If Lisa Kudrow had played Roz Doyle on Frasier, the show and the landscape of late ’90s sitcoms may have been very different. After the success of Cheers, psychiatrist Frasier Crane’s eponymous spin-off defied expectations by becoming one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, garnering massive viewership and earning an enduring cult status that remains almost two decades after its final season aired. Part of Frasier‘s success hinged upon the excellent chemistry of its cast, with the snobbish Crane brothers regularly at odds with their working-class father and his quirky physical therapist, Daphne Moon.
Rounding out Frasier‘s cast was Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, the producer of Frasier’s radio show and, eventually, his reluctant friend. Although Roz was perfectly brought to life by Gilpin, another actor was originally considered for the part: Lisa Kudrow. The producers liked Kudrow’s quirkiness but didn’t feel her Rox was assertive enough compared to Grammer’s Frasier and dropped her in favor of Gilpin. Luckily for Kudrow, just one year later, she landed her breakthrough role on Friends, where that same quirkiness earned her a place in sitcom history as Phoebe Buffay. It’s hard to deny the validity of the producers’ choice, as both Gilpin and Kudrow were perfect for their roles.