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TCA press tour: Kelsey Grammer, sort of, blames his heartbreak (attack) on Fox

August 8, 2009 | 12:55 pm

Getprev-1 First, Paula Abdul dumps Fox after the network doesn't show her as much green love (money) as she thinks she deserves.

Now, Kelsey Grammer trash-talks the network that broke up with him and, he says, quite possibly gave him a heart attack.

Fox, you (literal) heartbreaker, you!

Grammer, the star of ABC's "Hank," participated in a news conference today for the new comedy, and was not shy about assessing the emotional damage left by Fox's cancellation of "Back to You," his sitcom with Patricia Heaton, who incidentally has a new ABC comedy too, "The Middle."

"I enjoyed it immensely . . . and we were on to something pretty good."

But then Kevin Reilly, who turned down "Back to You" when he was president of entertainment at NBC, moved into the same job at Fox. And, well, read on:

"There was very little ability, especially on Fox anyway, to kind of have a sense of continuity about the show and a sense of commitment because that's just kinda the way they work the shows," Grammer said. "It's their thing. We were at sea pretty much once ['American Idol'] came on and finally there was some friction between the guy that never wanted the show in the first place and was now running Fox. Then there was a heart attack."

Did the heartbreak cause the heart attack?

"There's obviously some connection to one's life and the stress that takes place in one's life," he added. "When they examined my arteries, there was no blocked arteries, I had no cholesterol buildup. I had an event that they think was stress-related. And you can make of that what you will. Listen, it was not a great year. It was a tough year for everybody and maybe it was my time to get retooled a little bit. It ended up being probably a great thing in my life. I'm healthier, stronger, faster. I'm somewhat bionic now."

So bionic, in fact, that Grammer also took potshots at Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS Corp. Grammer produces "Medium," which aired on NBC for five years and was canceled this season, but will now air on CBS.

Grammer sarcastically referred to him as a "selfless, ego-less man" and "disingenuous." Grammer seemed upset that Moonves originally passed on "Medium" "and then spent the next few years trying to make the same show." (He was referring to "Ghost Whisperer.")

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Credit: Associated Press

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