The Fab Four: 'Will & Grace' Return Promises 'Elegance and Magic'

Jim Halterman
Fall Preview Maarten de Boer/NBC

Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally

Excited about the return of this groundbreaking comedy? Sean Hayes sure is. When the actor sat down last month with Will & Grace costars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally for the first table read since the show ended in 2006, he found the experience “a thrill you can’t even describe.” The Emmy-winning foursome hasn’t missed a beat, gushes cocreator Max Mutchnick. “It was pure elegance and magic to watch.”

Revival talks with NBC came together quickly last fall following the cast’s viral 2016 election video. One glitch—that pesky series finale that featured Will and Grace meeting up again after a 20-year estrangement. Well, forget that ever happened. Mutchnick and cocreator David Kohan decided, instead, to get back to basics. “The cast dynamic that we understood and loved was the main thing we wanted,” Kohan says.

NBC at TCA: 'Will & Grace' Deletes Its Past, Why 'This Is Us' Is Staying on Tuesdays and More

NBC at TCA: 'Will & Grace' Deletes Its Past, Why 'This Is Us' Is Staying on Tuesdays and More

NBC executives talked about how the rebooted 'Will & Grace' will deal with the original series' finale, and the network's new initiative to seek female directors, among other topics.

The series picks up with the pals’ respective careers thriving—Grace still an interior designer, Will a lawyer—but “they’ve had setbacks in their personal lives,” Mutchnick reveals. In between licking their wounds in Will and Grace’s apartment, the group will have some work to do on their friendship. “In any relationship, you have to reset the dynamic sometimes,” Mutchnick adds. “We watch them work on that in the first episode.” Aspiring actor Jack still lives across the hall (and is teaching “Jackting”), and Karen continues to seek her next cocktail.

Karen’s sassy maid Rosario won’t be back (Shelley Morrison has retired), but Grace’s ex Leo (Harry Connick Jr.) briefly will. The revival will also address the absence of Grace’s mother, played by the late Debbie Reynolds. Casting stunts aside, when familiar faces return, the producers have one rule of thumb: “We are doing our best to bring back the characters that work for our stories,” Mutchnick says. Here’s hoping Matt Damon is free.

Will & Grace, Premieres Sept. 28, 9/8c, NBC

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This article also appeared in the Sept. 4–17 issue of TV Guide Magazine

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