Let’s welcome back Will & Grace, premiering tonight (September 28) On NBC. Since it went off the air 12 years ago, we’ve yearned, not just for the show itself, but its fabulous ensemble cast made up of Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes.
McCormack and Messing portrayed besties, Will Truman and Grace Adler, from 1998-2005. The two met in college and were love interests for half a second, until Will realized he was gay and entrusted Grace with this news. Their friendship survived into their 30s, and they shared an apartment in NYC at the start of the series.
Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes took on the roles of Karen Walker and Jack McFarland — also besties — who were, for the most part, foils to Will and Grace. Karen “worked” for Grace at her interior design studio but spent most of her time drinking and spewing witty insults. And while Jack was Will’s mentor in their younger years, helping him come out, as an adult he was kind of the underdog, floating from career to career, finally settling on “out of work actor.” And, of course, there was Rosario Salazar (Shelley Morrison), who was Karen’s maid and confidant, and also the group’s voice of reason.
In 2016, the cast reunited to perform a scene addressing the pending U.S. Presidential Election, encouraging people to the vote, with the call to action: “Vote, honey!” As of today, the 10-minute video has over seven million views:
With such a great response to a one-off video, it was clear the people had
spoken clicked, and NBC listened, ordering a revival series, with 16 episodes. And, a second new season is already confirmed for 2018-19.
Let’s catch up with our ol’ friends and see where else we can watch them:
1. Eric McCormack
In 2004, while still filming Will & Grace, McCormack guest-starred on three episodes of Dead Like Me as Ray Summers. His first role following the end of the series was in the 2005 film Break a Leg, which revolved around an aspiring actor willing to do anything to land a job. That same year, you may have spotted him in The Sisters, based on Anton Chekov‘s play The Three Sisters. In 2008, he took on the role of Jack Nash in the sci-fi TV miniseries The Andromeda Strain. Also in 2008, he turned up on one of our favorite shows, Monk, in the episode, “Mr. Monk’s 100th Case,” as James Novak. In 2009, he took the lead in the TV series Trust Me, guest-starred on The New Adventures of Old Christine and starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Vance Shepard. McCormack landed the role of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Pierce in the TV series Perception, which ran from 2012-2015. He spent some time on the stage, starring opposite James Earl Jones, John Larroquette and Angela Lansbury in the Broadway play The Best Man in 2012. And you may have recognized his voice in animated series like American Dad! (2012), Robot Chicken (2013) and Pound Puppies (2010-2013). In 2015, he reunited with Debra Messing for her show The Mysteries of Laura, starring as Dr. Andrew Delvin. You can look for McCormack in the second season of the sci-fi TV series, Travelers, premiering this coming October 16.
2. Debra Messing
Debra Messing didn’t let the ending of Will & Grace slow her down in any way. Her first role following the series was in 2005’s The Wedding Date, starring opposite Dermot Mulroney. She played a young woman so desperate to make her ex jealous and her family placated, that she hired an escort to pretend to be her boyfriend at her sister’s wedding. You may have also spotted her in the 2007 romantic-comedy, Purple Violets, opposite Edward Burns, Selma Blair and Patrick Wilson. In the same year, she made her return to TV as the lead in the miniseries The Starter Wife, which is about a woman restarting her life following a public divorce in Hollywood. The limited series was picked up for another 10 episodes, airing in 2008. Who doesn’t love a Law & Order episode when a favorite pops up? And, that’s just what happened in 2011 when Messing guest-starred on the Special Victims Unit franchise in the episode “Pursuit” as Alicia Harding, the TV host of Neighborhood Predator. In 2012 she landed on the TV musical Smash as Julia Houston, a lyricist working on bringing her work to Broadway. From 2014-2016, she took the lead in The Mysteries of Laura, a police procedural show that follows NYC police detective Laura Diamond as she tries to balance work and family life. Earlier this year, we saw Messing in the TV movie Dirty Dancing as Marjorie Houseman, Baby’s mother. Over this past summer we saw Messing as herself on the new show Nightcap, starring Ali Wentworth, which spoofs late night television.
3. Megan Mullally
Megan Mullally’s first role after Will & Grace was in the 2005 film Rebound, starring Martin Lawrence as a basketball coach. Mullally played a high school principal… we can totally see it. From there she made guest appearances on TV series like How I Met Your Mother (2006), Boston Legal (2007) and The New Adventures of Old Christine (2008). In 2011 she signed on to Bob’s Burgers, providing the voice for Gayle, and is still currently working on the show. You may have spotted her on Parks and Recreation as Tammy Too, from 2009-2015, working with her actor husband Nick Offerman. We were delighted when she signed on for the second season of the Starz comedy Party Down in 2010, joining the ragtag group of party caterers. She also reunited with Messing on the TV musical Smash in 2012. Mullally was a regular guest on 30 Rock, taking on the role of Bev in 2008 and returning for two more episodes in 2013. Also in 2013, she joined fellow ’90s TV star, Lisa Kudrow, for Kudrow’s comeback show Web Therapy. You may also have spotted Mullally in the 2015 British-American series You, Me, and the Apocalypse, which revolves around a group of people shuffled underground to safety, where they watch the apocalypse on TV.
4. Sean Hayes
In 2007, Sean Hayes turned up on 30 Rock in the best casting ever, as Jesse Parcell, Kenneth’s (Jack McBrayer) evil brother. From there we spotted him on other popular series like Hot in Cleveland (2011), Portlandia (2012) and Parks and Recreation (2012). Also in 2012, he starred as Larry in The Three Stooges film. In 2013, Hayes joined Messing on Smash (the girl shares the spotlight). From 2013-2014 he took on the title role in Sean Saves the World, portraying a dad to a 14-year-old girl. And in 2014 he teamed up with Kudrow, not for Web Therapy, but the return of her show The Comeback, which originally aired in 2005. You may also have spotted him in Hairspray Live! as Mr. Pinky in 2016. In 2017 he leant his voice to the animated series Tangled as Pete the Guard.
5. Shelley Morrison
We can’t forget Rosario, Karen’s faithful maid and confidant, played by Shelley Morrison, who made her first appearance in the season one finale. Karen would mouth off to her, claiming she took her off the streets and saved her, but really, Rosario was in graduate school. Despite their constant bickering, she stood by her employer and friend. Morrison appeared in the aforementioned Will & Grace election video in 2016, but has since retired from acting. She was invited to star in the revival series, reprising her role, but politely declined. Her last major role was in 2005, guest-starring on My Name is Earl, the same year Will & Grace came to an end. While she may not be acting these days, she’ll always have a special place in our hearts. Plus, it turns out she’s an absolute doll in real life. Check out the above video, where Morrison shares a story about one of her first jobs. She was 15, working in retail, when one of her all-time favorite actresses approached her…
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