Frasier star Kelsey Grammer has explained why his former co-star David Hyde Pierce won’t be appearing in the upcoming reboot of the popular sitcom, which aired for 11 seasons on NBC.
Hyde Pierce played Niles Crane, the younger brother of Grammer’s titular Frasier Crane. The snobby and fussy Niles appeared across all 11 seasons of the Emmy-winning Cheers spinoff and became one of the show’s most popular characters. Unfortunately, however, Niles will not be back when the revival series returns on Paramount+.
“David basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles,” Grammer revealed in an interview with people. That said, Grammer explained that Hyde Pierce’s decision not to return actually worked out well for the story they want to tell in the new series.
“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,” Grammer stated. “It’s an entirely new life for him.”
Back in June, Hyde Pierce spoke about the upcoming revival and whether or not he was interested in participating. “That whole time of my life, the writing on those shows, the actors I got to work with — all of that is deeply important to me. And I would never disrespect that in such a way as to say just offhandedly, ‘Oh, no, thanks. I’m not going to do that again.’ It’s too valuable to me,” he told Vulture. “But by the same token, because it’s so valuable to me, I also wouldn’t do it just do it.”
“And I believe it can be done without me, too — finding new stories to tell, in the same way that Frasier did after Cheers,” he added. “They didn’t bring along the Cheers gang to make a new show. They popped in from time to time and that was a blast, but there was something else that needed to be said, and it needed to be said in a different way. And maybe they will find that and I’ll be in it, or maybe they’ll find it and they won’t need me to be in it.”
Hyde Pierce won four Emmy awards for his role in Frasier and, since the series ended in 2004, has gone on to star in the likes of The Good Wifethe Wet Hot American Summer movie and its TV spinoffs, When We Riseand, most recently, the HBO Max series Julia.