Will & Grace's revival season will ignore the events of the show's original series finale. Will & Grace was a popular, groundbreaking sitcom that ran from 1998 through 2006 on NBC. It wasn’t so much that the show featured gay characters - after all, many series had done that before - but that Will & Grace cultivated a specifically New York, gay sensibility, one that proved popular to mass audiences in a way that hadn’t been before. It had widespread influence too, with former Vice President Joe Biden once stating that the show helped him come around to his eventual support of same-sex marriage.
After the characters reunited for a video during last year’s presidential election, talk of a Will & Grace revival began - before it was officially announced back in January, with the whole cast and creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan all onboard. One question that has hung over the revival's head, however, is how exactly it will reconcile with the original series finale. That episode featured a series of flash-forwards depicting, essentially, the rest of the characters’ lives, including marriages and children, in the tradition of the famous Six Feet Under series finale the year before. In a new interview, the creators have shared their plan for getting around that.
In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kohan and Mutchnick revealed that the revival will… ignore the events of the finale, and leave both Will and Grace single and childless at the time of the new episodes. According to the interview:
This sort of situation shows how difficult it can be for show creators to pick up a series a decade later, when it already had a definitive finale. Sure, a series featuring Will and Grace’s husbands and children would have been true to the finale, but it wouldn’t have been true to the series that most people remember for most of its run (especially in its strong early seasons).
The Will & Grace cast always did great work together, much better than any of them have done, at least on television, apart, and the revival had its episode order increased, which is usually a good sign. That said, it-was-all-a-dream retconning, and memory-holing of whole plots and seasons, does not have a very good track record in television history. It will fall upon Mutchnick, Kohan and the rest of the creative team to write around that in a clever way.
Will & Grace returns to NBC on September 28.