Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Will & Grace
The show debuted on the NBC network in 1998 and steadily gained in popularity, culminating when it moved to Thursday night as part of NBC's "Must-See" lineup.
Will & Grace's early relationship
Back in college, Will and Grace were actually boyfriend and girlfriend, with Will in denial about his sexuality. However, with the counsel of his new friend Jack McFarland, Will finally came out to Grace during a Thanksgiving weekend at her family home in 1985. Grace was shocked, hurt and angry at the time, throwing him out of the house, but a year later they finally reconciled and renewed their friendship.
When the show debuted, the pair had just started living as roommates in New York City after Grace had come out of a long-term relationship with Danny which ended badly, and needed an apartment. Will and Grace spend a lot of time with one another as well as with friends Jack McFarland, a flamboyantly gay struggling stage actor; and Karen Walker, a millionairess lush and Grace's personal assistant. Another character who factored into the early stories was Harlin Polk, played by Gary Grubbs . At first he was given equal billing in the opening credits with the other four cast members, but interest in his storyline waned and he was written out of the show.
The show follows both Will and Grace's attempts to establish romantic relationships without sacrificing their often co-dependent reliance on one another for emotional support. A common joke finds Jack and Karen referring to Will and Grace as "non-sexual life partners". Eventually Grace moved into her own apartment in an attempt to put some distance between herself and Will, but then ended up moving back the following season.
Grace has had several lovers on the show, portrayed by actors such as Woody Harrelson and Gregory Hines. Eventually she married Leo, played by singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr.. Will has been less successful romantically, a fact lamented by GLBT fans who long to see a gay man portrayed on television in a happy relationship. During the course of the show, Will did not have any long-term love interests, but this changed in the spring of 2004, when the character of Vince, a New York City policeman played by Bobby Cannavale , was introduced. Vince is planned to appear in the 2004-2005 season.
Meanwhile the supporting characters Jack and Karen have grown cattier and more spiteful, providing acerbic commentary on the neurotic behavior of the title characters. Jack, whose floundering one-man show and acting career has been established as a hopeless dream, found work in retail sales and eventually married Karen's maid and long-time friend Rosario in order to help her establish US citizenship. It was also revealed that he had fathered a son many years prior (through artificial insemination with a woman played by Rosie O'Donnell). Karen is played as a woman who has made hard choices in life in order to live the carefree way she chooses. She sometimes reluctantly reveals intense emotion about rough situations (such as the death of her husband), although she usually prefers to put on a face of cruel indifference and obliviousness.
Awards and nominations
By 2005, "Will & Grace" had been nominated for 49 and won 12 Emmys. From 2001-2005, “Will & Grace” was the second highest rated comedy among adults 18-49, second only to NBC's own Friends, which usually preceded it on the Thursday night schedule. It has also been heralded as responsible for opening the door to a string of gay themed television programs such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy. "Will & Grace" has won several GLAAD Media Awards for its fair and accurate representation of the gay community.
Cast and Crew
- Will Truman , played by Eric McCormack
- Grace Adler , played by Debra Messing
- Jack McFarland , played by Sean Hayes
- Karen Walker, played by Megan Mullally
- Harlin Polk , played by Gary Grubbs (seasons one and two only)
- Rosario Salazar , played by Shelley Morrison
- Elliot , played by Michael Angarano
- Mrs. Bobbi Adler , played by Debbie Reynolds
- Vince , played by Bobby Cannavale
- Dr. Leo Markus , played by Harry Connick Jr.
- Stuart Lamarck , played by Dave Foley
- Lyle Finster , played by John Cleese
- Val Bassett , played by Molly Shannon
- David Flebotte - Executive Producer (Season 7)
- Alex Herschlag - Executive Producer
- David Kohan - Executive Producer
- Jhoni Marchinko - Executive Producer
- Max Mutchnick - Executive Producer
- James Burrows - Executive Producer
- Jeff Greenstein - Executive Producer
- Max Mutchnick - Creator
- David Kohan - Creator
- Asia - Star World
- Australia - Seven Network
- Belgium - Kanaal Twee
- Canada - Global
- Germany - Pro 7
- Italy - Italia 1 (Mediaset) and FOX Life
- Latin America - Sony
- Netherlands - Net5
- New Zealand - TV3
- Spain - La 2 and FOX
- United Kingdom - LivingTV and Channel 4
- United States - NBC
NBC Broadcast History
- September 1998-November 1998 – Monday 9:30pm
- December 1998-March 1999 – Tuesday 9:30pm
- April 1999-May 1999 – Thursday 8:30pm
- September 1999-May 2000 – Tuesday 9:00pm
- October 2000-January 2004 – Thursday 9:00pm
- January 2004-April 2004 – Thursday 8:30pm
- April 2004-September 2004 – Thursday 9:00pm
- September 2004-June 2005 - Thursday 8:30pm
- List of Will & Grace episodes
- List of guest stars on Will & Grace
- List of television shows with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered characters
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