Frasier's David Hyde Pierce Isn't Returning For The Paramount+ Revival, Kelsey Grammer Explains Why

David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane in Frasier
(Image credit: Paramount)

When Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane moved back to Seattle, Washington following the conclusion of Cheers for the Frasier spinoff (a show packed with behind-the-scenes facts), it introduced audiences to the character’s father, John Mahoney’s Martin, and brother, David Tye Pierce’s Niles. Sadly, Mahoney passed in 2018 at the age of 77, but with a Frasier revival coming exclusively to Paramount+ subscribers, there was the opportunity to see Frasier and Niles reunited. Alas, that won’t be happening, and Grammer has explained why.

It’s safe to say that Niles Crane is David Hyde Pierce’s most famous role, with the actor having won four Primetime Emmy Awards during his time on Frasier and been nominated seven other times. And yet, according to Kelsey Grammer, Pierce wasn’t willing to reprise the character nearly 20 years after Frasier went off the air. In Grammer’s words: 

David basically decided he wasn't really interested in repeating the performance of Niles.

Kelsey Grammer shared this update while speaking with People about where things currently stand with the Frasier revival, also mentioning that rehearsals will begin in February. We already knew that the revival would see Frasier Crane living in a new city and surrounded by new faces, so it was to be expected that David Hyde Pierce wasn’t going to be a series regular. However, per Grammer’s update, even Niles making a guest appearance isn’t on the table anymore, as Pierce has moved on from Niles. Maybe he’ll change his mind if the Frasier revival goes for multiple seasons, but for now, don’t expect to see Fraiser and Niles engaging in witty repartee and enjoying glasses of sherry together like in the old days.

This ended up working out for Kelsey Grammer, who welcomed having Frasier Crane not simply rehashing the past with this revival, calling his character the “brave little soldier that continues on in life, finding new challenges and a new love and new people and a new city and stuff like that.” In addition to reiterating that this revival will “honor the fact that John Mahoney died and that Martin is no longer with us,” it will also acknowledge Niles being absent, as well as Peri Gilpin’s Roz Doyle and Jane Leeves’ Daphne Moon. Grammer continued:

We'll certainly be responsive about the fact that there was a brother and such. But the new world for Frasier is one of new friendships — and some new twists and turns he didn't know were still in there.

The Frasier revival was officially greenlit at Paramount+ back in February 2021, and last month, it was revealed that the show scored a 10-episode order. Specific plot details remain under wraps, but we’ll keep you apprised on the project’s progress as more news comes in. Look through our 2022 TV schedule to see what programming is left to debut this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.