Kelsey Grammer reveals David Hyde Pierce won't return as Niles in Frasier reboot series
25 November 2022, 16:52
It's the moment of truth that Frasier fans have been eagerly waiting for.
It's been rumoured for some time that David Hyde Pierce, who plays Frasier's psychiatrist brother Niles, wasn't apparently keen on reprising his role.
And now it's been confirmed by Grammer himself in a recent interview with People magazine.
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After revealing that the initial plan for the rebooted series was to bring back all of the original characters, it didn't turn out quite that way.
"For a while we were going to try to bring back the whole cast, the whole legacy cast," Grammer says, referring the show's main stars which also included Peri Gilpin's Ros, Jane Leeves' Daphne, and John Mahoney's Martin Crane who sadly died in 2018.
But when Hyde Pierce pulled out, Grammer and the series' creators had to rethink.
"David basically decided he wasn't really interested in repeating the performance of Niles," Grammer says of his onscreen brother.
Once Frasier ended, Hyde Pierce went on to have a successful career in theatre, and recently starred opposite Julia Childs in the critically acclaimed HBO Max series Julia.
And in many ways it's a shame he's not returning alongside Grammer, given the actor's incredible chemistry as the petulant and pompous Crane brothers.
According to Kelsey Grammer however, Niles not returning actually opened up more possibilities for the upcoming revival.
"In a very funny way, it just took us to a new place, which was what we originally wanted to do anyway, which was a Frasier third act," he explains. "It's an entirely new life for him."
Frasier, a spin-off of Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson-starring Cheers, was a radio psychiatrist and an uptight intellectual living in Seattle with his equally fussy brother Niles and their blue-collar father Martin.
And similarly to the way the character starts a new life in Seattle, Dr. Frasier Crane will be doing the same once again in the new series.
"He's our brave little soldier that continues on in life, finding new challenges and a new love and new people and a new city and stuff like that," Grammer says.
"I'm really very excited about it, and we'll certainly always honour the past. We have to honour the fact that John Mahoney died and that Martin is no longer with us. We'll be dealing with that for sure."
As well as addressing the loss of his onscreen father, the series will also explain the absence of the original series' other characters.
"We'll certainly be responsive about the fact that there was a brother and such," says Grammer.
"But the new world for Frasier is one of new friendships — and some new twists and turns he didn't know were still in there."
Even though the original characters won't all be reprising their roles, there's still plenty of reason to be optimistic about the impending reboot.
Opening up about reading the new script for the first time, Grammer said he absolutely loved it.
"I've had a couple runs through it, and I cried," he said at the time. "So you know, I'm happy."