EW previously shared the exciting news that while the new iteration of the series would ignore the show’s final episode, in which Grace (Debra Messing) is married to Connick Jr.’s Leo, the actor would make an appearance when the show returns this fall.
“When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?” executive producer and creator David Kohan told EW. “And if they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ’cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.”
Fortunately, there’s still space for Connick Jr. to briefly reprise his role. Messing shared her delight at having her on-screen partner back on set, writing on Instagram, “Time to swooooooonnnnn. Yup! He’s backkkkkkkkkkkk. That southern gentleman that stole all of our hearts- @harryconnickjr . There will never be another Leo.”
Messing wasn’t the only one excited for the reunion; Megan Mullally (who plays Karen Walker on the show) was equally as psyched, sharing a pic of the duo with the caption: “This one. SUCH A GREAT GUY. so fun to be around. we love you @harryconnickjr welcome back!”
WATCH: ‘Will & Grace’ Is Back!
While Connick Jr. is the only confirmed returning guest star at this point, that doesn’t mean he’ll be the only former star the producers reintroduce in the long run. “We’re not going to shy away from bringing any of those people back into the world,” EP Max Mutchnick told EW. “But we don’t want to, like, nail ourselves down to any of them.”
As for other guest spots from actors who haven’t previously featured on the show, we’ll just have to wait and see. “Our thinking is only, it’s the best people for the parts now at this point,” Kohan said. “I don’t think it’s going to fall in the category of stunt casting…If we have a dream casting for a particular part, then we’ll go out and try to get that person.” Mutchnick adds that casting has all round been easier this time: “We’re having much better luck with casting some of the parts that we’ve written,” he explains. “Because the show was always blessed with really talented people liking it and watching it, we feel like we will not disappoint this go-round…But we’re not going to bump into Tara Lipinski in the hallway.”
Will & Grace returns to screens Thursday, September 28 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
— Reporting by Lynette Rice