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The worst thing that happens on the set of Will & Grace is that director James Burrows has to constantly tell Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes to stop goofing off in the corner.
Otherwise, the NBC reboot has been a perfect model of how to successfully bring back a comedy classic. “It feels like a time-travel show,” says Eric McCormack (Will Truman). “It feels like it’s still 2006. If anything, we all went away and had a life for 11 years. Nobody came back with their tail between their legs. We’ve all come back as grown-ups. So this feels like a victory lap.”
Surrounding themselves with former colleagues from the original has certainly helped to make the reunion easier. “Even a lot of the camera guys are the same,” says Mullally, who plays the saucy Karen Walker.
But everyone believes the show would be nowhere without creators-EPs David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who’ve managed to contemporize the jokes (like when Karen called Beverley Leslie a “Dixie Dinklage”) without sacrificing the show’s naughty tone.
“Every week they write us gifts,” chimes in Hayes, whose character, Jack McFarland, has never felt fresher. “It’s beyond anybody’s expectations.”
And the proof is in their weekly studio audience. Says Grace Adler herself, Debra Messing: “There is just so much joy on show night. There’s food, dancing, music. It’s really a party, so, in that way, it feels exactly the same as it used to be.”
Will & Grace returns with original episodes beginning Jan. 4.