Kelsey Grammer says that David Hyde Pierce had no interest in reprising his role as Niles Crane again.
Since it was first announced several months ago that the beloved television series Frasier would be getting a reboot, fans have had a plethora of questions to throw at production. One of the biggest unknowns was whether or not David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles Crane, Frasier’s (Kelsey Grammer) younger brother, would be returning to the screen. Since we found out that the answer to that was a big “no,” we’ve been wondering the reason behind David Hyde Pierce’s permanent departure from the story, something that Kelsey Grammer recently revealed, telling People that “David basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles.”
Shocking for many audiences who loved the dynamic between the two Crane brothers, Kelsey Grammer’s revelation about his ex-co-star is certainly making us scratch our heads. Could there be bad blood between David Hyde Pierce and crew members, or perhaps with the man playing the titular psychiatrist? Well, if there is, the Julia star is keeping it tight-lipped and professional.
During an interview with Vulture, Hyde Pierce had nothing but good things to say about his time on the original show, commenting that his experience was a “deeply important” one and that it was “too valuable” for him to say that he would “never” return to the storyline. However, he believes that just like Cheers, which led to the Kelsey Grammer-centered spinoff, the show’s next chapter has “new stories to tell” and those plotlines just don’t need to center around Niles.
Not writing anything off, Pierce commented that there’s a chance he could return for a cameo of sorts, reminding fans that some of “the Cheers gang” would make guest appearances, which he referred to as “a blast.” As for Kelsey Grammer, if he was hurt by David Hyde Pierce’s decision, he’s not letting it show.
During his interview with People, he commented that he and the team behind the Frasier reboot were planning on taking the leading character into a “third act,” something the star said would be “an entirely new life for [Frasier].” With this in mind, it would seem as though Niles Crane wasn’t needed to further that story, making way for a new cast of characters to help further the tale of Frasier’s life.
Coming to Paramount+, the Frasier reboot will take Kelsey Grammer’s character away from his psychotherapeutic radio show in Seattle, Washington, and drop him in a new city. Other than that, production has been keeping details under wraps. Along with David Hyde Pierce’s Niles, the show isn’t completely closing the door on the possibility of several other fan-favorite characters making their way back into the world of Frasier Crane.
Sadly, one integral character won’t be making a comeback, that of John Mahoney’s Martin Crane, Frasier’s father. In 2018, Mahoney sadly passed away from lung cancer, something that was gutting for both fans as well as his Frasier family. Kelsey Grammer has since said that Mahoney will “most certainly be [honored]” in the upcoming series.
While David Hyde Pierce may not be reprising his role as Niles, we still have high hopes for the reboot of the long-running Emmy-winning series. Over its time on air, the Kelsey Grammer-led show made its way into homes across America and beyond with many counting down the days until Paramount+ reveals the next chapter in Frasier’s life.