2:46pm PT by Jackie Strause
'Will & Grace' Books David Schwimmer for Key Guest Role
Grace Adler is getting a familiar new love interest on Will & Grace.
David Schwimmer has booked a recurring guest arc on the NBC revival as a new romantic interest for the character played by Debra Messing.
Along with Schwimmer, Chelsea Hander and returning players Alec Baldwin and Mary McCormack will also guest star in the upcoming season, NBC announced Wednesday. Season two of the reboot — technically season 10 for the Emmy-winning comedy from co-creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick — returns with 18 episodes in the fall. The series has already been renewed for a third season.
Schwimmer's gig on the Peacock Network marks his return to the "Must-See TV" Thursday night lineup once occupied by Friends. The arc also reunites Schwimmer with Friends director James Burrows, who directs and exec produces the revival.
The Emmy-nominated Friends alum last appeared on the small screen as Robert Kardashian in FX's American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, a role that also earned him an Emmy nomination, and in AMC's one-season drama Feed the Beast. Behind the camera, he most recently produced a series of anti-sexual harassment PSAs in response to the #MeToo movement and is executive producing the TV adaptation of Love for BBC Two.
“We just filmed our first episode, and I think we both were surprised at how much immediate chemistry we have,” Messing told The Hollywood Reporter at a recent event of Schwimmer. “His character is as far away from Ross [Geller] as you could possibly get, and his character really pushes Grace's buttons. It really brings out an energy that is new to the show, and that's really fun.”
Mutchnick and Kohan actually know Schwimmer from their days at Beverly Hills High School. “We've known him since we're in high school — Schwimmer, Max, and I, and it's kind of a homecoming of sorts which is really nice,” added Kohan.
The first season finale of the Will & Grace revival left best pals and roommates Grace and Will Truman (Eric McCormack) in existential crisis over the engagement of their parents, played by Robert Klein and Blythe Danner. Mary McCormack plays Grace's sister.
The season welcomed back a slew of high-profile guest stars, including Harry Connick Jr. to briefly reprise his role as Grace's ex-husband Leo.
The finale also saw Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) accept his new boyfriend's proposal and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) call off her long-term affair with lover Malcolm Widmark, played by Baldwin, to focus on her marriage.
Will & Grace nabbed five Emmy nominations for its revival season, including best supporting actress for Mullally. "Karen Walker and Malcolm Widmark are a great TV couple together — I also really, really love working with Alec. He’s a total pro and he’s the fucking funniest person. He’s only here for two days. So we rehearse one day and then we shoot it the next day," the actress told The Hollywood Reporter when announcing Baldwin's return, and revealing that Karen will get a divorce in the upcoming season.
When speaking about the finale and plans for season two, Mutchnick shed light on the revolving-door of guest stars who come through the comedy. "Once they’re on the show and when they fit in as well as they do, we hope to see these people over and over again because we feel like the audience likes it as much as we do," he told THR.
Will & Grace is set to return Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Schwimmer is repped by Gersh.
Aug. 20, 1:15 p.m. Updated with Messing and Kohan quotes.