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'Will & Grace' star Eric McCormack on revival: 'We had 3 great years'

"I really thought it was a totally limited thing. I did not envision this being my life again," the actor told UPI.

Eric McCormack from Will & Grace arrives on the red carpet at the NBC Midseason New York Press Junket in New York on  January 23. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Eric McCormack from "Will & Grace" arrives on the red carpet at the NBC Midseason New York Press Junket in New York on  January 23. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Eric McCormack has mixed emotions about Will & Grace ending again, but hasn't ruled out another revival of the sitcom.

Co-starring Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes, the show will wrap up this spring after 246 episodes on NBC.

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The series about a gay lawyer and his straight female best friend/roommate originally ran from 1998 to 2006. It was revived for three seasons starting in 2017.

"It's over for me. We finished the last one on Dec. 18, so it was definitely bittersweet," McCormack recently told UPI in New York.

"It's an overused phrase, but in this case, it is really appropriate because it wasn't just sad. We had a second chance to do this right. We had three great years with these characters and I love the way it ends and I love what Will and Grace get," the 56-year-old actor added.

McCormack, his fellow cast members, the writers and crew accomplished everything they set out to with the three bonus seasons, mining for laughs subjects such as politics, city life, relationships, career changes and family.

"It was a real journey," he said.

"The real reason Max Mutchnick wanted to bring the show back was to use these character voices at this particular time in history, which is why our first season was so political in its comedy. The second became more about love and boyfriends and this season has very much been about children and I love that for them," McCormack said.

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"These characters can only spin out of control in Manhattan for so long before you want to see the growth that comes with parenthood."

His remarks echo a statement Mutchnick and show co-creator David Kohan released in July, when they announced the show would end on a high note with Season 11. The last season finds Grace pregnant and Will hiring a surrogate mother, played by Demi Lovato, to carry his baby.

"It is our belief that throughout this time, we have been able to sustain a level of quality that we can all be incredibly proud of, especially these past three seasons. In the interest of protecting the legacy of this show and the truly outstanding work that went into making every episode, we have decided now is the time to stop," Mutchnick and Kohan said in their statement.

Now that he has reconnected with his TV family, McCormack hopes they will remain close as they move on to other projects.

"We try. Sean and I see each other quite a bit in L.A. We'll never see Messing now. She's on Broadway," McCormack said, assuring that if another 11 years pass and there is an appetite for more Will & Grace, he will gladly return.

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"I can come back next week if somebody asks. You never know. What I love about television is that characters can age as actors age and sometimes that doesn't work as well," he said.

"But, in this case, to see these characters again 11 years later I think really worked, and 11 years from now, we will need cue cards and prompters in our ears and people helping us to the stage and back, but I am willing."

The show's fan base has grown exponentially as attitudes toward gay people have warmed, and as the show's original viewers watch the new episodes with their partners and kids.

"We slowly brought guys, we brought an older audience, we brought a younger audience," McCormack said. "People come up and say they watch with their whole family. They go, 'My grandmother watches the show' or 'I've watched since I was 8.' I'm like, 'Really, 8?' I'd never thought of it that way."

Talk of reviving the show began in earnest after a short, online film -- featuring the characters of Will, Grace, Karen and Jack comically discussing Donald Trump's candidacy for U.S. president -- went viral in September 2016.

"When we did the 10-minute video that launched this whole thing, that's all I thought we were going to do, and then when NBC said, 'How about we do 12 episodes?' I really thought it was a totally limited thing. I did not envision this being my life again," McCormack said.

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Season 11 of Will & Grace airs Thursday nights on NBC.

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