Peter's role as John Cage on Ally McBeal was his fifth major role as a lawyer. He also played an attorney in a guest star appearance on an episode of Tales from the Crypt.
In 2003 Peter starred in a sitcom pilot for CBS called Crazy Love. He and Valerie Bertinelli played a married couple who adopted a baby girl from China. William Daniels and Cloris Leachman played his parents and Jonathan Silverman played his friend. The show was not picked up by the network for the 2003-2004 season.
Peter is not related to Kristy McNichol. Their last names are spelled differently and Kristy has a brother named Jimmy.
According to Ausiello at TV Guide, Peter beat out Mark Linn-Baker for his role on 24.
Peter has narrated at least 20 audio books, including Beach Music by Pat Conroy, Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox and Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The Slave Dancer audio book won an AudioFile Earphones Award.
Peter's wife, Marsue, runs The Corie Williams Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for inner-city children in Los Angeles.
Peter has said that Maverick is his favorite television show of all time.
Peter received his education at the University of Minnesota and the New York University's filmmakers intensive program.
Peter plays the bagpipes.
Although Peter guest starred in the seventh episode of The Lyon's Den, the series was cancelled after the sixth episode, and American viewers never got to see him.
Peter starred in the short film Behind the Curtain.
Peter was nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for 'Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series', for Ally McBeal in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He won 'Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series', with the cast of Ally McBeal in 1999. The cast was also nominated for that award in 2000 and 2001.
Peter was nominated to receive a Golden Satellite Award for 'Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Comedy or Musical' for Ally McBeal in 2003.
Peter won an Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series', for Ally McBeal in 2001. He was nominated for the same award in 1999 and 2000.
Peter played a happy camp counselor in the film, Addams Family Values, where he shared the screen with a nerdy young camper played by David Krumholtz. They also worked together on the short-lived series, The Lyon's Den when Peter guest starred in the episode "The Quantum Theory". Now they play friends (mentor and prodigy) on the TV show Numb3rs.
He spends his summer holidays in a small village in Northern Spain where a friend of his has a house.
Peter is 5'8" tall.
Peter has been married to Martha Sue Cumming since October 11, 1986. They have had one son together.
Peter: (about his role in the film, "Bean") I play the person who exists to have his life destroyed by Mr. Bean. My character happens to be the curator of a heavily endowed art museum. But he's actually just the picnic to which Mr. Bean brings the ptomaine and salmonella.
Peter: Acting is about covering up traces of who you are and just being the character. I think it's easier to accept people in roles if you don't know a lot about them.
Peter: (On the movie 'Breakin' All the Rules', which he starred in) This movie is a romantic comedy but very old-fashioned in its structure, very classical and elegant. It's a throw-back feeling to movies of another era, complete with mistaken identities and smart wit. That's what drew me to this project. It was really the script.
Peter: (On his character on 'Numb3rs') This character is very
mysterious. He's a little bit Yoda, a little bit [physicist] Richard Feynman, a little bit Dr. Watson. It was probably the third in a series of people [I've portrayed] who I would call a wise fool. It's appealing in that I don't know what is going on with this character. I don't understand his precise function in the story.