Will & Grace was one of the best loved sitcoms of the late '90s/ early '00s era, earning a massive 16 Emmy Awards and 83 nominations during its run, which lasted from 1998 to 2006. Over eight seasons, fans fell in love with Will (Eric McCormack), his best friend Grace (Debra Messing), and their hilariously outspoken friends, Karen (Megan Mullally) and Jack (Sean Hayes). The show broke down many barriers surrounding the stereotyping of gay men at that time, and though NBC called a halt to the show over a decade ago, its loyal fanbase remains.
Talk of a revival has been rumbling for a while now; following the success of Fuller House and the forthcoming revivals of Twin Peaks, Prison Break, and even That's so Raven. Back at the end of December, former Will & Grace guest star, Leslie Jordan, who frequently appeared on the show, said that NBC had commissioned a 10 episode run of the show. However, those reports were quickly downplayed by Messing, who took to Twitter to declare that nothing more than some early talks had taken place.
However, during the TCA Press Tour, NBC (via EW) confirmed today that Will & Grace will indeed be returning for a ten episode run, with all four central charcters reprising their roles. Original Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will once again serve as showrunners. James Burrows, who directed every episode of the show during its initial run, will direct and executive produce for the new season, too.
In a statement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt praised Will & Grace as one of the funniest, most defining comedies in NBC history, and added that the network is thrilled to have the show back where it belongs:
“This groundbreaking series for everything from gay rights to social and political commentary — all disguised as a high-speed train of witty pop culture — is coming back where it belongs.”
Meanwhile, Mutchnick said he was excited to write what Will, Grace, Karen and Jack are thinking about in 2017. No doubt some of their thoughts will reflect the current political climate in America, since talk of the reunion only happened after the quartet reformed for a short sketch following the Presidential Election result. Mutchnick's comments do suggest that the show will pick up in the present day, which suggests that the events of the 2006 finale won't have happened yet. In that scenario, as fans will recall, Will and Grace reunited after a long period of not speaking, when their kids moved to college. In fact, their kids went on to marry each other. So, will the revival completely ignore the falling out?
Before the revival was confirmed, Messing said that if the show did return, she would like to explore the "naughty version of Will & Grace," with the episodes airing on Netflix or Amazon. Though that might not be the case, Messing might still get her wish if the network decide to air the show in a later slot; a logical choice given that the returning fans are now all well into adulthood. So, if the Will & Grace revival is a hit, could Friends be next?!
Will & Grace will air on NBC during the 2017-2018 season.
Source: NBC (via EW)