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February 27, 2024

David Hyde Pierce Declines to Join Frasier Revival

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Dec 12, 2023

David Hyde Pierce, who portrayed Dr. Niles Crane on the hit 90s sitcom Frasier, has revealed why he declined to reprise his role in the upcoming Frasier reboot on Paramount+. Despite being contacted early on about returning, Pierce ultimately felt it was not the right decision for him.

Pierce Felt Series Reboot Was “Never Going to Measure Up”

In an interview with Vulture, Pierce explained his thought process which led him to pass on the revival opportunity.

“For a long time, the idea was that the reboot was going to be about Frasier and Niles in New York, opening a new practice,” Pierce said. “All the forces that be agreed they didn’t want to start from scratch and introduce new characters. But it didn’t end up being that.”

Without the original concept focusing on Frasier and Niles together, Pierce felt any new iteration simply could not capture the magic again.

“It’s very tough to reboot something where you have to measure up against something iconic that you all love, you know? It’s just really tough,” he said. “I just ultimately decided that it was better for me not to try to recreate something that we can probably never recreate in a way that feels satisfying.”

Show Creators Were Hopeful Pierce Would Return

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Frasier revival creators Chris Harris and Joe Cristalli were optimistic Pierce would reprise his Emmy-award winning role when first conceiving the reboot.

“For a long time in the development process, it was going to be Frasier and Niles back together again,” Harris said. “We were pretty far down the road in development before we all realized it’s probably best not to try to recreate that.”

Once the focus shifted, Pierce seemed less interested in returning. Still, Pierce was looped in early on and the door remained open for his participation.

“David was included in very early conversations and, while he was interested in hearing what the idea was, he ultimately decided not to join,” Harris explained. “The way David put it was very gracious… He felt like Frasier and Niles have been done as well as they could, and he was so proud of what they accomplished.”

Pierce: “I Never Really Wanted to Go Back”

In a separate interview with People magazine, Pierce expanded on why going back to Frasier no longer appealed to him like it once might have.

“Years ago, soon after Frasier had ended, there was a period where we thought, ‘Well, this will be fun. We’ll put together a new show and bring back some of these characters,’” Pierce told the magazine. “But as it went on, I realized that it was never going to measure up to what we had done before in terms of creativity and the way we felt doing it.”

The shift away from focusing on Frasier and Niles closed the door for good, in Pierce’s view. While not definitively ruling out an appearance down the road, he seems at peace with moving on.

“I’m not going to say I categorically wouldn’t be involved in some way, but I think they’ve taken it in a different direction now,” he said.

Returning Frasier Cast Members
Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle

What to Expect in Frasier Reboot

With Pierce not returning as Niles, what will the Frasier revival on Paramount+ look like? Let’s breakdown what’s known about the project so far:

  • The series will be set in Boston and follow Frasier during the “next chapter” of his life
  • Original cast members Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Jane Leeves (Daphne), and Peri Gilpin (Roz) are confirmed to return
  • David Angell, one of the co-creators of the original Frasier, passed away in 9/11. His wife will serve as one of the executive producers on the revival as a tribute
  • Filming is slated to begin in 2023 with the goal of releasing in late 2023/early 2024
  • The show will stream exclusively on Paramount+

While story details remain tightly guarded, the creators have promised Frasier will still have his radio call-in show. There is also expected to be updates on the lives of returning characters Daphne, now married to Niles, and Roz, Frasier’s longtime radio producer.

How Successor Shows Have Fared

Attempting to revive classic sitcoms has delivered mixed results. Will Frasier be able to capture the magic again without a key original cast member?

Recent examples of successors and reboots include:

  • Murphy Brown (CBS 2018): Returned with original star Candice Bergen but failed to resonate with audiences. Cancelled after one 13-episode season.
  • Will & Grace (NBC 2017-20): Wildly successful return which aired for three seasons before ending again. Featured all four original stars.
  • The Conners (ABC 2018-Present): Spinoff of Roseanne without controversial star Roseanne Barr has found ratings success after five seasons.

The Frasier revival will hope to follow in the footsteps of Will & Grace by bringing back so much of the gang. However, not having David Hyde Pierce reprise his role as Niles removes invaluable chemistry from one of sitcom history’s greatest brother duos.

Time will tell if Frasier can re-capture the brilliance which earned it 37 Emmy awards during its initial 11-year run. But for fans still holding out hope, they can continue looking forward to the reboot on Paramount+ in late 2023 or 2024.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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