FROM Max Mutchnick
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.
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."
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.
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.