Tonight marks the end of the line for Will & Grace, and few could deny that it has succeeded in its eight-year mission to use the power of the double entendre to guide America towards a more tolerant climate for The Gays, and the gay-making activities they partake in behind closed doors. (Decorating, brunching, mercilessly sassing each other, etc...) Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood recalls the upfronts when the pilot was first presented to advertisers, which was artfully edited to remove any reference to Will's homosexuality. "It was only when I walked out of the presentation and went to the NBC after-party that I learned that Jack wasn't the only gay character," she writes. (Which leads us to question Finke's gaydar calibration: C'mon, now...McCormack??) Talking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Will himself corroborates her story:
"[There was] a big meeting about 'Don't play up the gay too much...This is a show about friendship. This is a show about an ensemble.' We were afraid of America not tuning in right from the beginning," McCormack said. [...]
"The next thing you know, the gay of the show is allowed to have his own life," McCormack said...
It didn't take long before "gay" became the fifth, and arguably most popular, W&G series regular, popping in week after week as the colorful, outrageous topic who lived next door. NBC, having long since shed their Nervous Nellie attitudes, have signed the hilarious orientation to a 5-year development deal, and there's talk of a backburner midseason replacement, Life With Gay, making its way onto next year's schedule.