Will & Grace is an American sitcom created by Max Mutchnick and David Kohan. Set in New York City, the show focuses on the friendship between best friends Will Truman (Eric McCormack), a gay lawyer, and Grace Adler (Debra Messing), a straight interior designer. The show was broadcast on NBC from September 1998 to May 2006, for a total of eight seasons, and restarted its run on NBC in September 2017. During its original run Will & Grace was one of the most successful television series with gay principal characters.
Despite initial criticism for its stereotypical portrayal of homosexual characters, it went on to become a staple of NBC's Must See TV Thursday night lineup and was met with continued critical acclaim. It was ensconced in the Nielsen top 20 for half of its network run. The show was the highest-rated sitcom among adults 18–49, from 2001 and 2005. Throughout its eight-year run, Will & Grace earned 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and 83 nominations. Each main actor, with the exception of Morrison, received an Emmy Award throughout the series. In 2014 the Writers Guild of America placed the sitcom at number 94 in their list of the 101 Best Written TV series of all time. Since the final episode aired, the sitcom has been credited with helping and improving public opinion of the LGBT community, with former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden commenting that the show "probably did more to educate the American public" on LGBT issues "than almost anything anybody has ever done so far". In 2014, the Smithsonian Institution added an LGBT history collection to their museum which included items from Will and Grace. The curator Dwight Blocker Bowers stated that the sitcom used "comedy to familiarize a mainstream audience with gay culture" in a way that was "daring and broke ground" in American media.
During its original run, Will & Grace was filmed in front of a live studio audience (most episodes and scenes) on Tuesday nights, at Stage 17 in CBS Studio Center. Will and Grace's apartment was put on display at the Emerson College Library, donated by series creator Max Mutchnick. When the set was removed in 2014, rumors came up about a cast reunion, but the actors involved denied that such a reunion was planned, explaining it was merely being moved. A long-running legal battle between both the original executive producers and creators and NBC took place between 2003 and 2007.
In September 2016, the cast reunited for a 10-minute special (released online), urging Americans to vote in the 2016 presidential election. After its success, NBC announced that the network was exploring the idea of putting Will & Grace back into production. In January 2017, NBC confirmed the series' return for a ninth season, for the 2017–18 television season, which was eventually expanded to 16 episodes. This was followed by renewals for 18-episode tenth and eleventh seasons.