Kelsey Grammer Explains Why David Hyde Pierce Will Not Return as Niles in 'Frasier' Reboot

The revival series is set to start rehearsals in February ahead of landing on Paramount+

BY Allie GregoryPublished Nov 25, 2022

Kelsey Grammer has been working on a Frasier revival for years, and while he originally planned to reunite the series' original cast, he and his crew had to rethink things when David Hyde Pierce — the actor who played Frasier's brother Niles — bowed out.

"For a while we were going to try to bring back the whole cast, the whole legacy cast," Grammer told People in a new interview, adding, "David basically decided he wasn't really interested in repeating the performance of Niles."

He continued: "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. It's an entirely new life for him.

"We'll certainly be responsive about the fact that there was a brother and such," Grammer added. "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."

Pierce had previously touched on the subject of putting his character to bed in an interview with Vulture:

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. 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. 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.

The reboot is apparently set to start rehearsals in February, and will eventually land on Paramount+. So far, no other cast members have been announced.

"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 said of the titular character. "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."

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