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There’s ‘a very good chance’ for ‘Will & Grace’ reboot

Louis Weisberg, Staff writer

The landmark TV series Will & Grace might return to the small screen.

A one-off election edition episode of the show might have sparked interest in a revival of the NBC program. The original cast reunited for a 10-minute episode released online in September that urged voters to back Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. The piece has been viewed more than 6.5 million times.

Megan Mullally, who starred as Karen in the series, tells PrideSource that “there is a very good chance” that new episodes of the series “might happen.” She said Donald Trump’s presidential victory means that “it couldn’t be a better time” for the return of a series that revolved around gay characters and themes.

“I think more so now than even when we started!” she said. “And who would have ever — I mean, it’s heinous that it’s because Donald Trump is the president-elect. That’s just a crazy sentence that nobody would have ever thought they’d utter. But having said that, at the same time, that just gives us carte blanche.”

Trump is assembling a far-right administration that includes a homophobic Secretary of Education who opposes same-sex marriage, public schools and the teaching of evolution, as well as Cabinet-level members who are part of the Neo-Nazi movement.

Will & Grace flies in the face of everything Trump. The titular characters were Will (Eric McCormack), an out gay man, and his bestie Grace (Debra Messing). The sentimentality of their platonic “marriage” was balanced by two quirky, free-wheeling friends: Jack (Sean Hayes), a ne’er-do-well gay man who lived on handouts from Will, and Karen, who had a soft heart but a sharp tongue and loved to make mischief, often with Jack as an accomplice.

Will & Grace originally ran on NBC from 1998 to 2006. It paved the way for acceptance of LGBT characters on television and, along with the coming-out of Ellen DeGeneres, aided in promoting social acceptance of gays and lesbians.

“Without a doubt, Will & Grace was groundbreaking,” Neil G. Giuliano told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview. Giuliano served as president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation from 2005 to 2009.

“It proved that openly gay characters could be “embraced by the American public,” he said, and put Will and Grace in the ranks of such classic and beloved TV characters as Lucy and Ricky of I Love Lucy.

Will & Grace was part of NBC’s powerful 1990s-born sitcom family that included Seinfeld and Friends. Popular with both audiences and critics, it won 74 Emmys and 256 nominations.

At its peak in the 2001–02 season, the series drew more than 17 million weekly viewers and was the eighth most-watched program.