The final run of Will & Grace began this week with the bumped-up premiere of its eleventh and last season on NBC, but it turns out that the fab four stars of the series won't all be on board for all of the remaining episodes. Megan Mullally, who of course has played Karen Walker ever since the Will & Grace pilot aired way back in 1998, will be missing from a couple installments. But why?
Let's break it down. Megan Mullally took a temporary leave of absence from Will & Grace's final season, according to TVLine, which means no Karen in two episodes. Fans should expect to see the two episodes airing without Karen to hit the airwaves later this season, so there's presumably no reason to fear that she'll be missing from the next couple of episodes, considering Season 11 (the third season of the revival) only just began.
Megan Mullally hasn't shared anything on social media about her leave of absence. Her latest posts on Twitter and Instagram are actually hyping the bumped-up premiere of Season 11, and she looks like she was in the middle of filming when she recorded her Twitter video. NBC hasn't shared any official comment at the time of writing either, but there are reasons to wonder if behind-the-scenes tension could have led to Mullally taking a break.
Rumors of drama on set began to circulate earlier this year when Megan Mullally and costar Debra Messing stopped following each other on Instagram, as noted by fans, and they've seemingly appeared in photos together much more rarely than in the past. Was the unfollowing on Instagram a sign that something is wrong between the two actresses, or could it have happened for some other reason?
It's worth noting that Megan Mullally seems to have stopped following Sean Hayes on Instragram as well, and Hayes and Mullally are pair for a lot of scenes as Jack and Karen, but the rumors about drama between Mullally and Debra Messing have been persistent and lasted for months.
The buzz around the alleged feud grew so much that Will & Grace actor Eric McCormack was called upon by Us Weekly to weigh in on what was happening. For his part, McCormack did his best to debunk the rumors, saying this:
It seems crazy. It is crazy! I think people worried about that entirely too much... The four of us get along like a house on fire, we always have.
Karen fans will undoubtedly be bummed to hear that Megan Mullally will be missing from two episodes of what will almost certainly be the last season, as a second revival or even spinoff a la The Conners seems pretty unlikely at this point, but the good news is that Will & Grace got a pretty hefty order for Season 11. The final season of the series will run for 18 episodes, and there's no indication that either of these two episodes will be the finale.