Bosses of Kelsey Grammer's TV comedy Frasier have lured back two of the show's early and influential writer-producers in a desperate bid to boost flagging ratings.

Christopher Lloyd and JOE KEENAN have been lured back by studio Paramount to hopefully reignite the show, which costs a whopping $5 million (GBP3.1 million) per episode to make.

Grammer hopes Lloyd and Keenan's return will spark a creative comeback, adding, "That's certainly why we got them."

The pair have their work cut out for them, only five million viewers aged between 18 and 49 - the coveted age group - saw the show's season finale in May.

The figure marks a steep drop from the almost 11.4 million viewers who tuned in to the show in September (02) for the season's premiere, which featured the long-awaited marriage of characters NILES and DAPHNE.

STEVE STERNBERG, of media-buying firm MAGNA GLOBAL USA, notes, "Once Niles and Daphne hooked up, something was lost. You lose the sexual tension, you lose the audience."

27/07/2003 21:05