This finally may be the year that Will gets a boyfriend on NBC's hit sitcom Will & Grace. According to the show's brass, the hunt for a love interest for Eric McCormack's monkish alter ego has officially begun.

"It is time for Will and Grace to get romantically involved ? but not with each other," David Kohan, the comedy's executive producer/co-creator, told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. Added fellow executive producer/co-creator Max Mutchnick of Will's prospective partner(s): "We are really hoping to find some exciting people for him to date."

Will's blossoming love life is just one of many developments slated to take place this fall as Will & Grace gears up for its new, high-profile time slot (Thursdays, 9 pm/ET) and some formidable competition (ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire). Other highlights: Will and Grace move back in together; the romance between Debra Messing's Grace and Gregory Hines's Ben will continue; one episode will feature a flashback to the time Will met Grace in college; and Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins will reprise their respective roles as Grace's mother and fashion foe.

Producers also are flirting with the idea of doing a musical-themed episode, à la The Drew Carey Show and Ally McBeal. "[But] it has to be perfect or you can't do it," notes Mutchnick. Adds Sean Hayes, who plays Will's eccentric sidekick Jack: "I say, let's half-ass it."

Whether or not all the pomp and circumstance will propel the gay farce past Millionaire in the ratings remains to be seen. But the Will & Grace team doesn't seem to be all that concerned. Messing for one believes that in terms of the coveted 18-to-49 demographic, ABC's killer game show may need to use a lifeline. "The younger shows [like Will & Grace] have fared best against Millionaire," she says, "because [Millionaire's] viewership skews older."