Will & Grace

1998, TV Show

News

Will Four Kings Trump Its Rivals?

Josh Cooke is one of Four Kings

Four Kings, the new NBC comedy (premiering Thursday at 8:30 pm/ET) from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, treads Friends-ly territory with the story of four lifelong buds — Barry (Seth Green, the Austin Powers movies; Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ben (Josh Cooke, Committed), Bobby (Shane McRae) and Jason (Todd Grinnell) — who inherit an improbably fantastic New York City apartment when Ben's grandmother passes away. With a quartet of young actors onboard, the backstage shenanigans probably rival what you'll see on screen. "One of the games we play, involving a blue fuzzy pillow being w read more

Why do you think NBC decided ...

Question: Why do you think NBC decided to leave Scrubs off its new Thursday lineup? Answer: The generous response would be that NBC thinks highly enough of Scrubs that it has scheduled back-to-back episodes on Tuesdays starting this week (9 pm/ET), figuring it would be riskier to air untested comedies in the time period and that a one-two punch of Scrubs is just what the doctor ordered. But why be generous? To me, it's just the latest in a seemingly unending series of bad decisions by NBC's programming department. Scrubs has been ill-treated all season. On the heels of its Emmy nominations, it was kept off the air for the first half of the season, and now is dumped on Tuesdays with Fear Factor as the worst imaginable lead-in. On the revamped Thursday lineup, which NBC in theory should be using as a showcase of its best comedies if it truly hopes to rebuild that "must-see" franchise, Scrubs again gets the shaft, in favor of a dying show (Will & Grace), a brain-dead new show (Four Kings) ... read more

CBS is doing a great job ...

Question: CBS is doing a great job counterprogramming American Idol with NCIS. So my question is: Now that the season premiere of Fear Factor tanked in the ratings against repeats, why don't they try The Book of Daniel in that time slot instead? In my book, giving it Dateline as a lead-in on Fridays at 10 pm/ET shows zero faith in the show. And on another matter, what do you think of NBC's new two-hour comedy block on Thursdays? Answer: If NBC had put The Book of Daniel on Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET, in the teeth of Idol, just as many complaints would likely pour in that NBC is trying to kill it there. (Wednesday at 8 would have been a better option. A night of Daniel leading in to West Wing, which deserves to move back to Wednesday for its final episodes, leading in to Law & Order would be the sort of high-quality night NBC generally lacks nowadays). The Friday time period will not be easy for Daniel, which is probably going to be a tough sell to begin with. (I'd love to be surprised.) But ... read more

Time to Go?
Preparing for that final curtain

Knowing when to leave, and then executing that exit strategy with dignity and creative energy intact, is possibly the toughest task in all of TV. (Everybody Loves Raymond pulled it off better than most.) In the year ahead, quite a few longtime faves are heading toward the finish line, even if some — like the fading West Wing — have yet to make it official. Here's my take on how these swan songs are playing out. While watching them, I also started wondering which ones are most likely to live on in spin-offs and which are best suited for nostalgic reunions somewhere down the road. The West Wing Sundays, 8 pm/ET, NBCSeason: 7Showing its age? By definition, a lame duck is no spring chicken. Moving this once-majestic show to Sund read more

BATHROOM HUMOR

Will & Grace's Eric McCormack and Debra Messing

Having successfully performed a live season premiere — even working around a last-minute and conspicuous injury to Megan Mullally — NBC's Will & Grace is ready to dip into that well again. On Jan. 12 the sitcom, now in its eighth and final season, will stage another live episode, in which Karen throws herself a lavish birthday soiree only to spend the evening crammed in the bathroom with her three buds. (And no, I don't mean Vicodin, Paxil and Xanax.) read more

I want to know your thoughts ...

Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke, Scrubs

Question: I want to know your thoughts on NBC's mid-season moves. While Fox seemed to play into NBC's hand by not moving American Idol (and moving less-than-stellar comedies to the Thursday 9 pm/ET slot), NBC seems to have given us a mixed result. While I like that they're trying to rebuild the Thursday-night comedy block, it is obvious that they still don't respect what they have with Scrubs, particularly because they will probably be pairing it with Joey. While there aren't any real strengths in the NBC schedule, is this really a make-or-break time for both Joey and, as a result, Scrubs? Along the same vein, does this move really serve as a vote of confidence for The Office and Four Kings? Answer: For a night-by-night breakdown of the mid-season shuffle, check out my recent Dispatch analyzing the various network moves in one of the most chaotic Januarys I can remember. This question presumes that NBC will pair Scrubs with Joey after the Olympics, but that hasn't been determined, and ... read more

IN THE WORKS

CBS has picked up a D.C.-based pilot about thirtysomething staffers on Capitol Hill, tentatively titled Sex, Power, Love & Politics, by Will & Grace exec producer Greg Malins, who either has no problem conjuring up bad memories of UPN's Sex, Love & Secrets or just really likes ampersands.... NBC has made a script commitment to a fantastic and compelling — can't miss, if you ask me — one-hour drama about an expert in deprogramming brainwashed people; this show sounds fantastic and compelling — can't miss, if you ask me. read more

Now that the dust has settled...

Now that the dust has settled a bit on all the 2006 mid-season changes that will be kicking in as soon as the holidays are over, here's my night-by-night scorecard of the imminent battles we'll be covering a month or so from now. Monday The big news is the return of 24 on Fox, with a four-hour blast January 15-16, followed by all-new episodes through the rest of the season. For the first two months, Skating with Celebrities (a rip-off of Dancing with the Stars) will be 24's lead-in. But come mid-March, Prison Break will return. What a one-two punch that promises to be! CBS will coast along by capping off its popular comedies with read more

NBC RESTS JOEY, SCRUBS BACK IN

Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke in Scrubs

NBC has announced its mid-season game plan, and it goes a little something like this: Effective Jan. 2, My Name Is Earl and The Office, as speculated, move from Tuesday to Thursdays-at-9, where they will follow a pairing of Will & Grace and the new sitcom Four Kings (starring Seth Green, Shane McRae, Josh Cooke and Todd Grinnell). Filling the Tuesday void are back-to-back airings of new Scrubs episodes, which will have Fear Factor as its lead-in. Succeeding The Apprentice: Martha Stewart on Wednesdays at 9 is The Biggest Loser: Special Edition, a series of standalone and themed spec read more

RIVALS REACT TO FOX'S MOVES

Fox's announcement of its mid-season slate — namely, the fact that American Idol will not be moving its results show to Thursdays — has rivals scrambling to counterprogram. ABC, for example, may now air Season 2 of Dancing with the Stars on Thursdays, reports Variety, while NBC could be extra-tempted to... oh, never mind, just read the Breaking News item now at the top of this column! read more

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Premiered: September 21, 1998, on NBC
Rating: None
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Premise: Snappy hit about a straight woman and a gay man who are best friends. She's a decorator with a snippy, self-absorbed assistant; he's a lawyer with a flamboyant buddy who has trouble holding a job.

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