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FROM THIS EPISODE

As the first prime-time sitcom built around an openly gay male character, Will & Grace made TV history when it debuted on NBC in 1998. The foursome of Will, Grace, Jack and Karen helped to change the culture, and almost twenty years later, gay characters are no longer a rarity on broadcast TV. Now, with Will & Grace returning to NBC after an 11-year absence, creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick know times have changed but still think audiences will tune in to revisit old friends. They tell us about reuniting the cast and how the 2016 election played a role in bring everyone back together.

Photo: (L-R) Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, creators of Will & Grace, now returning to NBC

Hollywood news banter 6 MIN, 53 SEC

Matt Belloni, editorial director of the Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • The star of The CW's show Riverdale totaled his car after falling asleep at the wheel following a 16-hour work day. Thankfully he was not injured, but the crash has revived long-running issues of cast and crew safety.
  • Director JJ Abrams has a rich deal at Paramount, but he's jilted them -- twice! -- to direct Star Wars movies for Disney.

Guests:
Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

David Kohan and Max Mutchnick on 'Will & Grace' 19 MIN, 57 SEC

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.

Guests:
David Kohan, TV writer-producer
Max Mutchnick, TV writer-producer (@maxmutchnick)

CREDITS

Host:
Kim Masters

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

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