Though many were skeptical at first, the revival of Will & Grace is a burst of fresh (well, fresh recycled) air in the fall television season. When does the Will & Grace revival come back? Viewers have known Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’re haven't been happy to see them again every week. The first half of the season ends on Nov. 2, but how long will that hiatus go on?
First, my hypothesis on why Will & Grace was welcomed back with open arms is because the world is an increasingly fragile place, and viewers just want to be comforted. What’s more comforting than watching old episodes of your favorite sitcom, except the old episodes are new and the characters are still the same? Really, the ball just keeps on rolling on Will & Grace — the revival was originally picked up for only a 10-episode run, according to Variety, which quickly increased to 12, and then, finally, 16. In August, it was announced that Will & Grace: The Return would get an order for a Season 2, as well. The new Will & Grace has taken on the political concerns of 2017 with aplomb, and viewers are feeling it — it was the top scripted show its first week out, also according to Variety.
While no airdate for the winter premiere has been announced just yet (NBC has a whole lot of Winter Olympics to air before any of its shows can come back from hiatus, really), it’s likely that the show will resume soon after the medal ceremonies are over. So far, Will & Grace has included some of the best guest stars of the show’s original run, including Harry Connick, Jr. as Leo, Grace’s ex-husband; Leslie Jordan as Beverly Leslie, Karen’s nemesis; and Michael Angarano as Elliott, Jack’s biological son. One face that will be missing from the revival? Rosario Inés Consuelo Yolanda Salazar, aka Rosario, Karen’s feisty housekeeper. Shelley Morrison, who played Rosario, has opted to retire from show business. Of her absence, Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick said:
"Shelley has decided to retire. It was with a heavy heart that she gave us that information and that we received it, but it is the way that it goes. It is a choice that she has made. We really wanted Shelley to be a part of this series, so we find ourselves having to figure that out moving forward. It was not an easy decision to make, but it's one that she made."
While it’s a bummer that Morrison opted out of performing again, it’s her prerogative, and the show has used her absence for comedic plots. It’s all copy, I guess! And if you’re wondering if it was hard for Debra Messing, Will McCormack, and the rest of the cast to step back into the shoes they left over a decade ago, the answer was… not really. In an interview with Us Weekly, Messing said that playing Grace is just like riding a bike:
“I can honestly say it wasn’t until the night that we filmed the first episode in front of an audience that it actually hit me that we were actually doing this. Immediately it felt like stepping back in time. The shoot night felt the same, the audience felt the same. Our dynamic, our chemistry was all there and I just wanted to laugh again. I haven’t laughed in a long time and now I go to work and every single day I laugh out loud which I took for granted 11 years ago and our entire focus is to make people watching laugh out loud and it feels good.”
It does feel good to have Will & Grace on television again after 11 years. At least this fall hiatus will be nothing compared to that.