Magazine article Variety

'Will & Grace' Had a Relatable Vibe

Magazine article Variety

'Will & Grace' Had a Relatable Vibe

Article excerpt

uring its eight-season run on NBC, "Will & Grace" was nominated for 83 Emmy Awards, nabbing 16 statues, plus seven GLAAD Media Awards. The comedy was honored in the Smithsonian's LGBT history collection, and was recognized by Vice President Joe Biden for helping to educate the American public about the gay community. But getting the sitcom on air in 1998 was an achievement in and of itself.

"It wasn't easy. You got the sense that there was some anxiety about it," recalls David Kohan, who co-created the series with Max Mutchnick. "I remember one time our agent asked us, 'Hey, can you make Will straight?'"

Kohan says Showtime's David Nevins, then at NBC, was an early champion of the project, thanks to the characters' dynamic - not their sexual identity. "If you set out to make a political statement, you're just making a political statement, and political statements are boring," Kohan tells Variety. "You want to write about characters that people care about and want to hang out with. That's your job, and all the other stuff that comes with it is gravy."

Showcasing gay characters on TV was not then the norm, though Ellen DeGeneres had come out a year prior to "Will & Grace's" debut, and incorporated that storyline into her ABC sitcom. …

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