If you hear a faint clinking sound on the breeze today, it’s probably the NBC execs at 30 Rockefeller Plaza toasting a job well done—namely, the fact that their Will & Grace revival, which premiered Thursday night, was the night’s No. 1 show by a long shot.
As Vulture’s Josef Adalian reports, the premiere drew just over 10 million eyeballs Thursday night, landing it the honor of being Thursday’s most-watched entertainment program. (No. 2, Grey’s Anatomy, didn’t even come close.) Even more impressively, Adalian notes, the premiere attracted more viewers than every episode of the original show’s final season, excluding the finale that the revival largely scraps. Given how fragmented audiences have become since that final season—thanks to streaming and the rise of DVRs—that feat is particularly impressive. And once the viewers from those technologies get added in, Adalian guesses the total viewership could climb to 15 million. That indeed, would be worth a dram of brandy.
But how, exactly, has Will & Grace seized such a large audience? It’s likely more than just nostalgia at work. Sure, pre-existing material comes with a built-in fan base that immediately provides a bump—but Will & Grace also benefits from a sunny, old-fashioned optimism, one that is especially welcome during dark times of political strife. Consider, for instance, the bump that Friends and other sitcoms like it received after September 11. Until very recently, Will & Grace was also absent from streaming sites. (It’s now available on Hulu.) Perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
And then there’s perhaps the most important factor of all: as most reviews indicated, the new Will & Grace is actually good—and very similar to the old Will & Grace. Many reboots quickly show their age, thanks to saggy plotlines and grown-up former child actors who don’t always seem as if they really want to be there. In this case, however, the dialogue is as snappy as ever, the storytelling is quick, and yes, the characters are still delightfully snarky. No wonder the ratings went through the roof, by today’s standards, though in the show’s early-aughts heyday, of course, when Will & Grace was regularly pulling in upward of 17 million viewers per episode, a similar number would be nothing to crow about.
This News Credit Goes To >> Source link