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.
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.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.