FROM David Kohan
David Kohan and Max Mutchnick on 'Will & Grace' It doesn't seem so long ago that the sitcom Will & Grace was a staple of NBC's Thursday night must-see-TV lineup. But the fact is, people born the year the series premiered -- in 1998 -- are now old enough to vote. For those too young to remember, Will & Grace revolved around best friends and roommates, played by Eric McCormack and Debra Messing. He was gay, she was straight, and they supported each other through lots of drama--dating, jobs, family. They were supported--or annoyed--by Grace's assistant Karen, played by Megan Mullally, and their friend Jack, played by Sean Hayes. After eight seasons, in the original series finale, Will & Grace had drifted apart and lost touch. But the revival -- returning to NBC for a ninth season after an 11 year hiatus -- ignores that storyline, though it does acknowledge that time has passed. Bringing Will & Grace back to NBC are the series creators, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan. We recently sat down with them in the office they share on the NBC-Universal lot and started by looking back to the very beginning of the series, when the idea of an openly gay character as the lead on a sitcom was still considered to be a big gamble. They remember there was some pressure from the network to keep the relationship between gay Will & straight Grace ambiguous. Kohan and Mutchnick tell us about the struggle of getting cast members on board originally, returning to NBC years after a big legal fight with the network, and how the 2016 presidential election influenced the show's return.
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.
Gov. Jerry Brown: California and China will fight climate change together President Donald Trump reportedly wants the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and he’s expected to announce a decision soon. California Governor Jerry Brown heads to China to strengthen climate and clean energy ties.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”