The Frasier Reboot Is Missing Several Beloved Original Cast Members

Fortunately, the showrunners haven’t ruled out future returns and cameos.

Niles, Daphne, & Roz are not main characters in the Frasier reboot.
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Nearly two decades after Frasier Crane said goodnight to Seattle for the final time, the talk radio psychiatrist is phoning in again. The Paramount+ Frasier reboot, whose first two episodes air on Oct. 12, brings back a couple familiar faces from the Emmy-winning NBC original, which ran from 1993 to 2004.

Kelsey Grammer, who originated the title role in Cheers, is the only OG cast member who’s credited as a regular in the new series, which is set in Boston. And while Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Daphne (Jane Leeves) will not appear in the reboot, actor Peri Gilpin will reprise her role as Roz in one episode.

Who’s In & Who’s Out

“David and Jane decided not to join up again. They just sort of said, ‘We’re OK to let it be,’” Grammer explained to TV Insider. “That was liberating in a weird way. It was like, ‘Now we really just find a new life for Frasier.’”

That new life takes the character to Massachusetts to be closer to his son, Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott), who dropped out of Harvard to become a firefighter. As was the case in NBC’s Frasier (and Cheers), Bebe Neuwirth guest stars in the reboot as Freddy’s mom and Frasier’s ex-wife, Lilith.

Though John Mahoney, who played patriarch Martin Crane, died in 2018, the Paramount+ iteration honors the late actor by naming the local watering hole Mahoney’s. “We wanted him in there. Forever,” Grammer said.

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Grammer said he’d be open to welcoming back more of the original cast in the future if it seemed organic to the storyline, but he doesn’t “want to go stunting too much.” Still, Niles and Daphne aren’t totally left out of Frasier’s new chapter. Their son, David (Anders Keith), a Harvard student with striking similarities to his father, is part of the new crew.

Less A Reboot, More A Spinoff

Speaking to The Seattle Times, writer and co-showrunner Joe Cristalli noted that the reboot had been in development for five years and underwent several iterations. An early version included Niles, but after having conversations with Pierce about returning, “it wasn’t something he was excited about,” Cristalli said.

“He didn’t want to fill those shoes again. He felt like he didn’t know what Niles could still bring. He had a bunch of reasons, which all made perfect sense, and thankfully it allowed us to open up the world,” he said. “It’s less a reboot of Frasier and it’s more a spinoff, like Cheers was to Frasier, [the first] Frasier is to the new Frasier.”

Chris Haston/Paramount+

Like Grammer, Cristalli and his co-showrunner, Chris Harris, also left the door open for Niles, Daphne, and others to potentially make future appearances down the line.

“We wanted to make sure that it didn’t feel like we were pillaging the past too much for our own benefit,” Cristalli explained. “We wanted to make sure that the show stands on its own two feet first before we bring in the superstars, but we are excited for as many folks [to come back] as possible [in subsequent seasons].”