Kelsey Grammer returns to television this fall as the patriarchal title character of "Hank," but the star said at the ABC Television Critics Association panel in Pasadena on Saturday that it took a life-threatening event to point him toward to show.
"There was a heart attack, and there was the idea that maybe we would toy with the idea of going back to something," Kelsey said. "I thought, 'I haven't seen a traditional family show in a long time on television. And, you know, what happened to them. They're still part of America, I think.' And so that became the area I was interested in."
Responding to a question about whether his heart attack had been the result of frustrations with "Back To You," which was also interrupted by the writers' strike, he said, "I had an event they think was stress-related."
"You can make of that will you will," Kelsey continued. "When they examined my arteries… I have no blocked arteries. I have no cholesterol build-up. But, you know, listen, it was not a great year. It was a tough year for everybody. And maybe it was my time to just get retooled a little bit."
The attack, he added, gave him a renewed focus on his health – and the energy to return to TV.
"It ended up being probably a great thing in my life," he said. "I mean, I'm healthier, stronger, faster. Is this 'The Six Million Dollar Man?' I'm somewhat bionic now."
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