Will & Grace lives!
NBC has ordered a 10-episode limited revival that will reunite stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally during the 2017-2018 TV season, the network announced at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Wednesday.
Original series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will act as showrunners and executive producers, while prolific director James Burrows, who directed every episode of the show during its initial eight-year run, is on board to direct and executive produce.
“We’re thrilled that one of the smartest, funniest, and most defining comedies in NBC history is coming back,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. “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.”
Said Mutchnick: “Dave and I are absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to write what Will, Grace, Jack and Karen are thinking about in 2017.”
EW had confirmed in October that NBC was in very early talks for a revival of the Must-See TV comedy, which originally aired from 1998 to 2006. The talks came in the wake of a buzzed-about election short that reunited the quartet after a decade and name-checked Fifty Shades of Grey, Hamilton, and Donald Trump.
“We started talking with Mutchnick and Kohan about producing new episodes right after they shot the secret reunion show back in September,” said President of NBC Entertainment Jennifer Salke. “And the fact that all four of the original stars were excited about getting back into production is a testament to the joyful experience they had doing nearly 200 episodes for eight seasons. Few things cut through the clutter these days, especially in comedy, and Will and Grace is one of the best.”
The news also comes on the heels of frequent guest star Leslie Jordan recently revealing that the long-running comedy would be back for 10 episodes. Shortly after, Messing shot down his assertion, saying that there’s been “nothing beyond talks” about the revival. Messing had previously told PEOPLE in September, “If there was a Will & Grace 2.0, my wish is that we did 10 [episodes] on, like, Netflix or Amazon or somewhere where it could be the naughty version of Will & Grace.”
A staple of NBC’s Must-See TV lineup, Will & Grace earned 16 Emmy Awards and 83 nominations over its eight-season run, with each of the cast receiving at least one win for their performance throughout the series. The show itself became one of the highest-rated sitcoms in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic from 2001-2005, attracting more than 18 million total viewers for its series finale in 2006.
The question remains where the comedy will pick up. In the series finale, Will and Grace had a years-long falling out until they crossed paths again while moving their respective children into college — their kids eventually get married. Would the series then take place post-reunion? Or simply ignore the events of the finale, as the election short seemed to do?