The Will & Grace revival, currently airing its first season, has been renewed by NBC for a third season. The new show continues the story of the core cast of the 1998 series, with Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Grace Adler (Debra Messing) still single, bickering, codependent best friends. Image-conscious Jack (Sean Hayes) is of course struggling the most with accepting his age, and tipsy socialite Karen (Megan Mullally) is an unabashed Trump supporter.
Will & Grace is just one of my TV revivals that have continued the stories of the original series, with FOX bringing The X-Files back for two more additional seasons, Netflix giving Gilmore Girls a sequel miniseries with Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and Showtime bringing back Twin Peaks for one more season. A cornerstone of NBC's "Must-See TV" heydey, Will & Grace earned renewed buzz when the cast reunited for an online video supporting Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. After the revival was officially underway, the network showed a lot of confidence in the show, renewing it for a second season before the first had even premiered.
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With 14 of 16 episodes of season 1 now aired, Deadline reports that NBC has ordered a third, 18-episode season for Will & Grace. This will include "sizable salary increases" for the four lead actors, who are currently earning about $250,000 per episode. Unlike the leap of faith the season 2 renewal required, the show has proven its worth with an average of 9.8 million viewers in Live+7 results, and a 3.1 rating in the coveted 19-49 demographic.
Will & Grace has also earned a positive critical response, including two Golden Globe nominations this year, one for Best Musical or Comedy TV Series and a Best Actor nod for McCormack. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt confirmed that the network is immensely pleased with the show's return to primetime.
"As far as I’m concerned, we can’t get enough of Will & Grace, and 23 more episodes is music to my ears. We’re eternally grateful that Debra, Eric, Sean and Megan feel the same way and wanted to keep this good thing going. I’m overwhelmed by the euphoric response the new show has received from the press and the audience, and my hat is off to the unrivaled writing team of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, as well as the brilliant directing of Jimmy Burrows, for consistently delivering one of the best shows on television."
A groundbreaking show in its original run due to its portrayal of LGBT characters in lead roles, the new episodes have been able to be much more open and realistic about their relationships, while also ramping up the characters' sharp-witted, biting political commentary. Will & Grace still suffers from the occasional reliance on predictable and groan-worthy sitcom plots, but even the lesser episodes offer wickedly funny banter between the characters and at least a few timely zingers aimed at politicians or pop culture icons. As long as the show maintains this high quality, it's likely it will continue beyond the third season it's already booked for.
Will & Grace airs Thursdays at 9pm on NBC.