Will & Grace is coming to an end. After an 11-season, 246-episode run over a 22-year span, the series will wrap with the upcoming season (the revival’s third and 11th overall) in 2020.
Emmy-winning Will & Grace helped launch the current wave of comedy series revivals on the broadcast networks. It returned to NBC for Season 9 to big ratings, leading to the expansion of the initial order and a two-year renewal for Seasons 10 and 11. Over time, ratings for the praised comedy tapered off, and the upcoming 11th season was expected to be its last. It will launch in midseason.
“When NBC had the opportunity to reconnect this amazing cast and creative team, we jumped at the chance,” said George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy, Co-Chairmen, NBC Entertainment.”The impact and legacy of Will & Grace simply can’t be overstated, both as a true game-changer in the portrayal of the LGBTQ community and as one of the finest comedies in television history. A huge thank you to Max, David, Jimmy and a cast that is second to none for their brilliance over an incredible run.”
In a note to fans, executive producers Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and James Burrows talk about the journey of bringing Will & Grace back and the decision to end the series (again.)
“We think of the Will & Grace reboot episodes the way Karen Walker thinks of martinis – 51 is not enough, 53 is too many,” Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and James Burrows. “That is why, after consulting with the cast, we all have decided this will be the final season of Will & Grace.
“In 2016, Bob Greenblatt came to us with the idea of doing a 10-episode reboot of Will & Grace. They say you can’t go home again, but we did. And now, three seasons and 52 episodes later, we’re even more proud of something we never thought we’d get a chance to do again. We have had a once-in-a-lifetime experience twice. And for that, we owe a double debt of gratitude to NBC, this show’s supportive and caring home since day one.”
“It’s been the highlight of our careers to write for and direct four incredible artists who we consider to be the finest and funniest ensemble sitcom cast of all time – Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes.
“Of course, actors as brilliant as these four are only as good as the words they’re given. The Will & Grace writing room has been a dream team that has consistently lifted the show to heights we never could have achieved on our own with their collective humor, warmth, and humanity.
“The hardest part about making this decision is saying goodbye to our outstanding production team and crew who, over two decades, brought passion and artistry to every department. If we had just one more season, we would have learned their names. So, thank you Handlebar Mustache, Cheese Lady, and Cargo Shorts #1 – #12. We will always think of you as family.
“And finally, our deepest gratitude goes to each and every Will & Grace fan across the world. It was a privilege to make you laugh.”
Will & Grace returned to NBC in September 2017 on the momentum of a 2016 election-themed mini-reunion episode that drew more than 7 million views. The groundbreaking series earned 91 Emmy Award nominations, 18 Emmy wins (including Outstanding Comedy Series) and seven SAG Awards among dozens of other kudos. In addition, the show is one of the few in TV history where each member of the cast won an Emmy. The series also receive 30 Golden Globe nominations, 7 GLAAD awards and 7 DGA nominations (and one win) for James Burrows.
The show received national attention on the political stage in 2012 when Vice President Joe Biden said, “I think ‘Will & Grace’ did more to educate the American public more than almost anything anybody has done so far” in recognition of equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians.
Many of the show’s memorabilia – scripts, casting notes, props, etc. – are part of a gay rights exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Max Mutchnick and David Kohan write and executive produce. James Burrows directs and executive produces. Will & Grace is produced by Universal Television.