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'The Good Wife' Brings 'Frasier' Star David Hyde Pierce Back to TV (Exclusive)

The actor returns to the small screen with a major season-six arc

David Hyde Pierce Headshot - P 2014
Joan Marcus
David Hyde Pierce

Emmy and Tony winner David Hyde Pierce is headed back to television.

The Frasier star is joining The Good Wife's sixth season in a major recurring role, marking his return to the small screen for the first time in more than 10 years, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

First appearing in episode seven, Pierce will play a highly respected cable news legal commentator who is so disgusted by the corruption and murder rate in Chicago that he decides to run for office. It is the actor's first significant TV appearance since Frasier concluded in 2004.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled and flattered that David’s making The Good Wife his first TV role since Frasier,” said showrunners/executive producers Robert and Michelle King. “We’re tremendous fans of his dramatic skills as well as his comedy.”

Pierce's casting comes on the heels of Julianna Margulies' second Emmy win for her portrayal of Alicia Florrick on the critically lauded Good Wife. He joins a slew of notable additions in season six, including Taye Diggs, Steven Pasquale and Connie Nielsen. Margulies leads a main cast that features Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, Matt Czuchry, Alan Cumming, Matthew Goode, Makenzie Vega and Zach Grenier.

"We've shot four episodes of season six, and so far, I'm letting go of the nerves," Margulies said backstage at the Emmys of the pressures of living up to the fifth season, considered one of the show's strongest. "[The writers are] showing up and they’re doing a great job." 

Earlier this year Robert King told THR that season six will feature "more serialization and getting more complex in the storytelling." "Bold moves are always what you want to do, but our show is not a hand grenade-a-minute going off. The bigger explosions have to happen on the personal level," he said.

Repped by WME, Pierce won four Emmys for portraying Dr. Niles Crane on Frasier. Since the series ended, he appeared briefly on Sesame Street in 2012 and made voice cameos on The Simpsons. On the film side, he has starred in Sleepless in Seattle, Nixon, Wet Hot American Summer and lent his voice to A Bug's Life. Also a prolific performer on the stage, Pierce won a Tony for Curtains, was nominated for Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike and starred in Monty Python's Spamalot and La Bete. He'll next make his Broadway directorial debut with the musical It Shoulda Been You next spring.

The Good Wife returns at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21 on CBS.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
Twitter: @insidethetube