The cast of reboot comedy Will & Grace put up a united front over the weekend as they announced the unanimous decision to say a final goodbye to the show and characters we’ve all come to love over the past two decades.
The Will & Grace reboot has been one of the more successful reboots of late with the show returning for seasons nine through eleven after an eleven year hiatus. Over the weekend, the announcement to end the show was made through official statements and social media channels.
The final season is currently shooting and will have eighteen episodes in total, matching the extended tenth season of the show.
Will & Grace is currently streaming on STAN in Australia.
Since the news broke that NBC were two thumbs up for the Will & Grace revival, a slew of information has been streaming out about what to expect when the show returns for a brand new run in late September (Sept 29th on NBC to be precise). From how THAT original finale plays out into this series to who’s back, who’s missing and who’s stopping by I’ve put everything you need to know about the Will & Grace finale into one single fabulous post!
The Revival: Even before a single episode has aired of this new season, NBC have already confirmed the show will be back in 2018 for another 13 episode round. This new season (officially classed as season 9) has already been extended from its originally announced 13 episodes to 16 while at present, season 10 is sitting at 13.
This revival came about thanks to that hilarious election themed mini-reunion episode with NBC taking note of the huge response from fans old and new and went about ordering a 10 episode season revival.
How will the original finale play into this return?: The original finale that aired back in 2006 saw Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) parting ways for almost 20 years, with both characters married (Will to Vince played by Bobby Cannavale and Grace to Leo (Harry Connick, Jr) and each couple with a child. The last scenes in that finale saw Will & Grace eventually reunite after their college aged children ended up living across from each other at the campus dorm.
Even though this return will be classed as the show’s 9th season and takes place only 11 years after the finale, the entire dissolution of the friendship and each couples kids will be ‘erased’ from the Will & Grace history. Talking to EW, co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan said‘When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?” And if they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ‘cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.”
The Core Cast: The revival will see Will and Grace living together as the two did for the bulk of the series’ run with Jack (Sean Hayes) living across from them and Karen (Megan Mullally) still a rich boozy socialite living in her mansion. Will is still working as a corporate lawyer, Grace remains an interior designer but with a bigger office and working with current day design technology along with ‘assistant’ Karen while Jack, who flitted from ‘acting’ to retail to student nurse to acting teacher during the shows original run will be back in his latter career teaching the ‘Jackting’ method of acting.
The Recurring Cast: Shelley Morrison who played Karen’s long suffering, viper tongued maid Rosario Salazar confirmed she won’t be back for the revival. Morrison has now retired from acting, with the exception of a small appearance in the 2016 Will & Grace political themed mini episode. Rosario won’t be forgotten on ignored with Mutchnick adding “The audience has come to know and love her — as we do — and we’re dealing with her as a character and we’re writing to it very specifically.”
Along with Rosario’s absence, the revival will touch on Grace’s mother Bobbi Adler played by the late Debbie Rynolds.
Confirmed to return are thee integral characters to the Will & Grace history – Harry Connick, Jr as Grace’s husband Leo, Bobby Cannavale as Will’s husband Vince and Minnie Driver as Karen’s British nemesis Lorraine Finster. Noting that the 2006 finale is being wiped, how Leo and Vince fit into this revival is yet to be seen considering Will and Grace will be back living together.
No word yet on Leslie Jordan as Karen’s best friend/enemy number one Beverly Leslie, Blythe Danner as Will’s widowed mother Marilyn Truman or Tom Gallop and Leigh-Allyn Baker as game night friends Rob and Ellen.
Update Sept 18th: Michael Angarano is a confirmation to return having filmed his scenes last week. Angarano played Jack’s son Elliot for 12 episodes during the original run and is currently tapped for a single episode in season 9.
The Guest Stars: From Madonna to Demi Moore, Cher and Britney Spears, the original series run never shied away from nabbing big named stars to appear on the show and this next season won’t be any different with the recent news that Glee’s Jane Lynch, Girls star Andrew Rannells and 2017 Tony Award winner Ben Platt have all signed on to guest star in season 9.
When and how to watch: Will & Grace season 9 begins Thursday September 28th as part of NBC’s must-see-TV lineup at 9/8c in the states while here in Australia, the series begins on Friday the 29th on streaming service STAN
This post will be updated as news comes about for the sew season.
Remember when, after FRIENDS, Lisa Kudrow tried to move on and leave Phoebe Buffay behind with The Comeback? Probably not right. Not many people watched, (you should have though – very funny) but people were not ready to see a popular actress portray another role other than the one they love. Heck, Megan Mullally’s next venture after Will & Grace didn’t fare any better. Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc, Doug Savant, Matthew Perry, Debra Messing, Laura Leighton, Jason Alexander…most have had numerous failed attempts at moving on before finding the right program for them
This is where some of Sean Saves The World finds it’s problems. Sean Hayes almost went into hiding after the end of Will & Grace until showing up in this so-so comedy and while watching the pilot, it felt like I was watching Sean Saves the World starring Jack McFarland.
Yep, I said it. This is a poor man’s Will & Grace where Grace is Sean’s teenage daughter Ellie, Karen is his loveable/hate-able mother Lorna and Hayes picking up the Will and Jack roles. The whole thing does not feel right at all. Strip everything back, you’d be left with a run of the mill sitcom about a gay man whose teenage daughter suddenly moves in with him while at the same time his work life becomes more demanding. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a sitcom after all. The heavy themes never really come into play here.
Blame however cannot be put solely on Sean Hayes. In the end, he is a master of his craft and works with what has been given to him (including the copious amount of make-up he sports in the pilot episode). The set-up of the teenage daughter suddenly appearing to live with him is confusing. I honestly don’t really know if they had much of a father/daughter relationship before this – I think there may have been a weekend on and off situation going on. They both act like they haven’t (insert awkward conversations about her conception here) yet Sean’s daughter Ellie (Samantha Isler) comes to his aid to help with save his job and Sean finds himself with literally no idea on how to parent his daughter.
Also, don’t get me started on Sean’s new boss, Max (Thomas Lennon). Yes, Max is supposed to be a character we’re not going to like but Lennon portrays Max with such evil boss cliques it’s like he is the new bad guy in the next Bond film – all he’s missing is the white fluffy cat on his lap. While i’m on it, the rest of Sean’s co-workers were pretty ‘bleh’ as well. I guess they are only fillers but I felt like Megan Hilty (Smash) as Liz was a bit of a wasted role. The only real saving grace here is Linda Lavin as Sean’s loud mouthed mother Lorna. She’s nabbing most of the laugh quotes and plays well off Hayes.
Look, If you can ignore Hayes’ over made face full of make-up and the laugh track that’s set on to loud you might like it. While there is nothing really ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ here, there are some (some) funny scenes and yes, it is great to see Hayes not only back on our screens but also exert some physical comedy but my advice to those behind the scenes…to make the show somewhat more watch-able, loose the laugh track and loose either the character of Max or remove Thomas Lennon…one or both are really hurting.