Will And Grace’s Revival Premiere Broke A Ratings Record For NBC

Will and Jack in the rose garden

If you've been paying attention to the world of TV and film production, you'll notice that reboots are everywhere. With nostalgia proving to be a powerful and profitable trend, just about any beloved property has the potential to return. And while these types of moves are a dime a dozen, NBC is making serious waves with its new episodes of Will and Grace. In fact, the new season's premiere was so popular that it ended up breaking records at the network. Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack are back, and they're once again ready to climb to the top of the comedy world; the premiere of Will and Grace was the most-watched premiere of any NBC comedy in 12 years.

Despite the premiere being extremely political and involving a trip to the White House, Will and Grace opened to some giant numbers when it debuted its new season last Thursday. While the numbers for live viewers were already serious, the episode became even more popular through on demand views in the three days following its release. In that time, the viewership increased by 53% for 18-49 viewers. This took the ratings from 3.00 to 4.60, and pushed its overall viewers from 10.2 million to 14.8 million. I guess the sitcom genre isn't dead, after all.

The Live+ 3 day numbers for Will and Grace are a major win for NBC, especially considering its somewhat tumultuous history with network comedies. In fact, this new episode is the network's biggest premiere in six years- just beating out the Season 8 premiere of The Office. And it's the overall audience is the largest that NBC has seen for a comedy in 12 years, since My Name Is Earl in 2005. Considering that NBC has had some problems with cancelling new comedies, it's safe to say that the new episodes Will and Grace aren't going anywhere.

NBC seemed to be expecting a major turnout, as the cast of Will and Grace has been furiously doing press for the show's new season. And the network actually renewed the comedy for a second season before the premiere even aired. Star Debra Messing has revealed the original table read was so successful that NBC ordered another new season right on the spot.

It should be interesting to see if Will and Grace can retain this high viewership as its new season continues on. The premiere episode likely polarized some viewers, as it lobbed a ton of insults at President Trump. But the series has always been political, so we'll have to see if there has been any serious drop off in response to the premiere. Will and Grace has been playing on syndication non-stop since it concluded, so there's an active audience that is practically salivating for new content.

Will and Grace airs new episodes Thursdays on NBC. In the meantime, check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.