Everything We Know About the Will & Grace Revival

Keep up to date on all the scoop regarding NBC's highly-anticipated revival of the beloved comedy, returning on Thursday, Sept. 28.

By Billy Nilles Sep 12, 2017 5:04 PMTags
Will & GraceNBC

They're almost back!

As we impatiently await the return of one of our favorite foursomes to our TV screens, details regarding the highly-anticipated revival of Will & Grace continue to trickle in. From their plans to address that complicated (and majorly depressing) series finale to which beloved supporting characters from the show's universe will or will not be back in the mix, there's a lot to keep track of. Luckily, we've got your backs.

We've gathered everything we know about the revival in one handy place, ready for you to read and re-read until Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally (and their hilarious alter egos) make Thursday nights Must-See TV for NBC once again. You're welcome, honey.

Everything We Know About the Will & Grace Revival
Back Where They Belong

The Will & Grace revival returns the legendary comedy to its former night, with the season premiering on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m as NBC attempts to relive its Must-See TV glory days. Will & Grace will anchor a line-up that includes Superstore, The Good Place and Great News.

What Series Finale?

While many wondered how, exactly, Will & Grace could return in the face of a series finale that split them up for 20 years, married them off to former flames Vince (Bobby Cannavale) and Leo (Harry Connick, Jr.), respectively, and saddled each with a kid. Co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan's solution? Pretend the damn thing never happened. "When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?" Kohan told EW. "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."

A Return to the Status Quo

By erasing the events of the series finale, everything will be as it once was when the revival begins. Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) will be living together yet again, Jack (Sean Hayes) will still be living across the hall, and Karen (Megan Mullally) still be boozing in her mansion. Will and Grace will still be a corporate lawyer and interior designer, respectively, while Jack will have moved on from "Just Jack" to teaching acting students his own form of "Jackting."

"They've done well with their lives," Mutchnick told EW. "They've always been successful at life and living. It's relationships that Will and Grace have always had the trouble with, and they still do."

The Gang's All Here

The core four and the show's co-creators aren't the only important pieces of the Will & Grace puzzle returning for the revival. James Burrows, seen above on the far right, will be back to direct every episode. He famously directed every single episode of the comedy's original run.

Minnie Driver Back for More

E! News has confirmed that Minnie Driver will be reprising her role Karen's nemesis Lorraine Finster. Introduced as the mistress of Karen's never-seen husband Stanley, Lorraine appeared in six episodes, with Karen finally exacting her revenge by marrying Lorraine's father Lyle (John Cleese) after divorcing Stanley. She will guest-star in one episode.

No Rosario

Karen Walker's beloved maid Rosario, played to hilarious perfection by Shelley Morrison, will no longer be working for the boozehound when Will & Grace returns. The reason? Morrison's retirement from acting. She popped up for a cameo in the election-themed viral video in 2016, but she passed on a full return when the revival was given the greenlight. "It was with a heavy heart that she gave us that information and that we received it, but it is the way that it goes. It is a choice that she has made," co-creator Max Mutchnick told reporters after the show's panel at the 2017 Television Critics Association summer press tour. We really wanted Shelley to be a part of this series, so we find ourselves having to figure that out moving forward. It was not an easy decision to make, but it's one that she made."

Old Flames Back for More?

Despite the decision to completely erase the questionable series finale and have Will and Grace back living in the same space, both of their husbands will be in the mix. Harry Connick Jr. will return for a guest appearance as Leo, but whether he'll be Grace's ex-boyfriend and baby daddy (as he was going into the series finale) or her ex-husband (they wed in the finale) remains to be seen. Though Eric McCormack confirmed at TCA that Will will be dating in the revival, Bobby Cannavale will be back as Will's boyfriend-cum-husband Vince for a guest appearance as well, E! News has confirmed. Cannavale revealed his involvement by sharing a BTS photo with McCormack on Instagram. "These guys," he captioned it. "#setlife."

A Michelle Obama Cameo?

Despite rumors that the former First Lady would be making an appearance in an episode, sources tell E! News that there are there are no plans to have Michelle Obama guest star in the revival at this time.

Ben Platt Joins the Fun

Ben Platt, the Tony Award-winning star of Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen, is the first bold-named guest star confirmed for the revival. No details about his character have been released, but he'll pop up in the show's October 5 episode.

More Queer Cameos

Out and proud actors Andrew Rannells and Jane Lynch will guest-star together in an episode of the revival, E! News has confirmed. As for who they'll be playing, that's being kept under wraps. Out.com first broke the casting news.

A Farewell for Bobbi Adler

A plan is in place to address the absence of Grace's mom, memorably played in 10 episodes of the original run by Debbie Reynolds, who tragically passed away in last year. "That was another part of the story that we had to really spend time on addressing, all of the characters that existed in 198 episodes," Mutchnick told reporters at TCA. "She's obviously not coming back, but we will be speaking to it and the characters will be speaking to it."

Politics, Sex, Pop Culture: Nothing's Off the Table

The revival won't be afraid to be topical, the cast and creators admitted during their panel at TCA. And that includes talk about Donald Trump and the "T" in "LGBT." "When we started it, it was revolutionary to have two gay characters," Debra Messing said. "My hope is that now we can finish the alphabet with gender identity…"

"I think we're lucky that we have this built into the show—we have a Trump supporter, and it's not just that one voice ... oh wow, we can really speak to the world through these voices and not have to change this architecture," co-creator Max Mutchnick added.

Like No Time Has Passed

If you were worried that time apart might have altered the fan-favorite dynamic of Jack and Karen, rest easy. During their TCA panel, both Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally admitted that they slipped right back into their old groove without missing a beat. "It's like riding a bike," Hayes said. "It's so easy. Fits like a glove."

"I think the main difference is that we have to stretch," Mullally cracked.

Season 2 Is Already a Sure Thing

Oh, honey, they aren't stopping with just one! Before an episode of the revival even hit the airwaves, NBC made the wise decision to lock the core four down for a second go-round of 13 episodes, set to air in 2018. The network announced the exciting news just before the show's panel began during the 2017 Television Critics Association summer press tour, revealing that the ink was barely dry on the deal.

Will & Grace makes it triumphant return on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(Originally posted on August 18, 2017, this has been updated to reflect news of Minnie Driver and Bobby Cannavale's involvement in the revival, as well as Jane Lynch and Andrew Rannells' guest appearances.)

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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