By Turning Down the ‘Frasier’ Reboot, David Hyde Pierce Took the Show in a New Direction

It’s finally happening. Paramount+ has greenlighted a Frasier reboot, and rehearsals are set to start in the new year. While fans are excited to see the show return, they will miss a few familiar faces. Kelsey Grammer, who portrayed Dr. Frasier Crane in the series, is the only original cast member set to return. The actor who played Frasier’s younger brother, Dr. Niles Crane, David Hyde Pierce, declined to reprise his role, and in doing so, changed the course of the reboot, but not in a bad way. 

David Hyde Pierce’s decision regarding the ‘Frasier’ reboot changed the show’s direction 

David Hyde Pierce was never totally into the idea of returning for a reboot of the show that made him famous. When the Guardian asked Pierce about the reboot in April 2022, he admitted he didn’t know much about it. The actor, who had worked primarily in stage productions before Frasier, doesn’t seem to be as deeply connected to the character of Dr. Niles Crane as Grammer is to the character that has taken him through decades of his acting career. 

David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer present onstage during the 64th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010
David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer | Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

In a sitdown interview with People, Grammer openly discussed the Frasier reboot and the show’s direction. Grammer conceded that the show took on a new direction once David Hyde Pierce opted to walk away from the idea. Initially, the plan was to bring the original cast back together for more of a catchup. Now, with Pierce opting to retire the role of Niles, the reboot has taken on a new form, and it’s not one that Grammer dislikes.

He told the publication that the idea of Frasier starting anew, yet again, is exciting, and frankly, we agree. Not only does the direction pay tribute to the radio psychiatrist’s roots, but it opens up so many possibilities for the upcoming series. That’s not to say we won’t miss Pierce as Niles. The sibling rivalry Grammer and Pierce were able to express was truly something special. 

Kelsey Grammer addresses how the show will address the absences 

Kelsey Grammer insists that the Cranes aren’t gone for good, though. There is no plan to pretend like they never existed. He told People that the show would honor the past. John Mahoney’s 2018 death will be observed, likely through Grammer’s on-screen character working through the death of Martin Crane, the role Mahoney artfully performed. 

John Mahoney as Martin Crane, Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon and David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Niles Crane scribble on a poster of Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane. The 'Frasier' reboot will not incluide key original cast members
The cast of ‘Frasier’ | David Rose/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

As for how the Frasier reboot will explain Niles’ absence, it remains up in the air. Based on what Grammer is saying, the goal is to place Frasier in a new setting, once again, to find another family. It’s a concept that pays homage to Frasier’s past. In Cheers, he found a family in the patrons of a bar. In Frasier, he reconnected with his biological family and grew a network of loved ones back in Seattle. Wherever this next iteration takes him, surely Frasier will find friends, patrons, and annoyances along the way. 

The ‘Frasier’ reboot doesn’t have a release date just yet

While Paramount+ has greenlit the Frasier reboot, a release date has yet to be announced. Several months back, Grammer suggested filming would begin in October 2022 after he wrapped up several other projects. The October 2022 timeline didn’t hold. Grammer told People that rehearsals would start after the new year. 

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It’s nearly impossible to predict when fans will get a chance to catch back up with Dr. Frasier Crane. It’s also difficult to glean the plot of the series. Grammer and Paramount+ are giving absolutely nothing away. All fans know is the Frasier reboot will bring the psychologist to a brand new city sans his support network. Whatever else they have in store for fans will have to be a surprise.