David Hyde Pierce Revealed The Reason Why He Turned Down Doing The ‘Frasier’ Revival

The Frasier revival hit Paramount+ in October, and the reviews aren’t great. Surely it doesn’t help that it’s so different. Kelsey Grammer’s Dr. Crane is back in Boston, but so far only one Cheers alum — Bebe Neuwirth’s Lilith, aka his ex-wife — has shown up. Only one original Frasier cast member has made an appearance, too: Peri Gilpin’s Roz. And where’s his brother, Niles? The answer for that one is that David Hyde Pierce, the actor who portrayed him, didn’t want to do it. Now he’s opening up about why.

In a chat with The Los Angeles Times (as caught by The Daily Beast), Pierce said he was basically too busy.

“I had just started on the Julia TV show and was working on a musical and going to do another musical,” the actor said. “…And I just thought, ‘I don’t want to be committed to a show and not be able to do stuff like this.’”

The works Pierce is referring to are, in order, the Julia Child show for Max; the musical The Visitor, staged at New York’s Public Theatre in 2021; and Here We Are, the final work from the late Stephen Sondheim, which bowed Off-Broadway this fall.

His schedule wasn’t the only reason he turned Frasier 2.0 down.

“I also thought, ‘They don’t actually need me,’” Pierce said. “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.”

Pierce clarified that he wasn’t always opposed to the idea.

“It’s not like I said, ‘Oh, I don’t ever want to do that again,’” Pierce explained. “I loved every moment. It was that I wanted to do other things.”

Back when the Frasier revival first dropped, its showrunners said they had discussed the show with him. They even had a concept: the two brothers open a black box theater. Alas:

We talked to David Hyde Pierce a couple of times. He was in a tough position. Everybody wants to see him as Niles, but he doesn’t want to step back into those shoes. He felt like he didn’t have anything new to bring to the character. He read versions and gave us notes and thoughts, and he acknowledged it was funny and we found the tone the original did so well. It just wasn’t for him.

In the meantime, those who want to see David Hyde Pierce being very funny can see him in New York City, performing in the last-ever Sondheim musical.

(Via The Los Angeles Times and The Daily Beast)