‘Will & Grace’ revival: Emmy favorite renewed for season 3 and adds to season 2 order before season 1 even finished

Buoyed by the ratings success of the return of “Will & Grace,” NBC has renewed the sitcom for a third season beginning in the fall of 2019 and upped its order for episodes of this fall’s second season by five episodes to 18. After an 11-year absence, the Emmy-winning comedy starring Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally returned to the Peacock network in September. It has aired 14 of its 16 episodes, with the freshman season finale set for April 5.

To date, the reboot is the highest rated comedy on NBC in eight years. So it was not a huge surprise when NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt made the announcement at the Paleyfest event celebrating the show on March 17. As he explained, “We can’t get enough of ‘Will & Grace’ and 23 more episodes is music to my ears. We’re eternally grateful that Debra, Eric, Sean and Megan feel the same way and wanted to keep this good thing going. I’m overwhelmed by the euphoric response the new show has received from the press and the audience, and my hat is off to the unrivaled writing team of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, as well as the brilliant directing of Jimmy Burrows, for consistently delivering one of the best shows on television.”

Over the course of eight seasons that began in 1998, “Will & Grace” won 16 Emmys from 83 nominations, including Best Comedy Series in 2000. And all four regulars won at least once each: McCormack (2001) and Messing (2003) in lead and Hayes (2000) and Mullally (2000, 2006) down in supporting. With Messing’s win in 2003, “Will and Grace” became only the third TV series in Emmy history in which all four of the main cast won awards, following “All in the Family” and “The Golden Girls.”

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The cast of this Emmy favorite first reunited last fall to film a nine-minute episode that was released online in support of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. With more than seven million views of the election video, it was not surprising that there was immediate interest in rebooting the series. This talented foursome picked up right where they left off a decade ago. Jimmy Burrows is back to direct as he did with the mini-episode and every one of the 194 installments in the original run. The network was so happy with the first episodes that it upped the order to 16 for the first season and renewed it for a second already.

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