“Will & Grace” is returning to NBC in the fall after an 11-year absence — and then it’s going to stick around for a while.
The network announced Thursday during its time at the summer TV press tour that it’s picking up a second season of the revival — which will be the show’s 10th overall. The second/10th season will run for 13 episodes; NBC has also ordered an additional four episodes for this season, bringing the total to 16.
That’s a hefty investment for the network, which hopes to ride a wave of buzz about the show’s return to a ratings bump for its Thursday schedule. “Will & Grace” will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT Thursdays in the fall, the timeslot where it aired most frequently during its initial run.
The new episodes will find Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) still living together and hanging out with Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) — which means that the initial series finale, which flashed forward in time and featured a long estrangement between the two title characters, will be retroactively washed away.
Creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick said Thursday that the finale will be treated as “a half-remembered fantasy” about what could have been for the two characters. Thus their respective spouses (Harry Connick Jr.’s Leo for Grace, Bobby Cannavale’s Vince for Will) and kids won’t exist in the new timeline.
Mutchnick also says he and Kohan are hoping to work out a streaming deal for the series, which currently doesn’t have a digital home. He says there are “a lot of parts” to the negotiations that have so far held up any agreement.