David Hyde Pierce

David Hyde Pierce has explained why he didn’t reprise the role of Niles Crane in the reboot of Frasier.

Kelsey Grammer is the only core cast member who returns in the Paramount+ sequel series, which follows Frasier as he teaches at a university in Boston – the setting where the character was originally introduced in the 1980s sitcom, Cheers.

Showrunners Chris Harris and Joe Cristalli previously explained how the original pitch for the revival involved the return of Niles. The pair approached Pierce “a couple of times” about playing Frasier’s brother again, but they said the actor declined because “he felt like he didn’t have anything new to bring to the character”.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times, Pierce elaborated on the decision, saying that his other commitments to Julia and several musicals were also a factor.

‘Frasier’. Credit: Paramount+.

“I never really wanted to go back,” Pierce said. “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.

“And when we got into real talks about the reboot, I had just started on the Julia TV show and was working on a musical and going to do another musical, not this one. And I just thought, ‘I don’t want to be committed to a show and not be able to do stuff like this.’ And I also thought, ‘They don’t actually need me.’

“Frasier has 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.”

The new revival stars newcomers Jack Cutmore-Scott as Frasier’s son Freddy, Nicholas Lyndhurst as Professor Alan Cornwall, Toks Olagundoye as Professor Olivia Finch and Anders Keith as Frasier’s nephew David.

The showrunners on the revival previously explained how Pierce’s decision gave them freedom to take Frasier in a new direction.

“Yes, we have to live up to the incredibly high standards of Frasier, but with a little more leniency,” Cristalli told Vulture. “This can live in the same universe as Frasier and Cheers without being Frasier or Cheers.”

In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Yes, the genius that is David Hyde Pierce’s Niles is sorely missed, but Frasier is still as tasty as a tossed salad and scrambled eggs.”

The post David Hyde Pierce explains why he turned down ‘Frasier’ reboot appeared first on NME.


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