David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth comment on their possible returns in the upcoming Frasier reboot. Kelsey Grammer's character, the psychiatrist Fraiser Crane, was originally introduced in season 3 of NBC's Boston-based sitcom Cheers as Diane Chambers' (Shelley Long) love interest. After being left at the altar by Diane, Frasier later marries the uptight psychiatrist Lilith Sternin, played by Neuwirth, and the two have a son together named Frederick. At the start of the spinoff Fraiser, the couple are divorced with Lilith maintaining custody of Frederick.
Premiering on the same network in 1993 and running for 11 successful seasons before going off the air in 2004, Frasier is one of the very few spinoffs able to rival its original series. Though the show focused on Grammer's titular character who returns home to Seattle to become a radio psychiatrist, it ultimately thrived because of its strong cast of supporting characters, most notably Frasier's younger brother and fellow psychiatrist, the delightfully snobbish Niles Crane, portrayed incomparably by Pierce. Talks of a revival began in 2016, and Grammer started spearheading a Frasier reboot for Paramount+ last year, though there haven't been many significant updates since then.
Pierce and Neuwirth recently sat down with Variety to talk about the new HBO Max series Julia, in which they both star, and naturally, the topic of the Frasier reboot came up. They were both asked bluntly if they are going to appear in the Paramount+ revival, though the two couldn't provide a definite answer since they haven't been approached about the project. Though they are unsure about their returns, Pierce and Neuwirth both said they will be supportive of Grammer's efforts. Read what they said below:
Neuwirth: I don’t know what it is!
Pierce: Yeah, that’s the thing. That’s an abstract question. Kelsey’s spearheading that, and I don’t know where it is in its development and what form it will take. So it’s an impossible question to ask, no matter how many people want to know the answer.
Neuwirth: I’d like to say, we are very supportive.
Pierce: Yes, absolutely.
Neuwirth: I think that it should go without saying. I’m very supportive of it happening. I hope they continue in the excellence that they started with. I trust that they will.
Although their answers didn't sound very promising, Pierce's response is definitely an improvement from his last comment on the matter. In 2017, Pierce was asked if he would potentially be interested in returning to the role of Niles in a hypothetical Frasier reboot and he answered with a straightforward "No." Granted, Pierce didn't think it was a real possibility at the time. As talks of a reboot have gotten more serious, the actor has modified his answer slightly.
Considering that Frasier's ending saw the titular character move to Chicago, there is a chance no original cast members return alongside Grammer other than for brief cameos. In fact, Grammer has floated the idea that the reboot picks up in an entirely different city as Frasier continues his quest for love. If this is the case, Pierce's return wouldn't be necessary for the reboot to happen, although Niles' absence would be obvious. The same can't exactly be said for Neuwirth, who only made guest appearances on Frasier, appearing in 12 total episodes. Grammer and his team of writers are still developing the Frasier reboot, so hopefully they begin reaching out to potential cast members like Pierce and Neuwirth very soon.