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Here's Why Niles Won't Be In The Frasier Revival

The List 11/29/2022 Shana Aborn
original cast of Frasier posing © Getty Images/Getty Images original cast of Frasier posing

If "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs" reminds you of Tuesday nights rather than breakfast, then you must be one of the millions who faithfully tuned in to "Frasier" every week. The multi-Emmy-winning NBC comedy followed the life of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) as he moved from Boston to Seattle to begin a new career as a radio host (via IMDb). For 11 seasons, Frasier butted heads with his father and brother, coped with quirky colleagues, endured a layoff, and muddled through many hilarious romantic failures. In the series finale, Frasier gives up a job offer to pursue a relationship with his former matchmaker.

It's been nearly 20 years since that final episode aired, and fans assumed that the beloved radio psychiatrist's days were over. Not so fast: In July 2022, Grammer revealed on an episode of "The Talk" that he'll be starring in a revival of "Frasier" that's now in the works. "There have been some conversations about [starting in] October, maybe a little later," he said (per TV Line). "But we're in the final stages of the final script for the first episode of 'Frasier,' and it looks pretty good."

Paramount+ is expected to start streaming the new show sometime in 2023. But fans waiting to see lots of familiar faces may be in for a surprise.

David Hyde Pierce Was A Beloved Member Of The Show

David Hyde Pierce posing © Debby Wong/Shutterstock David Hyde Pierce posing

Some of "Frasier's" best episodes center around the loving rivalry between Frasier and his younger brother, fellow psychiatrist — and fussbudget — Niles Crane. The brothers' attempts to collaborate on projects — a book, a restaurant, countless dinner parties — were always hilariously epic failures, yet they never stayed discouraged for long. Niles was played by David Hyde Pierce, whose skills earned him 11 Emmy nominations and four wins (per the Emmys). We recommend watching the first sequence of the episode "Three Valentines," in which the actor gets laughs from viewers without even saying a word.

When the "Frasier" revival was announced, fans naturally assumed that Niles would be returning, too. However, Hyde Pierce had reservations, as he explained to Vulture this past July (via TV Line). He called his experience on the show "deeply important," and that he didn't want to turn down the sequel right away. "But by the same token, because it's so valuable to me, I also wouldn't do it just to do it," Hyde Pierce said. "And I believe it can be done without me, too — finding new stories to tell, in the same way that 'Frasier' did after 'Cheers.'" He added, "I don't know when [the show will be taping], so I don't know where I'll be and what I'll be doing. I'm certainly interested to see what they come up with," according to Smooth Radio.

David Hyde Pierce Says His Days As Niles Are Over

Martin, Niles, and Daphne on Christmas © Getty Images/Getty Images Martin, Niles, and Daphne on Christmas

Originally, the plan for the "Frasier" revival was to bring back original cast members David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Peri Gilpin. Sadly, we lost another major "Frasier" star: John Mahoney, who played dad Martin Crane, died in 2018, per TMZ. Ultimately, Hyde Pierce opted not to join the new show. Kelsey Grammer recently told People, "David basically decided he wasn't really interested in repeating the performance of Niles." Leeves, too, has stated that her commitment to "The Resident" would keep her from rejoining the cast as Daphne, the psychic physical therapist who eventually married Niles (via Smooth Radio).

This forced producers to rethink the whole story arc, which Grammer says worked out for the best. "It's an entirely new life for him," he explained to People, which will include a change of location and "a new love." Grammer added that "we'll certainly always honor the past," so it's not out of the question that Hyde Pierce and other former castmates might make guest appearances. After all, a number of "Frasier" episodes featured the "Cheers" regulars, such as the time Woody Harrelson's character came to visit Frasier and quickly wore out his welcome.

An interesting casting choice for the new series might be Grammer's own daughter, actress Spencer Grammer, with whom he starred in a Lifetime Christmas movie. We could easily see Spencer playing a barista — wherever Frasier Crane ends up, he'll need a new coffee hangout. 

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