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The success and acclaim for NBC's Will & Grace revival cannot be denied, and we're pretty sure it will partly inspire at least another dozen classic sitcom returns and reboots before it's all said and done. And the show's influence isn't letting up anytime soon, as NBC has already renewed Will & Grace for Season 3, which is set to debut in the latter half of 2019. What's more, the network has granted the hit comedy's yet-to-air second season a big boost, adding five episodes to those already ordered.
That's right, Will & Grace is technically only 14 episodes into its initial revival season, but fans have already been guaranteed another 36 episodes to follow the 16-episode Season 1. Season 3, which is still another year and a half away, will consist of 18 episodes. (At least so far, since NBC could very well add more episodes to the season while ordering up Season 4 and 5 in a few weeks.) The previous Season 2 renewal, which was initially set for 13 episodes, has been bumped up to 18 episodes as well. NBC is clearly looking to keep Will & Grace on its fall schedule for as many weeks as possible without burning everyone out.
And it's no mystery why the network would be so interested. Since returning in September, Will & Grace has been a smash hit for NBC, serving as its most-watched comedy in almost a decade. When delayed viewing stats are measured, the show is averaging 9.8 million viewers an episode, with a 3.1 rating in the key 18-49 age demographic. Both of those numbers are mighty impressive in general for the modern TV era, especially for a comedy. It's clear that creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan have recaptured exactly what made this show special for those initial eight seasons, with a talented ensemble that hasn't lost a step.
If NBC Entertainment Robert Greenblatt's enthusiasm lasts, we might just be watching Will & Grace for as long as stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing are capable. In his words:
As far as I'm concerned, we can't get enough of Will & Grace and 23 more episodes is music to my ears. We're eternally grateful that Debra, Eric, Sean and Megan feel the same way and wanted to keep this good thing going.
Helping out Will & Grace on the popularity front is the steady line of new and familiar guest stars that have popped in and out of the show over Season 1's run so far. We're seen returns from Harry Connick Jr.'s Leo, Minnie Driver's Lorraine, Molly Shannon's Val, Leslie Jordan's Beverley, Jennifer Lopez's Jennifer Lopez and Bobby Cannavale's Vince, to name a few. And they're not done, with Season 1's finale ("It's a Family Affair") bringing in legendary comic Robert Klein to replace Alan Arkin as Grace's father Martin, with Mary McCormack replacing Geena Davis as Grace's sister Janey. Sara Rue, meanwhile, will reprise the role of Joyce Adler.