Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz
|"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz"|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Kelsey Grammer|
|Written by||Jay Kogen|
|Original air date||December 17, 1998|
"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz" is the tenth episode of Frasier 's sixth season. It first aired on NBC in the United States on December 17, 1998. In the episode, Frasier, while shopping for Christmas gifts meets a stylish Jewish woman, Helen Moskowitz, who asks him to take her daughter Faye on a blind date. This leads to a deepening relationship between each other. Helen on Christmas Eve makes a stop by Frasier's apartment, unaware that he is not Jewish and so he and the family must pretend that they are to survive the visit.
The episode was directed by Kelsey Grammer and was written by Jay Kogen. Amy Brenneman and Carole Shelley guest stars in the episode as Faye and Helen respectively. Since airing, the episode has received many positive reviews from television critics and fans.
Christmas is approaching, and while out shopping with Roz and looking for a menorah for his son, Frasier makes a covert attempt to purchase a sweater for Roz. Just before she realises, another woman steps in and rescues Frasier by pretending that she is buying it. She recognises him from the radio, and when he offers his thanks and asks if he can return the kindness, she suggests a date with her daughter, Faye. Frasier accepts, and is pleasantly surprised when he meets her, although she is embarrassed at being fixed up by her mother. Things go well for a while between them, and Faye visits Frasier's apartment with Helen one day on their way to catch a plane to Florida. It is at this point that Frasier discovers that Faye was under the impression that he was Jewish, and although this is not a problem for her, she is worried what her mother will think. He agrees to hide the Christmas decorations and play along, also getting Niles and Martin on side. The deception proves tricky to sustain, as Eddie appears dressed in a Santa Claus costume, someone calls round trying to deliver a Christmas tree, and Daphne is busy organising a holiday revue downstairs (from which Niles appears dressed as JESUS!).
In its original broadcast, "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz" finished second in ratings for the week of December 14, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 16.9, translating to approximately 16.9 million viewers. It was the second highest rated show on NBC that week, behind ER. The ratings for "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz" went up 1.2 from the previous week's episode, "Roz, a Loan". In the following year, the episode earned writer Jay Kogen a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series at the 51st Primetime Emmy Awards, in addition to a Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Comedy. It also earned Kelsey Grammer a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series nomination. This episode also earned David Hyde Pierce his third Primetime Emmy Award for his portrayal of Niles Crane, winning his fourth for the eleventh and final season in 2004.
- "WEEK'S TV RATINGS". San Francisco Chronicle. 24 December 1998. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- "WEEK'S TV RATINGS". San Francisco Chronicle. 16 December 1998. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Ryon, Ruth (17 October 1999). "Now She's Mad About Montecito". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- "The Writers Guild Foundation Library Catalog". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "Winner and Nominee Search". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved 2012-03-23.