Max Mutchnick said it took only 40 minutes for everyone to say yes.
When he and longtime collaborator David Kohan concocted a way to reunite the cast of Will & Grace for an election special last fall, it was an easy sell to stars Eric McCormack (Will Truman), Debra Messing (Grace Adler), Megan Mullally (Karen Walker), and Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland).
“It was amazing,” recalls Mutchnick, who created and executive produced the NBC comedy from 1998 to 2006. “We gave them a date and brought everybody back together. Everybody pretty much to a person, say for about three people, they showed up. We had everybody from the pilot do this. It was incredible. In front of and behind the camera, we had every single member.”
In fact, some of the cast members were already thinking much much bigger than an over nine-minute video that encouraged folks to vote.
“I was sitting on the couch in my house, reading the script and then I emailed Max and I said, ‘Why can’t we do this show again?’ And he emailed right back saying ‘We can!’” remembers Mullally. Adds Messing, “I always thought about the four of us as being like an orchestra and each of us playing a different instrument and creating a musical together. Comedy is music. Once we started playing the music again, it was like, ‘Oh, I know how this song goes.’ ”
And that’s how the reboot of one of TV’s most influential sitcoms began. On Sept. 28, the Fab Four will reunite for 12 episodes of the comedy that lasted for eight seasons on NBC – and EW got the scoop on what Mutchnick and Kohan have in store for their old friends.
In the newest issue of EW, the writing duo reveal how they will address the comedy’s 2006 series finale, and whether the plotlines from that much-talked about series ender will carry forward into the new iteration. Plus, Mutchnick and Kohan discuss how they are contemporizing the show’s conceit, and whether its history of featuring high-profile guest stars will continue in the new season.
“The strangest thing about it is how comfortable and natural everybody has been with the whole thing,” Mutchnick tells EW. “We did this having not seen each other for 10 years and then decided one day to show up to work and got right back to it. Here we are. That’s a pretty bizarre thing.”