David Hyde Pierce Reveals Why He Turned Down Frasier Reboot

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

If anyone is wondering why David Hyde Pierce opted out of reprising his role as Niles Crane for the Frasier reboot on Paramount+—Variety has the scoop. As Pierce explained in a candid conversation with the Los Angeles Times, the actor’s hesitancy to reprise his role was not due to some distaste for the character or disdain for the show.

Instead, Pierce vocalized an adoration for the time he spent on Frasier. The actor revealed, however, that he just never nurtured a burning desire to return to the project. Instead, a more organic motivation urged him to try his hand at “other things.” 

David Hyde Pierce Moved On


Indeed, David Hyde Pierce’s decision arrived at an eventful time, characterized by his deep involvement in other commitments. These include laboring simultaneously over two—two—musicals amidst working, if that weren’t enough, on the TV series Julia. Understandably, the actor believed committing to both the Frasier reboot and these prior projects would severely curtail his ability to pursue his diverse interests. 

Niles Didn’t Have A Place In Frasier’s New Story?

Even more so, the actor did not consider his presence in the new series wholly necessary. As David Hyde Pierce noted, the reboot had technically graduated to further storylines, locations, and characters, rendering his previous plotline somewhat moot. 

The Frasier reboot takes a different path forward and focuses on Frasier’s life years after the conclusion of the original series. The main thrust of its plotline tracks an older (wiser?) Frasier upon returning to his old hometown, Boston. There, he reconnects with his firefighter son (played by Jack Cutmore-Scott).

Producers Wanted A Frasier/Niles Reunion

kelsey grammer

Interestingly, as conveyed to Vulture by the project’s co-writer, Joe Cristali, the initial plan was to have Frasier and Niles reunite after all. Rumor has it they were even supposed to, fittingly, run a black-box theater together. However, without David Hyde Pierce’s involvement, the idea was tossed. 

Reprising his role as Frasier—and delighting fans worldwide—Kelsey Grammer communicated in his own Variety interview an earnest hope that the reboot finds and enjoys success and longevity in its new home, Paramount+. For his part, Grammer expressed openness to the possibility of Niles’s return to the comedy, though the star many know as Frasier underscored that such a role should not be forced. 

The Frasier Reboot Is Now On Streaming

With or without Pierce, the reboot has nonetheless fully launched its first season; as of now, all ten episodes are fully available to stream on Paramount+. The series promises to uphold the sterling legacy of the adored original show while also exploring new, exciting horizons. Hopefully, the project will captivate long-time fans and new viewers, even without David Hyde Pierce’s contributions. 

Frasier First Aired In 1993

The original Frasier was a celebrated American sitcom that aired from 1993 to 2004, eventually becoming one of broadcast TV’s most acclaimed comedies. It stars Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, a fastidious, loquacious psychiatrist who, following his divorce, departs Boston for Seattle. There, he begins a new life as a radio advice show host while reconnecting with his father, Martin (Charles John Mahoney), an unpretentious, down-to-earth ex-cop, and his brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce), a fellow psychiatrist. A winsome blend of high-brow humor, poignant moments, and unforgettable banter, the series primarily focuses on Frasier’s romantic relationships (and quirks), his family, and quirky callers to his show. It’s a classic.