NBC has now increased the episode order size for the upcoming revival of the hit comedy TV series, Will & Grace. When the original Will & Grace cast reunited for a brief, election-themed mini episode last September, their familiar on-screen chemistry was a charming reminder of how this ’90s/’00s sitcom earned its popularity in the first place. With the current trend of TV revivals becoming a regularity, this reunion also tested the water for the possibility that this show too, could be worth a re-visit.
Will & Grace ran for eight seasons between 1998 and 2006. Created by returning producers Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, the show earned 16 Emmy awards out of 83 nominations and was the first primetime network show to feature LGBT characters in lead roles. Set in NYC, the show followed the lives and friendship of lawyer and interior designer Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Grace Adler (Debra Messing), along with their close actor and socialite friends, Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally). All four lead characters are on board for the new ninth season, which is expected to catch up with the characters ten years on from the last time audiences saw them.
Deadline is reporting that NBC is treating the Will & Grace revival as a main attraction for its next season line-up, showcasing it within the network’s marketing campaigns and even upping the episode order, as a response to what they clearly see as being a safe bet in terms of future success. As it turns out, NBC have so much faith in the upcoming Will & Grace revival, the network has extended the original plan for a 10 episode limited series to a 12 episode order.
Fans will be excited to see where the four friends are, a decade beyond where we left them. As the final episode explored a flash-forward future in which the titular characters had grown apart (much later than this revival will take place), it is likely that these events will be ignored – for now at least. What the revival is expected to feature is the main characters’ children, adding another theme to the content. The show was also known for attracting a variety of celebrity cameos, which could be a clever device once again, if treated astutely.
Although Will & Grace is credited with pioneering a platform for LGBT characters in mainstream TV, it was also criticized at times for relying on comedic tropes that promoted unfavorable stereotyping. Like many popular sitcoms from this era and earlier, much of the cliche reliant humor no longer stands up against the more culturally aware and diverse contemporary entertainment modern audiences demand. It will be interesting to see how Mutchnick and Kohan will respond to these changes within the comedy climate. With a legacy of spearheading LGBT acceptance to live up to, original fans will be expecting equal greatness from the revival.
Will & Grace returns to NBC during the 2017/2018 TV season.
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