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'Frasier' Star Pierce Sees Finish Line

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Goodbye Eddie, Martin, Roz, Daphne, Niles and, oh yes, Frasier.

“Frasier” costar David Hyde Pierce has announced at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York — where he costars in the new Renee Zellweger-Ewan McGregor romantic comedy “Down With Love” — that he believes the next season of “Frasier” will be its last.

That will mean an end after 11 years — though series star Kelsey Grammer will actually have played radio shrink Frasier Crane for 20 years, starting on the classic sitcom “Cheers.”

“I’m navigating away from Niles,” Pierce, 44, said of his uptight TV character during a press conference. “I have to make that transition gradually, though the most frequent suggestion from friends is I should really play a psychotic serial killer.”

As for the Tuesday-night sitcom, “I think the indications are that it’s going to end after this coming season,” Pierce said. “That’s sort of what we’ve been told. We shoot one more season and that would be it. We all hate to see it go. We all love it … We want it to go out classy.”

Although the series has slipped a bit in the ratings recently, it has over the years won 31 Emmy awards after receiving 96 nominations. Pierce alone has won three Emmys for his supporting role.

NBC tells Reuters that no final decision had been made about the sitcom beyond next season. NBC’s three-year “Frasier” license agreement with the show’s producer is reportedly due to expire in May 2004.