The gangs back, honey! Will & Grace returns to NBC this fall more than a decade after the show’s 2006 series finale. The shows fab foursome – Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Karen (Megan Mullally), and Jack (Sean Hayes) – are all back for the Emmy-winning sitcom’s revival. But how did we get here, after more than a decade apart?
Will & Grace Makes History
Understanding how historic Will & Grace‘s original run was is key to understand why it’s amaze that it’s coming back. The groundbreaking sitcom was the first to star two prominent gay characters, Jack and Will. The show didn’t make their sexuality a sticking point – their relationships weren’t sensationalized and they were as messy and lovely as any heterosexual couple on television at the time. This portrayal, along with their friendships with co-dependent Grace and booze-swilling, pill-popping Karen helped to normalize gay characters on television.
The show was a huge gamble for network television at that time. When it was pitched NBC exec Don Olmeyer exclaimed, “What f–ing world do you live in where you think America wants to watch [this]?” Having not one but two gay leads in a primetime series was completely unheard of at the time. But initial test screenings showed a different view – the audience embraced it completely. The show was undeniably going to be a hit and therefore lived to see airing. And the rest is history.
The Fab Four Reunites
The revival was set into motion after the cast came together for a one-off special about the election last November. The cast had so much fun that they mused doing it again. As Megan Mullally recalls,
“Max just emailed the four of us and said, ‘Hey guess what? I have the set and we should do something, and within 45 minutes, all of us said yes. I read the script and I put it down and I called Max and said, ‘Why can’t we do it again?’ And he said, ‘We can.’”
The revival was then born from the enthusiasm of the cast and fans who loved seeing their favorite characters reunited once more. Harry Connick Jr. was also spotted on the set — meaning we’ll likely see his character, Leo in the reboot. That said, because the show has opted to pretend the last episode during the original run never happened, Leo and Grace may not be married. Messing kind of
confirmed that Grace and Leo were no longer together to TV Guide when she said, “I hope that we see [Grace] dating because that’s always fun.” Who knows, though!
Who’s Coming Back
The whole gang is back and better than ever! Will & Grace & Jack & Karen will ignite TV screens as a foursome again. The ensemble has some of the best sitcom chemistry of all time. Maybe even better than the friends of Friends. I know, *controversial.* But let’s be honest – the real star here is Mullally. Karen Walker has more chemistry talking to a brick wall than most television characters have in their most romantic moments.
It’s going to be compelling to see how the gang takes on the issues of the day – especially as New Yorkers during a Trump presidency. When talking about the shows return McCormack said,
“The hardest thing we have to deal with is when some of the people around us voted for people we didn’t vote for. How do we maintain that friendship? That will lead the conversation. It’s about the politics of friendship and how you navigate that.”
I can totally see Karen voting for Trump. She’s amazing, but she’s cray.
The show is not only returning with its original cast but its original crew, also. Back in the director’s seat is legendary sitcom director, James Burrows, who directed every episode of the original series. Burrows has directed episodes of basically all of your fave ’90s hit shows, including many Friends episodes and almost the entire run of Cheers.
Also returning are original creators and showrunners Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, the men responsible for the witty banter Will & Grace became known for. After bringing the cast together for that fateful election short, they realized there was more to be done here than just a single episode event.
Back to Its Must-See TV Roots
During its original run, Will & Grace was a touchstone of NBC‘s iconic “Must-See TV” era. During that time it dominated the 9 PM Thursday night timeslot. NBC may be hoping to recreate some of the ratings magic Will & Grace had during that time because it’s plopped it right back into that timeslot.
More Fun to Come
The sitcoms “first” (i.e. ninth) season begins on September 28th, and it’s already beefier than originally intended. The episode order was bumped from 12 to 16 earlier this month, giving the show more time to find its groove again.
The fun isn’t stopping there, though – the show has already been renewed for a 13-episode second season before the first even airs. NBC is putting all its eggs in one basket with the shows grand return. But why shouldn’t it? Will & Grace is one of the funniest sitcoms ever so more time in this world sounds just about perfect.
The Premiere Date
The Will & Grace revival will be back on NBC on September 28 at 9 PM. Set your DVRs now and check out the trailer below to get pumped for the return of the sassiest foursome on TV!