‘Frasier’: David Hyde Pierce Speaks Out About Reboot Series Without Niles

by Caitlin Berard

Back in February 2021, Paramount announced that a reboot of the classic TV sitcom Frasier was in the works. And though details regarding the reboot have been sparse ever since, David Hyde Pierce and his fellow Frasier stars remain confident in an eventual premiere.

That said, Pierce, the actor behind Niles Crane, a main character in the original series, isn’t sure he wants to be a part of it. When news of the reboot first broke, David Hyde Pierce didn’t seem too keen on the idea, but has since revised his opinion. Now, he says he would return under the right circumstances. That does not mean, however, that he definitely will.

“Yeah. That whole time of my life, the writing on those shows, the actors I got to work with… All of that is deeply important to me,” he explained to Vulture. “And I would never disrespect that in such a way as to say just offhandedly, ‘Oh, no, thanks. I’m not going to do that again.’ It’s too valuable to me.”

Although he adores Frasier, David Hyde Pierce believes the reboot doesn’t necessarily need Niles. “But by the same token, because it’s so valuable to me, I also wouldn’t do it just to do it,” he 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.”

David Hyde Pierce Compares Frasier to Other Classic TV Series

For David Hyde Pierce, one of the main reasons he doesn’t think Niles is a necessity in the reboot is that the original Cheers characters weren’t needed in Frasier. For those unaware, Frasier is a spinoff of the ’80s sitcom Cheers, in which Dr. Crane frequents the iconic bar.

“They didn’t bring along the Cheers gang to make a new show,” Pierce said. “They popped in from time to time and that was a blast, but there was something else that needed to be said, and it needed to be said in a different way. And maybe they will find that and I’ll be in it, or maybe they’ll find it and they won’t need me to be in it.”

As for the potential quality of the Frasier reboot, David Hyde Pierce believes that even if the new series is unsuccessful, it won’t negatively affect the legacy of the original. To illustrate his point, he compares the reboot to AfterMASH.

“The classic example was AfterMASH and M*A*S*H,” he explained. “People can talk about how good or bad AfterMASH was, but it doesn’t sully the memory of M*A*S*H. It’s not like people think, ‘Oh, we were wrong to ever watch that show because of this other sequel.'”

“And as I’ve just given this whole speech about how important and valuable that whole experience was to me and how many people say how great it is and it got them through the pandemic… It’s also a TV show,” Pierce continued. “[The decision is] more personal for me. It’s about how I am going to spend whatever artistic life I have left and where I can make the most significant contribution.”