NBC and Paley Center Team for 'Will & Grace' Retrospective Ahead of Revival Launch

The Paley Center special will air Sept. 19, a week ahead of the beloved comedy's official return.
Courtesy of Photofest

NBC is bringing back the stars of Will & Grace earlier than planned.

The network is teaming with the Paley Center for Media on a new retrospective on the acclaimed comedy that is set to premiere Sept. 19, a little more than a week before the revival's official premiere.

The Paley Center Salutes the Best of Will & Grace will feature new interviews with stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally, creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, and longtime director James Burrows. The hourlong special will also include never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage from the comedy and best moments from the show's original eight-season run.

Brad Lachman Productions will produce the special telecast in association with the Paley Center. President and CEO Maureen J. Reidy will exec produce with Lachman and Diane Lewis. Bill Bracken is attached as a co-executive producer.

The Paley Center Salutes the Best of Will & Grace will premiere Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 10 p.m.

"Throughout the eight years it aired, Will & Grace was critically acclaimed, beloved by audiences and often credited with moving the social/cultural needle, but most of all Will & Grace was really, really funny," said NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. "Teaming up with the wonderful people at the Paley Center, who are the experts at curating the best of television, is the perfect way to celebrate these witty, crazy characters and their incisive, hilarious take on the world before we're back in people's living rooms every week."    

NBC and the Paley Center teamed earlier this year for another retrospective, this one timed to the network's 90th anniversary. 

"Will & Grace not only made television history, but educated and delighted audiences with its positive portrayal of the LGBTQ community," Reidy said. "The Paley Center is incredibly proud to partner with NBC for this special look at one of television's most beloved and historical comedies in advance of its highly anticipated return this September."

The hourlong special is just another indication of NBC's high hopes for the Will & Grace revival. The network has already upped the season one order to 16 episodes and has also greenlighted a second season of the Universal TV comedy. Will & Grace originally ran on NBC from 1998 to 2006.