Frasier star David Hyde Pierce reveals why he turned down returning as Niles in reboot

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13 Dec 2023, 11:07

Frasier star David Hyde Pierce reveals why he turned down returning as Niles in reboot

Credit: Rex

Retro sitcom Frasier is on the way back, but with a Niles-shaped hole. Original star David Hyde Pierce has now opened up about why he isn't coming back for the Frasier reboot.

Kelsey Grammer revealed that the Paramount+ show was being resurrected from the TV dead in 2021, and later confirmed that Hyde Pierce, who played his younger brother, wouldn't be returning. He previously said that David 'basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles'.

Emmy winner Hyde Pierce has now explained to Los Angeles Times the reasons behind his no-show: “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.”

The star of US series, Julia, explained: “When we got into real talks about the reboot, I had just started on Julia and was working on a musical and going to do another musical. I just thought, ‘I don’t want to be committed to a show and not be able to do stuff like this.’

Niles Crane

Credit: Paramount+

He admitted he thought they 'didn’t actually need him' as Frasier had '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.”

Grammer previously said that without Hyde Pierce’s character it 'took the writers to a new place', which was what they 'originally wanted to do'.

Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst, who became close with Grammer after appearing in 2019's production of Man of La Mancha at the London Coliseum, has joined the cast alongside Tenet's Jack Cutmore-Scott as Frasier’s son, Frederick.

Hyde Pierce told Vulture in June 2022 about the reboot: “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 the actor added that he 'wouldn’t just do it' because 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.”

Peri Gilpin (Roz Doyle) and Bebe Neuwirth (Dr. Lilith Sternin) are the only actors from the original Frasier who have teamed up with Kelsey for the revival. The late John Mahoney (Martin Crane) will be absent as well as Jane Leeves (Daphne Moon), who were both part of the original lineup during its 11-year run.

If you need a refresher on how the original series ended, check out our handy guide.