On July 20, 1998, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes all stepped onto the stage at the Television Critics Association Annual Press tour to present a new NBC show -- Will & Grace. Along with the show’s creative team, the new cast fielded questions during a hilarious session with the press. The biggest question of all was, “Will we see a gay kiss on network television this season?” Over the course of the next eight years, viewers would indeed see a gay kiss (or two), witness the sitcom’s huge societal impact and, following a move to Thursdays, become one of NBC’s Must-See TV staples. The series return to the network this week (11 years after it officially “ended”) made for a very different TCA panel last month. Gone were the pre-show nerves that come with debuting a new show; in their place was feeling of welcomed familiarity by its stars. “I remember it well,” Eric McCormack told me of that first TCA panel. “But I am dressed much better now than I was then, that I do know. I was 34 and wasn’t a kid but I was new to having my name in the title of a network show and making sure I was doing everything right. Now we have the freedom to be ourselves and to know what we are delivering.”
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