8:15am PT by Jackie Strause
'Will & Grace': All the Details About the Final Season
Will & Grace is readying to have its final run.
The third season of the revived NBC comedy, which will be the 11th overall for the series, will see the foursome of Will Truman (Eric McCormack), Grace Adler (Debra Messing), Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) wrapping it up with a grand finale — for the second time — with a surprise early return on Oct. 24.
Ahead of the Emmy-winning show's last bow, The Hollywood Reporter has rounded up all the details.
The Final Season Comes Early
Will & Grace was initially set to begin its final run in 2020, returning for the midseason schedule. NBC decided to pull freshman comedy Sunnyside from its Thursday lineup, however, and gave Will & Grace the 9:30 p.m. slot in its place. The late-in-the-game decision moved up the final-season premiere to Oct. 24, giving the world a week's warning to the classic comedy's anticipated return.
Where Things Left Off
After teasing a wedding all season, one of the four main characters made it down the aisle in the finale of the revival's second year. Jack got a version of his big gay wedding during an improvised airport ceremony with fiance Estefan Gloria (Brian Jordan Alvarez) after their destination wedding party's flight was canceled. The "I dos" marked a milestone moment for the show, which has been a trailblazing comedy for the LGBTQ community since the original premiered in 1998. "Just saying the words 'husband' and 'gay' out loud is very powerful out in the world," Hayes, a GLAAD honor recipient, told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the finale of the influence Will & Grace can have both on and off screen.
The ceremony prompted Will to accept a marriage proposal from his long-distance newsman boyfriend McCoy Whitman (guest star Matt Bomer) and Grace makes a spontaneous decision to travel to Europe with a charming stranger (played by Veep's Reid Scott) and leave her curmudgeonly boyfriend Noah (David Schwimmer) behind. Karen, meanwhile, after exploring a romance with guest star Samira Wiley, took the opportunity to tell the entire airport that she has realized she is indeed straight. The cliffhanger finale capped a timely season that tackled the #MeToo era with a powerful reveal from Grace, gave Will's memorable coming out episode a 2019 update and tackled hot-button topics like immigration along the way.
The Star-Studded Guest Players
Will & Grace has long boasted a revolving door of guest stars and the final season is shaping up to bring back some its biggest players, while also adding new faces to the mix.
Now that Will has proposed, Bomer will return in a recurring role as McCoy, and Alvarez will also be back as Jack's husband Estefan. Blythe Danner will recur as Will's mom, Marilyn Truman — there is no official word yet on Martin Adler (Robert Klein), Grace's father and Marilyn's husband. Vanessa Bayer will also return to reprise her brief but impactful role as Amy, a bakery owner from Karen’s past in the politically charged MAGA cake episode.
The newcomers include Ryan Phillippe, playing himself; Demi Lovato in the role of Jenny, a tough and guarded woman who comes into Will’s life in an unexpected way; Patton Oswalt as Danley Walker, the brother to Karen's ex-husband Stanley in a three-episode arc; and Chris Parnell and Ali Wentworth as Dr. DiLorenzo and Dr. Saperstein, respectively. Other guest players include Gus Kenworthy, Miss Coco Peru and Joel McHale.
And in a touching piece of casting, Billie Lourd will play the on-screen granddaughter of her real-life late grandmother Debbie Reynolds, who recurred during the original run as Grace's mother Bobbi Adler. (The reboot paid tribute to Reynolds.) Lourd plays Grace's niece, Fiona (her mother is played by Mary McCormack), for a one episode appearance. "I loved Debbie, I loved Carrie [Fisher] and I love this apple who did not fall far from her trees," wrote co-creator Max Mutchnick on Instagram along with a picture of Lourd on set. Fisher, Lourd's mother, and Reynolds died one day apart in 2016.
When it comes to Grace's romantic future, there is no official word yet on if Schwimmer, whose recurring role was extended last season, will return. But shortly before the season premiere, the official Will & Grace Twitter account listed Scott's name among the final season guest stars. (More on that below.)
The Trailer's Big Bombshell
The first footage for the new season comes in the form of a one-minute trailer, which centers on a major bombshell: Grace is pregnant. As to be expected, jokes ensue about her age. "Aren't you a little... old?" a stranger on the subway asks an emotional Grace, who emphatically replies, "Yes!" And both Will and Jack get in their digs. "By the time this baby's my age I'll be... well, I'll be dead," says Will. And Jack retorts, "You're trying to cook a baby in an old 1970s Easy-Bake, lady."
In the footage, there is no mention of who the father is and, given the cliffhanger ending with Scott's romantic stranger, he could certainly be an option. At one point in the trailer, when showing off baby clothes, Grace uses the collective "we' when explaining what they bought.
What The Team Has Said About the Final Season
While the first season functioned as a way to get the foursome back together, the second saw the four main characters doing more soul-searching in their individual quests to find love. The first season opened Will and Grace's eyes to their mutual codependency and the second saw them each taking a leap away from each other and towards love. If reboot season one was a reunion and season two was them growing up, what will season three be?
While the co-creators have yet to speak out about what's in store for the end, Messing took to social media after news broke about the final season to say, "We are all committed to making this season the best ever, and to wrap up the story of Will, Grace, Jack and Karen in a way that feels meaningful and right."
Why It's Ending
The final season will consist of another round of 18 episodes. The decision to make season three the last was a creative one between co-creators Mutchnick and David Kohan with the cast.
“We think of the Will & Grace reboot episodes the way Karen Walker thinks of martinis — 51 is not enough, 53 is too many. That is why, after consulting with the cast, we all have decided this will be the final season," creators Mutchnick, Kohan and exec producer/director Jim Burrows said at the time. “In 2016, Bob Greenblatt came to us with the idea of doing a 10-episode reboot of Will & Grace. They say you can’t go home again, but we did. And now, three seasons and 52 episodes later, we’re even more proud of something we never thought we’d get a chance to do again. We have had a once-in-a-lifetime experience twice. And for that, we owe a double debt of gratitude to NBC, this show's supportive and caring home since day one." The cast collectively toasted the return as a "miracle" when explaining the decision to end the show on their own terms.
The beloved multicamera comedy from Universal TV gave the actors a chance to reprise their award-winning roles and the show's return also helped monetize the Will & Grace library that sold to the now-Disney-owned Hulu in a massive SVOD deal. The revival, however, lost nearly half its viewers in the coveted adults 18-49 demo last season. THR reported that the cast had scored sizable raises from $250,000 per episode for the first season to $350,000 and that NBC is paying $2 million per episode.