Frasier Reboot Update Supports A Tragic Niles Theory That Explains His Absence

Kelsey Grammer’s explanation about Niles Crane’s absence in the Frasier reboot suggests a dark turn for the character. After claiming that he is an only son in Cheers, NBC walks back on information after seeing the potential of David Hyde Pierce playing Frasier’s younger brother. The original Frasier show doesn’t make a big deal out of the detail because creating the plot inconsistency ends up paying off big time. While Grammer is great playing the titular character, Pierce’s Niles is undoubtedly Frasier‘s scene-stealer. So when news broke out that Paramount+ is reviving the critically-acclaimed series, there was immediate excitement over Frasier and Niles’ small-screen reunion.


Getting the Frasier reboot off the ground wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, however. Despite being a critical success and having a loyal following, Grammer had to work for years just to sell the idea to a platform. Even after Paramount+ officially ordered it to series, the writers struggled to crack the new show’s premise. Things got worse when none of the original Frasier cast members boarded the series despite Grammer’s invite. While Bebe Neuwirth and Peri Gilpin are confirmed to appear as guests, no one signed up to be mainstays. That includes Pierce, which results in Niles’ absence in the Frasier revival.

Frasier Keeping In Touch With Niles Shouldn’t Be Difficult In The Reboot

Frasier and Niles sitting on the couch making neutral face in Frasier

Pierce’s stance on returning for the Paramount+ shouldn’t be surprising, however. The actor long revealed that he is against reviving Frasier, fully knowing that it could tarnish the show’s legacy. More recently, his supposed decision to sit out the Frasier reboot stems from not wanting to simply do a repeat of his performance as Niles. This forced Grammer’s team to find another way to move forward with Frasier’s fourth act without his younger brother. Ultimately, they decided on him coming back to his old stomping grounds, Boston. This effectively distances him from Niles. After all, Frasier barely communicated with his brother during his Cheers days.

In a new interview, Grammer says that Niles is no longer Frasier’s go-to in the revival. This forces him to seek out other relationships to fill the void. Granted the distance, but keeping in touch shouldn’t be a problem given the various communication tools available. There’s also no justified reason why Niles and Daphne cannot even visit Frasier in New England. Considering the nature of his marriage with Maris, it was understandable that the younger Crane brother never popped in at Boston during Cheers. However, since his son, David is all grown-up and now living in Boston, there’s no acceptable explanation for Niles’ non-involvement in the Frasier reboot.

Only A Falling Out Can Explain Frasier & Niles’ Reboot Situation

Frasier and Niles get into a physical fight

Simply put, there’s simply no justified reason that Frasier and Niles don’t have any constant communication in the upcoming revival. Throughout the Seattle-based series, the pair was almost always attached to the hip, doing a lot of things together. They would hit the social scene in tandem and even just get their usual coffee at Cafe Nervosa. They spent so much time together that the original Frasier series even made their seemingly co-dependent relationship the center of several plot lines. If anything, the pair should be regularly checking up on each other, considering the recent death of their father, Martin Crane.

With that, it’s difficult to imagine that the brothers barely talk anymore that Frasier can no longer rely on Niles for his advice — unless they have a falling out. Despite their close relationship, the Crane boys aren’t immune to having conflicts. When the Cheers spin-off had to change things up, it almost always involved them having some kind of issue. Their fights range from serious to incredibly petty, although most of them lean towards the latter since it resulted in more comedic moments. However, as they grow older, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that they get into bigger issues with each other.

What Frasier & Niles’ Conflict May Be About

Niles Martin Crane all sitting in the living room in a cabin in Frasier

Assuming that Frasier and Niles are really not on speaking terms in the upcoming revival, it’s curious what their fight is about. The brothers are close; they have very similar tastes and preferences, not to mention being in the same field of work. They have a lot in common it’s unlikely that they can run out of things to talk about. That being said, they are also very competitive with each other. The original Frasier show had highlighted this one too many times. They would enter a venture together only to end up realizing that they can’t work together.

Related: 12 Frasier & Cheers Characters We Want To See In The Frasier Reboot

Sadly, Frasier and Niles didn’t really learn the harsh reality that they can’t collaborate on anything big in the original series. Had it not been for Marty forcing them to make it up every single time they would do this, they would have stayed mad at each other, considering how prideful both of them are. With the Crane patriarch no longer around, it may be the reason why this conflict is lasting longer. This makes the Frasier reboot so much more tragic, however. Aside from having to deal with the family’s massive loss, it may also have to tackle a potential falling out between Niles and Frasier.

The Frasier Reboot Is Essentially Replacing Niles With Alan

Frasier and Niles Crane drink coffee outside of Cafe Nervosa in Frasier

Based on what’s known about the Frasier revival, it may be trying to recreate the dynamic Frasier had with Martin and Niles with grown-up Freddy and David, respectively. Despite his dad and mom’s influence, Freddy opts to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become a civil servant as a firefighter. Meanwhile, David is more like a younger version of his dad. While Daphne also raised their son, Niles would likely have been more involved in David’s life compared to his brother with his son. So while he now lives in Boston, away from his parents, he has the same quirks as the younger Crane brother.

Related: Frasier Reboot’s Big Seattle Plot Hole Has A Heartbreaking Solution

However, although David is more of a carbon copy of Niles, he cannot be a companion to Frasier like his dad. That’s where Nicholas Lyndhurst’s Alan Cornwall comes in. Described as Frasier’s college friend, Alan re-enters the snobby psychiatrist’s life when he returns to Boston. Essentially, he will be Frasier’s new intellectual discourse partner. Grammer has been nothing but hyped up about Lyndhurst’s involvement in the Frasier revival series. While it’s very likely that he will be great in the role, there’s still longing to see Crane firstborn sit down with his younger brother and have the best conversations over coffee.

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