Kesley Grammer explains why Niles isn’t in the new Frasier reboot

The series, which begins filming in February, was previously envisioned as an opportunity to reunite the old cast. Grammer now says it’s a chance to explore “a whole new life” for Cheers icon Frasier Crane.

dr Frasier Crane existed long before he got his 1993 Cheers spin-off, aptly titled Frasier. Now, thanks to Kelsey Grammer and a shrewdly sentimental green light from Paramount+, the wealthy radio host will go after it too in a series revival expected to start production next year.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of David Hyde Pierce’s Niles Crane: the popular (if very picky) younger brother of the snooty psychiatrist who stole scene after scene during the original run and won’t be returning.

“For a while we wanted to try and bring back the entire cast, the entire Legacy cast,” Grammer said in a recent interview with People. “David basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating Niles’ performance.”

It’s a hard hit. Across 11 seasons of “Frasier,” Niles became a standout fan favorite, delivering not only the humor but heart that many of the original “Cheers” cast enjoyed with Grammer long ago. In the series finale, the snooty sibling, also a psychiatrist, raised a family and rode off into the metaphorical sunset with Jane Leeves’ Daphne Moon. Turns out, even in the modern age of IP recycling, this really will be Niles’ last TV audience.

Still, Grammer says bringing Frasier back for a solo reboot is all the more exciting.

“In a very fun way, it just put us in a new place for what we originally wanted to do anyway, which is a ‘Frasier’ three-beat,” Grammer also told People. “It’s a whole new life for him.”

The currently untitled series will follow Frasier to a different city – so not Boston or Seattle – and continue to honor his ever-evolving character.

“He’s our brave little soldier moving on with his life, finding new challenges, new love and new people and new city and so on,” Grammer said, before noting the inevitable loss of another “Frasier” cast member. “I’m really looking forward to it and we’ll certainly always honor the past. We have to honor the fact that John Mahoney died and all that [Niles and Frasier’s father Martin Crane] is no longer with us. We will certainly deal with that.”

Frasier ran for eleven seasons from 1993 to 2004 on NBC, with CBS Studios predecessor Paramount Network Television also producing. “Frasier” then set the record for most Emmy wins for a screenplay series with a total of 37, including five consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series. The revival was written by How I Met Your Mother alumnus Chris Harris and Life in Pieces screenwriter Joe Cristalli, who are executive producing alongside Grammer, Tom Russo and Jordan McMahon. The series is produced by CBS Studios in association with Grammer’s Grammnet NH Productions.

“We start rehearsals in February,” Grammer also told People. “We honestly worked on it for about six or seven years.”

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