'Will & Grace' Returns In Fall, Along With More Menendez Brothers

May 15, 2017

Will the "Will & Grace" revival make NBC "Must See TV" again on Thursday nights?

That's the hope of NBC executives who figure that in today's time shifting TV universe viewers will find new episodes of the popular Debra Messing-Eric McCormack sitcom at 8 p.m. Thursdays against CBS' "Big Bang Theory," ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and Fox's "Gotham."

Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally also will be back for all 12 episodes, and so will director Jim Burrows and "Will & Grace" creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan.

The new "Must See TV" Thursday – a slogan that dates back to "Cheers," "The Cosby Show" and "Seinfeld" in the 1980s and '90s – includes Tina Fey's "Great News" newsroom comedy at 8:30 p.m., the critically acclaimed "This Is Us" at 9 p.m. and Dick Wolf's latest, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."

Like Fox, NBC will premiere only three new series this fall: "Will & Grace" and two dramas: "The Brave," starring Anne Heche as the supervisor of America's undercover surveillance experts; and the "Menendez Murders" starring Edie Falco ("The Sopranos," "Nurse Jackie") in an eight-episode series as attorney Leslie Abramson, who represented the brothers after they shot and killed their rich parents in 1989.

The sensational Menendez brothers' case was rediscovered by TV this year. ABC News did a two-hour special in January on the case; HLN did a one-hour special; and Lifetime cable authorized a two-hour TV movie to air later this year. A two-hour TV movie called "Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills" aired in 1994.

BIG MOVE: "This Is Us" moves from Tuesday to 9 p.m. Thursday against the final season of ABC's hit "Scandal" and CBS' "Mom" and "Life in Pieces." 

GONERS: Not on the NBC roster and likely canceled are "Chicago Justice," "Powerless," "Emerald City," "The Blacklist: Redemption," "Aquarius," "Grimm" and "Trial and Error."

BACK FOR MORE: Renewed but not on the fall schedule are "Chicago Med," "Little Big Shots," "Shades of Blue," "Timeless," "The Wall," "America’s Got Talent," "Better Late Than Never," "American Ninja Warrior" and "The Night Shift."

MIDSEASON: Dramas coming later this year include "Good Girls," about three suburban moms who rob a supermarket at (toy) gunpoint; "Reverie," about a college professor (Sarah Shahi, "Person Of Interest") who rescues people lost in a virtual reality program; and "Rise," about a high school theater teacher (Josh Radnor, "How I Met Your Mother") who inspires a small town, from producer Jason Katims ("Parenthood," "Friday Night Lights").

New comedies include "A.P. Bio" about an advanced placement biology teacher, and "Champions," a comedy about a gym owner, his teen-age son, dim-witted brother and ex-girlfriend (Mindy Kaling).

ALTERNATIVE SERIES: NBC reloads with Chris Hardwick ("@Midnight," "Talking Dead," "The Wall") and Mark Burnett ("The Voice," "Survivor," "Shark Tank") producing "The Awesome Show" showcasing new innovations; Ellen DeGeneres hosting "Ellen's Game of Games"; Neil Patrick Harris saluting smart kids with "Genius Junior"; and Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman producing "The Handmade Project," in which amateurs will compete doing craft projects.

SPECIALS: NBC previously announced that Jennifer Lopez will star in the live telecast of "Bye Bye Birdie" in December.

THE LINEUP (new programs in bold)

SUNDAY: 7, Football Night in America; 8:20, NBC Sunday Night Football.

MONDAY: 8, The Voice; 10, The Brave.

TUESDAY: 8, The Voice; 9, Superstore;  9:30, The Good Place; 10, Chicago Fire.

WEDNESDAY: 8, The Blacklist; 9, Law & Order: SVU; 10, Chicago P.D.

THURSDAY: 8, Will & Grace; 8:30, Great News; 9, This Is Us; 10, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."

FRIDAY: 8, Blindspot; 9, Taken; 10, Dateline NBC.

SATURDAY: 8, Dateline Saturday Night Mystery; 10, Saturday Night Live repeats.

See the NBC announcement here.