The ‘Will & Grace’ revival hasn’t even aired yet — but NBC has renewed the series for a 13-episode second season.
Not only that, but the first season has been extended from 12 to 16 episodes.
The Season 2 renewal announcement was made Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., by NBC boss Bob Greenblatt.
The hotly anticipated revival will reunite original cast members Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally, who will also all be back for Season 2.
Original series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will serve as showrunners and executive producers on the revival series. James Burrows, who directed the entire eight-season run of the original “Will & Grace,” is back as director and executive producer on the revival. Universal Television is the studio. “Will & Grace” ran on NBC from 1998 to 2006, spanning over 200 episodes.
When asked why the cast and creators wanted to continue onto a second season, the panel all agreed that their first table read for Season 1, which took place Wednesday, felt like being right back at home.
“It felt good. Why wouldn’t we want to do this?” said Kohan.
“We all came together and read and it felt like coming home,” Messing added. “We laughed so hard. For the last year, it’s been a confusing time and I haven’t laughed very much, and to come back together and to laugh out loud and to be surprised by one another and to have new stories to tell and to have another opportunity to do it, it’s a no-brainer.”
McCormack explained that ever since the revival was announced, the response from fans and critics has been so positive that he felt like the new episodes would be well-received. “There’s been a very non-cynical, nonjudgmental response,” he said. “That made me feel like we have a place and we’re not going to fighting an uphill battle…I thought, why not?”
The “Will & Grace” cast first came back together for a short episode special about the election, which was released last year ahead of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s debate. That short special is what set off the full-blown revival — both for the fans and for the cast. (Watch that election special here.)
“Max just emailed the four of us and said, ‘Hey guess what? I have the set and we should do something, and within 45 minutes, all of us said yes,” Mullally reminisced of Mutchnick getting the cast together to film that election special. “I read the script and I put it down and I called Max and said, ‘Why can’t we do it again?’ And he said, ‘We can.’”
‘Will & Grace’ returns to NBC on Sept. 28 and will air Thursday nights this fall.