Thursday, August 3, 2017

Will & Grace already renewed -- but minus one key character

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti proclaims
August 2, 2017 "Will & Grace Day"
at Universal Studios Hollywood.
l-r, NBC president Bob Greenblatt,
L.A. mayor Garcetti, W&G creators
Max Mutchnick and David Kohan,
stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing,
Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes, and
director Jimmy Burrows.
Photo by Chris Haston/NBC
At today's panel for the revival of Will & Grace at the Television Critics of America (TCA) convention in Beverly Hills, things started with a bang -- the announcement that not only has the episode order for season 1 been increased to 16 (from the original 10, then 12), but the show has already been renewed for a second season.

Ever since the announcement of the revival -- and even before, with the debut of the #VoteHoney video that the cast members and producers made to get out the vote last fall -- Will & Grace has been drawing major buzz.  Yesterday, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti attended the inauguration of the show's new stage 22 at Universal Studios, accompanied by the cast, fanfare and confetti.

The show's producers have stated that they intend to work around the original W&G series finale -- by pretending it didn't ever happen.  Other than that, they were mum on most details, including the returns of recurring characters, guest stars, etc.  Could Cher appear?  Maybe, but it's not set up yet.  Harry Connick, Jr.'s Leo, they confirmed, will be back. Leslie Jordan's Beverley Leslie?  Others?  Talks are ongoing.

But the one piece of bad news I received personally after the panel:  despite appearing in the VoteHoney video, Shelley Morrison has decided to retire, and will not be reprising her character of Rosario at all on the series.  "It's a Larry Bird type of retirement, not a Michael Jordan retirement," David said -- completely confusing fans like me, but I'm sure that analogy makes sense to straight fans out there.  :)  (I'm told it means that Shelley's retirement is complete, and she really can't be persuaded to return.)

Will & Grace's now 16-episode 1st season debuts on NBC on Thursday, September 28.

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