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[07/22/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC's Emmy Award-Winning "Will & Grace" Kicks Off Eighth and Final Season with Live Premiere on September 29

[via press release from NBC]

NBC�S EMMY AWARD-WINNING "WILL & GRACE" KICKS OFF EIGHTH AND FINAL SEASON WITH LIVE PREMIERE ON SEPTEMBER 29

Guest Stars Alec Baldwin and Eric Stoltz Who Reprise Their Roles from Last Season.

BURBANK, Calif. -� July 22, 2005 -� Fresh off its own series record of 15 Emmy Award nominations last week, NBC's Emmy-winning comedy "Will & Grace" will begin its eighth and final season with a live season premiere on Thursday, September 29 (8:30-9 p.m. ET).

In the season debut � the series' first live episode -- two versions will be telecast, one live for the East Coast and one for the West Coast, resulting in different jokes to be used in each separate broadcast. The first show will shoot at 5:30 p.m. (PT) for the East coast (to air at 8:30 p.m. ET) and another show will be shot at 8:30 p.m. (PT) for the West coast. The premiere will be directed by multiple Emmy-winning director James Burrows (who again was nominated this season for "Will & Grace").

Last year's season-ending cliffhanger left Grace (Emmy winner Debra Messing) on the verge of beginning an affair with a married man (Stoltz), while Will (Emmy winner and repeat 2005 nominee Eric McCormack) discovering that Karen's (Emmy winner and 2005 repeat nominee Megan Mullally) ex-husband Stan -- thought to be dead -- was in fact, alive.

The season premiere will follow up on these plot lines, and also offer viewers more news on Jack's (Emmy winner Sean Hayes, who also was nominated in 2005) new job as the host of his own talk show. Alec Baldwin (also nominated this year for his performance in "Will & Grace") returns as Will's new boss is secretly working for Stan while also romancing Karen.

"This opportunity for a challenging live platform launch for 'Will & Grace' is the perfect way to inaugurate their final season," said Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment. "On the heels of the amazing Emmy nominations that recognized the series' achievement, we think the audience is primed for a memorable first episode and an equally memorable last year."

"We love the idea of a live episode because we get to show the audience of "Will & Grace" what we've known from day one � We work with the best cast in network television" said David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the Emmy-winning creators and executive producers of the series.

"There's nothing like live television to make everything we do on stage seem electric and dangerous," said director and executive producer Burrows. "This will be like the classic golden era of television that I was weaned on where the audience sees everything. Directing a live broadcast will be a first for me and as long as I have been in the business there are very few firsts."

Kohan and Mutchnick are the creators and executive producers of "Will & Grace." Burrows is director and executive producer. Gary Janetti, Tracy Poust, Jon Kinnally and Tim Kaiser serve as executive producers and showrunners. "Will & Grace" is a production of KoMut Entertainment in association with NBC Universal Television Studio and Three Sisters Entertainment.





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· WILL & GRACE (NBC)





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