It’s almost time for the return of NBC’s “must-see TV” lineup on Thursday nights, anchored by the highly anticipated revival of Will and Grace, which starts its 12-episode run on September 28. The show’s stars, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullaly, grace the cover of this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly Along with the show’s creators, Max Mutchnick and David Cohan, the cast talks about the return of the beloved sitcom.
The seeds for this revival were planted last fall when the actors reunited for a 10-minute video encouraging people to vote that was the talk of YouTube. According to Max Mutchnick, it only took “40 minutes” to get everyone on board. He told EW, “It was amazing. We gave them a date and brought everybody back together….We had everybody from the pilot do this. It was incredible. In front of and behind the camera, we had every single member.”
After the buzz from the video, the talks of a return for the series began in earnest. Megan Mullaly recalls, “I was sitting on the couch in my house, reading the script and then I emailed Max and I said, ‘Why can’t we do this show again?’ And he emailed right back saying ‘We can!’” Debra Messing says that the quartet’s enduring chemistry also helped bring the show’s return to fruition.
I always thought about the four of us as being like an orchestra and each of us playing a different instrument and creating a musical together. Comedy is music. Once we started playing the music again, it was like, ‘Oh, I know how this song goes.’
The reunion of the cast and crew went swimmingly, somewhat to the surprise of Mutchnick, who mused, “The strangest thing about it is how comfortable and natural everybody has been with the whole thing. We did this having not seen each other for 10 years and then decided one day to show up to work and got right back to it. Here we are. That’s a pretty bizarre thing.”
The show’s creative team are hoping viewers forgot about the series finale in 2006 which ended with Will and Grace drifting apart after they both became parents. Grace reconciled with her ex, Leo (played by Harry Connick Jr.) and had a daughter while Will raised a son with his former lover Vince (played by Bobby Canavale). Mutchnick and Kohan decided to just pretend the events of the finale never happened. From what they told EW, they certainly made the right decision. Take note, How I Met Your Mother.
“We spent most of our time trying to figure out what would be the way to make the show the best version of itself coming back after 11 years,” executive producer/creator Max Mutchnick tells EW. “That finale really caused us a lot of grief. You write a finale because a show is over. You never think that it’s coming back again.”
“When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?” adds executive producer/creator David Kohan. “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.”
I hope they really just forget about the flash-forward finale and don’t try to explain it. I doubt it though, as Megan Mullaly joked with EW, “They did tell me my first line. My first line is, ‘I had the weirdest dream.’ I don’t know what that signifies.” She is kidding, right? And, Harry Connick Jr. fans, don’t fret, the singer/actor will be making an appearance on the new season.
I’m still excited for the return of Will and Grace. I love the characters (especially Jack and Karen) and can’t wait to catch up with them. I hope that, as Max Muthnck described the return after almost 11 years, “That stew tastes even better.” Let’s hope so. Stew can go either way, and there’s nothing worse than bad stew.
Photos: Entertainment Weekly, WENN.com