DAVID BIANCULLI

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2006: 'Will & Grace' Ends its Eight-Season Run
May 18, 2019  | By TV WW
 
This day in 2006 marked the final telecast of NBC's Will & Grace, the late-nineties equivalent of The Odd Couple.

The New York-set series starred Eric McCormack and Debra Messing as best friends and roommates Will Truman and Grace Adler. He's a lawyer, and she's an interior designer. He's Felix-esque, she's Oscar-esque. He's gay, she's straight, and both are romantically challenged.

The show's other key stars were Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally. Hayes played Jack McFarland, a flamboyant, gay, not very successful actor/singer who (eventually) lived across the hall from Will and Grace. Mullally's character, Karen Walker, was an often abrasive socialite who "worked" as Grace's assistant.

Will & Grace debuted in 1998, on the heels of Ellen's groundbreaking coming-out episode and subsequent decline, and was dismissed as a "gay Seinfeld." But the show overcame the initial criticism and became a lynchpin of NBC's "Must-See TV" lineup. It's since been credited for opening the door for other TV series featuring openly-gay characters and themes.

Will & Grace returned to NBC in the fall of 2017 with its original stars.

 
 
 
 
 
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