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The Will & Grace revival is coming back for more.
NBC announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour that the revival has already been renewed for a 13-episode second season ahead of the show’s highly anticipated return.
Additionally, NBC has ordered four more episodes for season one of the multicamera effort, bringing the total to 16.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt broke the news right before the panel for the show kicked off at the summer press tour.
In addition to returning stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes, creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick return as showrunners, joined by fellow executive producer James Burrows. Burrows, who directed every episode of the original series, will return in the same capacity on the revival. Additionally, Alex Herschlag, Tracy Poust, Jon Kinnally and Tim Kaiser will also exec produce.
The return to TCA for the team was fitting given the revival was officially announced at the winter press tour. It came several months after the entire creative team reunited for a short video meant to promote Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. At the time, the stars expressed their excitement about a potential reunion and talks quickly began with NBC.
The TCA panel also came the day after the first table read for the revival.
The renewal gives NBC a foothold in the multicamera world despite its focus on single-camera offerings like Superstore and The Good Place in recent years. The broadcaster canceled the third-year acclaimed multicam The Carmichael Show and will debut a new series, Marlon, later this month. Other comedies on the network include midseason single-cams A.P. Bio and Champions.
Like much of NBC’s originals slate, Will & Grace hails in-house from Universal Television. NBC is clearly feeling “bullish,” as Greenblatt phrased it earlier in the day, about just how many eyeballs the revival will bring to the network, which is coming off a strong 2016-17 season thanks to the success of This Is Us. The revival landed a coveted Thursday time slot for fall.
NBC also promoted the revival heavily at its May upfront presentation to advertisers, for which the four stars filmed a special musical number before appearing together onstage.
Will & Grace is one of a handful of revivals to return for a second round. Fox will unveil a new batch of X-Files episodes in early 2018, and production recently began on season five of Arrested Development for Netflix. The streaming giant is also launching Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later on Friday, which is a sequel to both the indie film and the first series released by Netflix.
The Will & Grace renewal, and the revival itself, is especially surprising considering Kohan and Mutchnick sued the network in 2003, in the midst of the show’s run, over rights. The duo subsequently were not involved in later seasons of the show before they settled the suit in 2007.
When asked about their return to NBC more than a decade later, Mutchnick pointed to the change in administration at the network. “Bob Greenblatt’s NBC is very different than Jeff Zucker’s NBC,” Mutchnick said in reference to the two NBC Entertainment chairmen. “We’re very, very happy to be a part of Bob Greenblatt’s NBC. That’s why we’re here.
“We cannot say enough about what a tremendous advocate Bob has been for us and the show and we’re here because of him.”
When addressing the lawsuit specifically, Kohan referenced the original 2006 series finale. The final episode famously ended with a time-jump 20 years into the future when Grace’s daughter with Leo and Will’s son with Vince meet in college. However, Kohan and Mutchnick recently revealed that the revival will ignore that ending and act as if it never happened. “The lawsuit went away like the finale,” Kohan said with a laugh. “It never happened.”
In addition to making new episodes of the beloved half-hour, Mutchnick said they are also working on finding a streaming home for the classic episodes of Will & Grace. “We are working on it, but it’s super-complex. There are a lot of parts to that,” he said. “We are working on it, and we hope that soon we’re going to be making the show available in that form because it should be.”
NBC also released a new promo for the revival Thursday, which shows footage from the cast’s real-life reunions.
Will & Grace premieres Thursday, Sept. 28, on NBC.
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