94. WILL & GRACE
Created by David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
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Aired: NBC, 1998-2006
The season prior to Will & Grace’s debut had seen TV history, when Ellen Degeneres’ sitcom alter ego came out as a lesbian in a two-part episode of ABC’s Ellen. Not only did the sky not fall, but along came Will & Grace. The show, in the end, didn’t do much for gay rights, but nor did it intend be anything other than a sharp, witty, and fast comedy about urbanites with luxurious problems, a little more adult than the milieu at Friends but equally about the familial bonds of friendship. By virtue of its success, the show did create serious elbow room for gay characters in the not-quite-real world of the network situation comedy, so long as they remained as charmingly fey as Jack (Sean Hayes) or as discreetly sexual and put-together as Will (Erik McCormack).
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