With Frasier now back on TV screens with some changes along the way, an original idea for this show did include Niles. If you recall in the original series, David Hyde Pierce portrayed Dr. Niles Crane, Frasier’s brother. Showrunners for the Paramount reboot are saying that there definitely was a scenario for him to appear. The same goes for Daphne, played by Jane Leeves. But Pierce and Leeves both declined to come back and play their roles.
Showrunner Joe Cristalli talked about the situation in an interview with Vulture.
“For a long time, the idea was that Frasier and Niles were going to run a black-box theater, like how they bought that restaurant and brought it back to life,” Cristalli said. “But it’s hard for Frasier and Niles to run the theater when you don’t have Niles, so we had to step back from that.”
Frasier Showrunner Considered Multiple Ideas for Niles
Another possibility was to have Pierce play a role similar to Maris. She, of course, was the long-lost wife of Niles who never showed her face.
“It would be weird to make Niles the new Maris,” Harris said. Cristalli adds that they did talk about the possibility.
What was possibly going to open the new series? There was some talk about opening up with Martin’s funeral, but that went by the wayside. Yet in the opener, there are a number of instances where they pay tribute to John Mahoney, who played Martin Crane.
“It would’ve been too hard to have that funeral scene and not see Niles or Daphne,” Cristalli says. “If you’re going to do the funeral scene, you have to see those people. It would’ve been heartbreaking and silly to try to explain it, ‘Oh, Niles is caught in a hot-air balloon somewhere and couldn’t make the funeral.’ It never would’ve worked in the way we envisioned it.”
So, in the latest new episode, we see Frasier living in Seattle. He is working on mending his relationship with his son, Freddy.
This reboot brings Frasier’s story along since his radio days in Seattle. When the new show opens, he’s still in Seattle. As far as we know, he’s planning on leaving and living somewhere else. The updated show has a number of new characters for us to get to know.
But the focus remains on Frasier and his own life. Right now, the debut episode is up and available for viewing on Paramount+. It would be a good idea to just keep an eye out to see if any former costars happen to make guest-star turns on Frasier.
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