Another Thursday night NBC comedy, the U.S adaptation of The Office, also had a significant affect on American TV comedy.
Prime-time sitcoms were populated by actors delivering big, theatrical performances in front of studio audiences encouraged to express their vocal appreciation at every punchline, double-entendre, pratfall and spit-take.
Will & Grace was a product of that unsubtle, but beloved, tradition.
Its star quartet – Eric McCormack and Debra Messing as the titular BFFs, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally as the scene stealing second bananas who swiftly ascended to equal billing – possessed such impeccable Swiss-watch timing that they were able to elevate even the hokiest material.
For the entirety of its original eight-season run, guest-starring in Will & Grace, preferably as one of Will or Grace’s doomed love interests was a badge of honor that attracted the likes of Britney Spears, Madonna, Matt Damon, Cher, Michael Douglas and, as the head of the gay mafia, Elton John.
So how does the 2017 version of Will & Grace, a beneficiary of the current revive-anything-with-a-potential-built-in-audience era adapt to a post-Office environment? It doesn’t.
It’s also one that’s working hard to appear relevant.
In the first five seconds, there are winking references to Caitlyn Jenner and Melania Trump.