‘Will & Grace’ reboot draws strong ratings, mixed reviews

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ABOVE: Did somebody say encore? A decade after their unforgettable eight-season run, comedy’s most fabulous foursome is back. Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally reprise their infamous roles as Will, Grace, Jack and Karen in a 16-episode season. (Photo courtesy NBC)

Eleven years after its last original episode, “Will & Grace” returned to NBC Thursday night to generally strong reviews and good ratings.

The episode averaged a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 and about 10 million viewers, the Hollywood Reporter reports. That was enough to put it above all other shows for the evening except “Thursday Night Football” on CBS. It was also one of the top shows for premiere week just trailing “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” and “This is Us.”

The episode found the four pals reunited as Grace (Debra Messing) considers a job redecorating the Oval Office, Jack (Sean Hayes) flirts with members of the Secret Service, Trump supporter Karen (Megan Mullally) getting in a few cracks at Grace’s boobs and Will (Eric McCormack) falls for a conservative hottie. The show unfolds as if the original series’ finale didn’t happen. Oh, and there were lots of Trump jokes, too.

There’s been lots of talk about whether the premise of the show will still work in 2017. That was one element the Telegraph, a U.K. paper, cited as a problem in its review. “This is a broad, blowsy old-fashioned show … that’s working hard to appear relevant,” the Telegraph review said. “(The cast’s) chemistry is evident and their collective timing is still a wonder, but as soon as the plot mechanics deposited them in the White House, the show felt feeble and decrepit.”

Other reviews were stronger. “The writing, the acting, and even the timing of Megan Mullally’s pitch perfect, gin-soaked retorts are as funny as ever. After watching the premiere, ’11 Years Later’, it’s tempting to think it feels like ‘Will & Grace’ never left,” ScreenRant wrote.

The show has already been renewed for an additional season.

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