Paley Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Will & Grace

Friday, June 2 to Sunday, July 9, 2023
The Paley Museum, 25 W 52 Street, NYC

Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of Will & Grace with a must-see exhibit that kicks off the Paley Pride celebration! Few shows have left as lasting a legacy on television a Universal Television series for NBC did after its acclaimed debut on September 21, 1998. The Universal Television's series helped to pave the way for greater recognition of the LGBTQ+ community on television with two gay leading roles starring in a prime-time comedy for the first time. Over the course of its eleven-season run, Will & Grace shattered stereotypes and prejudices about the community, bringing a relatability, authenticity, and complexity to these characters that millions of people could embrace, while also winning critical acclaim.
The inspiring success of Will & Grace has had a profound influence on the industry. In the years since, Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, has produced numerous acclaimed series that spotlight nuanced characters embodying a broad range of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ experience.
So come sit in Café Jacques and grab a photo or pose on the iconic couch in Will and Grace's living room using our photo booth for a souvenir photo with digital frame. See original costumes from the characters Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen, plus costumes from Universal Studio Group's shows that followed in the footsteps of Will & Grace’s, including Hacks, The Umbrella Academy, Never Have I Ever, and Harlem. The exhibit is a fantastic way to learn and appreciate the impact that Will & Grace had on LGBTQ+ representation in TV.


PaleyImpact: The Impact of Will & Grace: 25 Years Later

Monday, June 5, 2023; 7:00 pm
As part of the Paley Center’s ongoing PaleyImpact program series, fans will have the opportunity to go down memory lane with members of the cast and creative team of Will & Grace.

In Person:
Eric McCormack, “Will Truman”
Debra Messing, “Grace Adler”
Max Mutchnick, Cocreator, Executive Producer, Will & Grace
David Kohan, Cocreator, Executive Producer, Will & Grace

Moderator: Isaac Mizrahi, Performer, Author, and Fashion Designer

Events and participants subject to change.


Tickets on sale NOW for Paley President's Circle, Patron Circle, and Partner Members
Monday, May 15 for Paley Supporting, Family, and Individual Members
Tuesday, May 16 for the public

Paley Members: $15
General Public: $25

On Display


GALLERY EXHIBIT and ORIGINAL COSTUMES—Take a closer look at the characters of Will and Jack, two of the show's most beloved gay characters, as they come to life in vivid detail along with costumes and large photo reproductions. Also on display are original costumes from LGBTQ+ characters from other Universal Studio Group's shows that followed in the footsteps of Will & Grace's, including Hacks, The Umbrella Academy, Harlem, and Never Have I Ever.
ORIGINAL PROPS—Our display includes Will’s Louis Vuitton wallet, Jack’s shower caps, Grace’s campaign buttons for presidency of the New York Society of Interior Decorators, bobblehead Karen, and the original "Sad Man" picture that was on the set of the apartment for years that fans will instantly recognize. Also on display are original costumes from the shows that came after, including an actual Chucky doll from the TV series Chucky, which got a 2023 GLAAD nomination for Outstanding Drama Series.
INSTAGRAM MOMENTS—Step inside 155 Riverside Drive and into the world of Will & Grace! You can pose on the iconic couch in their living room and get a souvenir photo using our photo booth, or sit for a spell at the acclaimed Café Jacques. You can order a scone, but we can't promise it will ever arrive!
TRIVIA—Test your Will & Grace knowledge with our trivia, brought to life on an interactive monitor. From classic quotes to memorable anecdotes, you're sure to discover something new about the beloved series.
VIDEO CLIPS—Video clips from the shows will be on display throughout the exhibition, allowing you to experience some of the best iconic moments.
SCREENINGS—Looking for a fun afternoon out? Relive your favorite moments with Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen as you watch classic episodes from the show on the big screen.
FAMILY FUN and EDUCATION—🎨 Discover a world of arts & crafts for the entire family in the 4th Floor Library, where you can make your own rainbow bunting or color our rainbow flag coloring sheets.

Paley Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Will & Grace is curated with the partnership of Universal Studio Group and the counsel of special advisers Megan Townsend, Senior Director Entertainment Research & Analysis, GLAAD; and Steven Capsuto, media historian and author of Alternate Channels: Queer Images on 20th Century TV.

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Will & Grace Screenings in the Bennack Theater

May 31 to June 9, 2023
June 10 and 11, 2023 (12:10 to 2:30 pm screenings are in the Goodson Theater)
June 14 to 18, 2023 (Screenings only 12:10 to 3:00 pm)
June 22 to July 2, 2023
Wednesdays to Sundays
Bennack Theater

NBC broadcasted the first episode of Will & Grace on September 21, 1998, and it quickly became a staple of the network’s prime-time schedule for much of its eleven-season run (1998–2006 and 2017–2020). The comedic series ended up as one of the most successful television series with principal characters from the LGBTQ+ community, which then paved the way for greater recognition and representation of the community on television. We are pleased to screen a few of the evolutionary Will & Grace episodes that convey the relatability, authenticity, and complexity of its characters through an adept balance of comedy and drama. The series was received with such critical acclaim that it ultimately would earn eighteen Emmy Awards during its illustrious run.

Note: There will be no screenings in the Bennack Theater on June 15 and 21.

12:10 pm, 2:35 pm, 5:10 pm

The Paley Center Salutes the Best of Will & Grace

Comprised of the best moments from the show's first eight seasons, this TV special produced by the Paley Center for NBC in 2017 features exclusive interviews with the show's stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally. Also included are behind-the-scenes footage of the iconic series, which won critical and audience acclaim for its brilliant comedy and groundbreaking focus on gay characters and their life experiences. (2017; NBC)

12:55 pm, 3:20 pm

Will & Grace: “Pilot”

This introduction to the Will & Grace universe deftly defined the characters from the start, which millions of fans quickly embraced. When Grace gets a marriage proposal, Eric McCormack’s character, Will, tries to be the supportive friend at first, then choosing to risk their friendship by telling her what he truly thinks. (1998; NBC)

1:20 pm, 3:45 pm

Will & Grace: “Acting Out”

This landmark episode marks the very first time that Will & Grace featured a gay kiss. Will and Jack complain to the Today Show’s Al Roker after a scheduled kiss between gay men is scrapped from the air. (2000; NBC)

1:45 pm, 4:10 pm

Will & Grace: “Gypsies, Tramps and Weed”

In one of Will & Grace’s most highly rated episodes ever, Will is terrified by revelations made to him by absent-minded fortuneteller, while the music icon Cher encounters her biggest fan, Jack. (2000; NBC)

2:10 pm, 4:35 pm

Will & Grace: “It’s Time”

In the grand finale of the series revival, we come to a bittersweet close with the four main characters still grappling with the trials and tribulations of life. Grace is pregnant and expecting to go into labor at any moment; Will continues to make a strong effort to stay optimistic while his emotions are lingering in the past for an ex-partner; Karen seeks closure with her ex-husband; and Jack is awaiting his Broadway debut bow. A final goodbye to the beloved characters of Will & Grace. (2020; NBC)


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Diversity and Inclusion Programming Initiative Donors

The Paley Center thanks the donors who have contributed to the Diversity and Inclusion Programming Initiative:

A Few Good Women Productions
AMC Networks
Apple, Inc.
Banijay & Endemol Shine Holdings
Berlanti Productions
CBS / Paramount+
Condé Nast Entertainment
End of Episode Productions
FOX Entertainment
FTI Consulting
FX Networks & FX Productions
GroupM North America
HBO / Max Content
Isaac Lee / EXILE Content
Lionsgate Television Group
Mary Parent
Matt Johnson
NBCUniversal Television and Streaming
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network & OTT Streaming
Paramount Global
Peter Rice
Phillip Sun, M88
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Tyler Perry Studios
Warner Bros. Television Group
World Surf League

As of May 2023

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