‘Will and Grace’ Finale: Creators Talk Where They’re Going in Season 2 – and 3, for That Matter

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(Spoiler alert: Do not read ahead unless you have seen Thursday’s season finale of “Will & Grace.)

“Will & Grace” just aired its second Season 1 finale. Wait, it’s clear we’re referencing the final episode of the freshman installment of NBC’s revival, right? OK, good.

Thursday’s season-closer ended with a real jaw-dropper: Will’s (Eric McCormack) mother and Grace’s (Debra Messing) father hooked up and announced they are getting married, all in one episode. Which means the two BFFs are about to become brother and sister. Yeah. Ew.

Oh, and Jack (Sean Hayes) got engaged to his new boyfriend he literally just met on a trip to Ibiza, Spain, while Karen (Megan Mullally) ended her long-running affair with her lover (Alec Baldwin) to put her marriage first.

Also Read: ‘Will & Grace’ Bosses on ‘Roseanne’ Revival Success: ‘There’s Not One Part of Us That’s Jealous’

But TheWrap decided to focus on the real ick factor here in particular when asking Max Mutchnick and David Kohan — the co-creators and showrunners of NBC’s old/new hit — why they went with this family affair for a cliffhanger.

“The idea was that they had both sort of come to this point in their lives where they were very sanguine about where they were and what their life was,” Kohan said. “And Grace had made her peace about being single, being content with her lot. And Will recognized the folly of trying to really quickly rush into a relationship under the wire. And they had both gotten to the point where, ‘Hey things are good.’ And then suddenly circumstances conspire to show them maybe they shouldn’t be so sure of themselves.”

Those circumstances are Grace’s widower father Martin Adler (Robert Klein) and Will’s widow mother Marilyn Truman (Blythe Danner) making with a very fast engagement soon after sleeping together for the first time. And they actually say they are tying the knot because they don’t want to end up like their children, who are co-dependent and alone. Ouch.

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So Will and Grace are left with the awkward realization that, not only will they become siblings, but the choices they have made are what led their parents to this decision.

“They are accused of being too incestuous,” Kohan said. “And what happens now that they are literally incestuous? That’s the big question we land on.”

A question they have plenty of time to answer.

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“Will & Grace” was picked up for Season 2 before the revival premiered at the start of the 2017-2018 TV season, and the Peacock recently granted it a third season and upped the episode count for the sophomore installment.

But just because Kohan and Mutchnick have been given a long timeline to work with, that doesn’t mean they are filling it out.

“Things happen during the course of a season that I mean, yeah we might have an idea or we might have in the back of our minds something that we want two years down the road,” Kohan said. “But we also know that things happen during the course of a season. Relationships are made or moments sort of coalesce around something that we didn’t foresee, that move the show in a different direction. So to be married to a certain way to go or a certain way to end it — it’s written in pencil.”

Also Read: ‘Will & Grace’ Star Megan Mullally Reflects on 2005 Duet With Donald Trump (Video)

“One of the things that we’re so lucky to have on the show is a room full of very brilliant writers that we collaborate with every week,” Mutchnick added. “And so getting all of those opinions in when story camp starts is going to pave the way to the first episode of Season 2 — or 10, depending on what you want to call it.”

Kohan said they have a “few things” in the works now, but “everything is on the table.” “Because any place that you land is viable if you get it there authentically and if you get it there entertainingly,” he added. “So where we want to end up is up for debate.”

“If we get through it one year at a time, it’s better that way,” Mutchnick added. “And what Season 3 gives us is almost an emotional cushion.”

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‘Will & Grace’ Star Megan Mullally Reflects on 2005 Duet With Donald Trump (Video)

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When “Will & Grace” returned to big ratings last fall, it proved audiences were still hungry for the hit sitcom. But another one of Megan Mullally’s roles may have withstood the test of time quite as well.

In 2005, Mullally took to the stage for a light-hearted duet with then-“Apprentice” star Donald Trump.

“It wasn’t something I would even normally do, because I think those things are stupid,” Mullally explained in an interview with TheWrap. [But] It was at the height of the popularity of ‘The Apprentice. Everybody was going ‘you’re fired.’ Everybody was doing that, it was kind of in the mass consciousness.”

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In character as Karen Walker, Mullally performed with an overall-wearing Trump to duet the theme song from the 1960s Eva Gabor sitcom “Green Acres.”

“Everybody thought he was this funny guy who was doing this caricature of himself [on “The Apprentice”], nobody thought he was really that person,” she said. “I thought it was fun to see him in overalls and a white t-shirt and a pitchfork and a straw hat.”

But returning to “Will & Grace” was like riding a bike, Mullally said. She and her co-stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes slipped back into their easy chemistry after more than a decade off the air.

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“On the one hand it feels like we never left, and on the other hand it feels like a complete miracle has occurred,” Mullally said. “It didn’t feel like I had to think, ‘oh gosh how did that go?’ I don’t know why, but I guess since we’d already done almost 200 episodes … it was still kind of in my muscle memory or something.”

The revival first became a possibility after the four stars reunited with the show’s writers for an election special in 2016, revealing to both the audience and NBC that the show still had some life in it, even after all this time. And now NBC is in on the revival for the long haul, already having picked up the show for two more seasons.

“When you have that kind of chemistry with someone,” Mullally said, “It never really goes away.”

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‘Will & Grace’ Bosses on ‘Roseanne’ Revival Success: ‘There’s Not One Part of Us That’s Jealous’

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It goes without saying that TV show revivals are where it’s at right now. And “Roseanne” has been the talk of the town since its monstrous return to ABC last week.

While more revivals are on their way — we’re looking at you, CBS’ “Murphy Brown” — “Will & Grace” still has bragging rights when it comes to who pulled off a successful comeback first.

Though Max Mutchnick and David Kohan — the co-creators and showrunners of NBC’s old/new hit — told TheWrap in an interview last week that the green-eyed monster has not come by to flaunt Roseanne Barr’s impressive TV ratings in their faces.

Also Read: ‘Roseanne’ Premiere Breaks TV Record for Delayed Viewing

“There’s not one part of us that’s jealous of anyone else’s success,” Mutchnick said. “And the more that sitcoms do better on network television, the better for us. That’s about as much of a line we can draw to meeting our own needs. We love the idea that sitcoms are being made and that they do well. That’s only a good thing.”

“The more important thing is the reason,” Kohan added. “Why are people more comfortable now going to things that were? To me, it seems like it brings you back to calmer, happier, less chaotic times. Let’s put it that way.”

“Will & Grace” really doesn’t have much to be jealous about, as the series is seeing nothing but love from its own network, which picked it up for Season 2 before the revival premiered last fall. Oh, and the Peacock recently granted it a third season and upped the episode count for the sophomore installment. (“Roseanne” received its own Season 2 pickup within a week of its debut).

Also Read: ‘Roseanne’ Revival Renewed by ABC for Another Season

So what do Kohan and Mutchnick think the new revival trend can learn from the success of “Will & Grace”?

“We cast great actors to be honest,” Kohan said, pointing to stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes. “That’s the first thing that we did well. That we have these four actors who are so good and so capable. They are so able to do whatever you throw at them. Their characters at this point are so well defined, that it makes it — you know when you are going in a weird direction with a character because the character tells you and the actor lets you know.”

“So that’s one thing, but also have a reason in your mind for why you want to do it,” Kohan added about deciding to bring back a beloved show. “If it’s because you think that — and I can understand ‘Roseanne’ makes perfect sense to me why they brought that back. There was just that article, where Ben Sherwood was like, ‘We need to take into consideration these people,’ it was right after the election I think that he convened a meeting, like, ‘How do we talk to those people?’ And ‘Murphy Brown’ was political. These are highly-politicized times. It makes perfect sense that ‘Murphy Brown’ is coming back.”

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Indeed, politics is part of it, with “Roseanne”s debut having sparked a week’s worth of conversations about the Conner family being Trump supporters — not to mention the show’s leading lady’s professed love for POTUS.

But on the other end of the spectrum is “Will & Grace,” which some critics believe is packed with too much commentary on Trump’s administration. To that Kohan said the show didn’t set out to focus on politics, it just happened.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Right now our goal is to be some kind of political soapbox.’ These characters would have that kind of attitude. And it’s interesting because I think some people like it, and some people are bothered by it being political. But I don’t see it really as political. It certainly isn’t anti-Trump voter. But it is anti-Trump because these characters — it has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. It really is the person who occupies the Oval Office. And I think they are just offended by it as characters.”

The Season 1 — or Season 9, depending on how you look at it — finale of “Will & Grace” airs Thursday at 9/8c

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“Will & Grace” has not been shy about diving into the current political landscape in its revival season, and the executive producers plan to continue the trend in their already picked-up second season. “Dave would love to do a story about citizen Trump. That’s the story he wants to tell next year, but we’re not […]

‘Will & Grace’ Cast React To Season 3 Renewal; Talk Favorite Guest Stars

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With the Will & Grace revival’s Season 3 renewal announcement, fans rejoiced at PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Saturday. This will also be a longer run than the previous season, said creator/executive producer Max Mutchnick.
“We have been picked up for five more episodes next year, so we’re not doing 13, we’re doing 18,” he said, while cast members Debra Messing and Eric McCormack got up and did a little dance on the PaleyFest stage, and Megan Mullally kicked up her legs up…

‘Will and Grace’ Revival Renewed for Season 3, NBC Adds to Season 2 Episode Order

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NBC has picked up the “Will & Grace” revival for a third season before its freshman installment has even come to a close — and increased its episode order for season 2.

The 18-episode third season (technically its 11th, but okay) is set to premiere in fall 2019, with stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally continuing to reprise their iconic roles when the series returns for its second season this fall.

That upcoming installment was initially ordered before the revival premiered in September 2017, but has now been expanded from 13 episodes to 18, as well.

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“As far as I’m concerned, we can’t get enough of ‘Will & Grace’ and 23 more episodes is music to my ears,” NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said Saturday. “We’re eternally grateful that Debra, Eric, Sean and Megan feel the same way and wanted to keep this good thing going. I’m overwhelmed by the euphoric response the new show has received from the press and the audience, and my hat is off to the unrivaled writing team of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, as well as the brilliant directing of Jimmy Burrows, for consistently delivering one of the best shows on television.”

The revival is currently averaging a 3.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 9.8 million total viewers, according to live plus seven day data from Nielsen. The sitcom is the Peacock’s most-watched primetime comedy at this point in the season in the last eight years.

The first (technically, ninth) season of “Will & Grace” has featured guest stars like Jennifer Lopez, Alec Baldwin, Minnie Driver, Ben Platt, Molly Shannon, Jane Lynch and Andrew Rannells.

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Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, who co-created the series, are sticking with their writing and executive producing gigs for the upcoming seasons, with James Burrows directing and executive producing as well. “Will & Grace” is produced by Universal Television.

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