted something that was obviously not Frasier again but not so far away from Frasier that people would say, ‘Well, what, he’s a sheriff in Alaska?’ It had to be close enough to him that people could accept him but also to utilize some of his great strengths. He plays big attitudes well and pomposity. We wanted sort of a public forum for him which is how we wound up on the news and using Steve’s background there.”



The show has a star anchor (Grammer) return to his home market of Pittsburgh after a career disaster. Hilarity ensues. “Well, the premise of the show is a guy who is climbing the ladder and nothing matters to him more than just reaching the top. So he sort of burns a few bridges along the way. Then he reaches almost the top, has sort of a flame out and then freefalls and lands someplace where he has to feel like he’s got some climbing to do.”

Hey, it could be worse than Pittsburgh. “We originally set it in Buffalo, and no offense to any Buffalonians here, but we thought that might have been too far for him to fall. So we wound up with something that, I don't know what the market is, but say it’s the 15th market, something like that. Our sort of byword on that is that they’re probably number two in the market, so they’ve got some incentive to be better.”

Back to You airs on Fox.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox.
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