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NBC has yet to officially announce it’s moving forward with a Will & Grace revival, but Karen Walker’s beloved frenemy may have just let the cat out of the bag.
In a recent interview with radio station KPBS, Leslie Jordan — who won an Emmy for his role as Beverly Leslie — came forth and insisted that NBC has already commissioned a 10-episode follow-up to begin shooting next summer.
“It’s back,” Jordan said. “Here’s the way it works: [NBC] has ordered 10 [episodes]. It’ll be for next season, so they’ll go in in July.”
Back in October, TVLine reported that NBC was in preliminary talks with the sitcom’s six principal players — series creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, and stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes — about doing a limited-run of original episodes. Buzz about a potential revival came in response to the release of a 10-minute, present-day, election-themed video which found the Emmy-winning quartet reprising their roles in support of Hillary Clinton.
NBC declined to comment for this story.
‘Will and Grace’ Revival: Co-Star Leslie Jordan Says NBC Has Ordered 10 New Episodes
If you needed yet another reminder that we’re living in the revival era, here’s one: “Will & Grace” will be joining the likes of “Gilmore Girls” and “The X-Files,” as NBC is said to have ordered 10 more episodes of the sitcom starring Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes. Not joining them, unfortunately, will be Debbie Reynolds, who played Messing’s mother on the long-running show and died earlier this week at the age of 84.
The news has yet to be confirmed by NBC. It comes from Leslie Jordan, who said during a radio interview with San Diego’s KPBS station that “It’s back. Here’s the way it works: [NBC] has ordered 10 [episodes]. It’ll be for next season, so they’ll go in in July.” The main quartet was most recently seen during an election video in which Messing, McCormack, Mullally and Hayes endorsed Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency.
“Will & Grace” originally ran between 1998 and 2006, airing 194 episodes over eight seasons. It has been recognized for its portrayal of gay characters, namely those played by McCormack and Hayes; during a 2012 “Meet the Press” interview, Vice President Joe Biden said the show “did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done. People fear that which is different. Now they’re beginning to understand.”
'Will & Grace' Revival Ordered to Series at NBC, Star Says
NBC appears poised to revive Emmy-winning comedy Will & Grace, according to former co-star Leslie Jordan.
The actor — who won an Emmy for his role as Beverly Leslie — recently said in a radio interview with KPBS that the network has revived the series for 10 episodes. NBC declined comment.
"It's back," Jordan said. "[NBC] has ordered 10 [episodes]. It'll be for next season, so they'll go in in July."
NBC has been eyeing the Will & Grace limited series revival since October, when the network was riding a wave of nostalgia after stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes stepped back into their former characters in an election-themed video that went viral.
At the time, deals with the four stars still had to be worked out, as did new pacts with series creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the latter of whom had the idea to do the September election-themed TV revival. Universal Television, which produced the original series, also needed to secure the stars as well as the creators.
Will & Grace ran for eight seasons and scored 16 Emmy wins out of 83 nominations. All four stars took home Emmy gold for the show about a single woman, her gay roommate and their eccentric friends. In its heyday, the stars earned $600,000 per episode to do the series — on top of points on the back-end. The series remains a hit in syndication, but it does not have a streaming home.
In an interview after the election-themed video was released, both Messing — who has a long-standing friendship with NBC boss Bob Greenblatt that dates back to Smash and The Mysteries of Laura — told The Hollywood Reporter that she would "never say never" about a revival.
"Now there are platforms where you can do six or 10 episodes. I don't believe we would ever come back to network [TV] again," the actress said. "I think that the logistics of all of our lives — there would just be way too many things to hammer out. But for something shorter-lived and maybe having the limitations of being on network TV lifted may give us a fun, fresh opportunity because we could be really, really naughty!"
For his part, McCormack said there was no official talk of a revival during the two days it took to film the reunion video, though he seemed open to it.
"As for the future, everyone — from Max and David on down — is so protective of the show and how we ended it," he said. "We're very proud of the series finale and the story that told of the break that friendships sometimes take. So to play with that and change that story and change our own stories in life, I'm sure we would all be open to talking about it."
The reunion was Mutchnick's idea. The sets were stored at Emerson College in Boston, where they had been housed for the past 10 years but needed to be moved. He transported the sets to the show's original studio and had them reassembled. James Burrows, who directed every episode of the series, returned to helm the viral video that now has more than 6.6 million views.
Reboots continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered scripted landscape that is quickly approaching 500 original series. Key to the remakes is having the original producers involved in some capacity as more studios look to monetize their existing film libraries.