Kelsey Grammer has explained why the Frasier reboot won’t feature David Hyde Pierce as Niles.
In 2021, it was announced that Grammer would return to the role of Frasier Crane in a revival series of the Cheers spin-off for Paramount+.
Hyde Pierce, who played Frasier’s younger brother in the the popular Nineties sitcom, previously confirmed that the project was still going ahead in April, although did not say comment on whether he would be a part of it.
Now, Grammer has said in a new interview that Niles will not be in the series.
“David basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles,” Grammer told People .
However, Grammer said that, “in a funny way”, Hyde Pierce’s absence has worked out for the best as it took the writers “to a new place”, which happened to be “what we originally wanted to do”.
Grammer, 67, described the reboot as “a Frasier third act”, which will showcase ‘an entirely new life for him”.
Spekaing about his potential involvement, Hyde Pierce, 63, told Vulture in June 2022: “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.”
However, the actor said that he “wouldn’t just do it” for the reason that the experience was such a “valuable” one.
“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.”
He did not rule out the idea of a cameo on the series, though, remembering how Cheers stars would “pop in from titme to time” in Frasier.
“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,” he said.
Frasier, which ran on NBC for 11 seasons between 1993 and 2004, is expected to return in 2023.