The classic NBC sitcom “Frasier” returned earlier this year with a revival series on Paramount+, but it did so without the involvement of former series regular David Hyde Pierce. While star Kelsey Grammer returned, Pierce turned down the chance to once again play Frasier’s younger brother, Niles Crane — a role that earned Pierce three Emmys for supporting actor in a comedy series during the show’s original run.
“I never really wanted to go back,” Pierce recently told Los Angeles Times about his decision to skip the reboot. “It’s not like I said, ‘Oh, I don’t ever want to do that again.’ I loved every moment. It was that I wanted to do other things.”
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“When we got into real talks about the reboot, I had just started on the ‘Julia’ TV show and was working on a musical and going to do another musical,” Pierce continued. “I just thought, ‘I don’t want to be committed to a show and not be able to do stuff like this.’ And I also thought, ‘They don’t actually need me.’ Frasier has moved on to a new world. They have new characters. And I think I’m right. It’s doing great. And the new people they have are great.”
The “Frasier” reboot picks up years after the original sitcom’s finale and finds an older Frasier moving back to Boston to reconnect with his firefighter son (Jack Cutmore-Scott). The reboot’s co-writer Joe Cristalli told Vulture earlier this year that the intention was to always have Frasier and Niles back together, but that became impossible when Pierce turned down the show.
“For a long time, the idea was that Frasier and Niles were going to run a black-box theater, like how they bought that restaurant and brought it back to life,” Cristalli said. “But it’s hard for Frasier and Niles to run the theater when you don’t have Niles, so we had to step back from that.”
In a recent interview with Variety, Grammer said he wants to keep the “Frasier” reboot going on Paramount+ for at least 100 more episodes. When asked if he wants to see Pierce’s Niles back on screen, Grammer responded: “I mean, we have Niles’ son on the show. It would be nice to have that happen. We won’t force it; we’ll see what happens. We can certainly write to it. There’s arguably a lot of people in the world that have seen ‘Frasier,’ and would really sort of celebrate seeing him again.”
All 10 episodes of the “Frasier” reboot’s first season are available to stream now on Paramount+.
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