David Hyde Pierce Explains Why He Isn't in the 'Frasier' Reboot

Pierce played Frasier's lovable brother, Niles Crane, in the original series.

Dr. Niles Crane had some prior commitments when it came time for the Frasier reboot on Paramount +. David Hyde Pierce, who played Frasier's neurotic brother, Niles Crane, on the original series, explained why he chose not to return to the role for the highly anticipated reboot, which stars Kelsey Grammer in the titular role. 

Pierce won four Emmys for his role on Frasier, which he appeared on from 1993 to 2004. But the acclaimed stage and screen actor wasn't interested in reprising the role that shot him to stardom. 

"I never really wanted to go back," he says in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times. "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.”

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Grammer has returned for the show's reboot and is joined by a team of newcomers, including Jack Cutmore-Scott as Freddy Crane, Jess Salgueiro as Eve, Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, and Anders Keith as David Crane. 

Original stars Bebe Neuwirth (Dr. Lilith Sternin) and Peri Gilpin (Roz Doyle) have both made one-episode cameos on the show, which is focused on Frasier's life as a professor after his radio show days. 

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Earlier this month, Grammer spoke with ET about what inspired him to return to the series. 

Initially, the actor said, the plan was to have all the original legacy cast members return for the new series -- similar to The Conners -- but after "that ship had sailed," Grammer said he wanted to look into what life would be like for the eponymous psychiatrist and talk show host. 

"It suddenly appealed to me -- What would it be? What would his third act be?" he recalled. "It has to be something other than what we've done before... We dived right into this idea of going back to Boston and centering the relationship around his relationship with his son, so it would sort of bookend it with the previous show."

Frasier's 10-episode first season is currently streaming on Paramount+.