Will & Grace: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (21 Sep. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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In the pilot episode, Grace dumps her boyfriend, Danny, and moves in with Will for a while, until Danny proposes.



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Title: Pilot (21 Sep 1998)

Pilot (21 Sep 1998) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Todd Eckert ...
Jurgen Franzblau
Patron #1---Henry
Gino (scenes deleted)


When Grace receives an unexpected marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Will tries to be supportive of her decision but finally tells her that she's making a mistake, even though he's putting their friendship at risk. The situation is complicated by interference from Grace's socialite assistant, Karen, and Will's outrageous friend, Jack. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

21 September 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Karen was originally meant to be Grace's friend from work. She would interact with Grace, possibly Will. While Jack would interact almost solely with Will. Jack and Karen would never meet. However, when the producers realized what chemistry Megan and Sean had, they decided to make Karen and Jack meet. See more »


When Jack holds his glass of water, the way he holds the glass changes between shots. See more »


Harlin Polk: You're my lawyer. You tell me. What have I got to do to buy this company?
Will Truman: Well, first you've got to get something called a Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust clearance and then we can negotiate standstills and lockups. Naturally, that's after we do due diligence.
Harlin Polk: What the hell is doo-doo diligence?
Will Truman: No, Harlin, after we do... due diligence.
Harlin Polk: Doesn't matter how slow you say it, Will. It's still doo-doo, isn't it? I just want to know what it means.
Will Truman: It's just crap that lawyers deal with. Harlin, I'll ...
See more »


References ER (1994) See more »


Will & Grace Theme
Composed by Jonathan Wolff
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User Reviews

The Concept that Started it All.
8 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

With ELLEN creating the media stir that it did back when actress and sitcom star Ellen Degeneres "came out of the closet" and shocked only those who had either been under a hole for the past 50 years or couldn't take a hint if the truth were staring at their faces, it was now a thing as to where to go with her show. After the episodes following the "national event" involving her character's coming out became less and less funny it was only time before the network would step in and cancel the show. It seemed that everything about the show that had made it work was gone; too much emphasis on Ellen's character's sexuality almost in every other episode, and it seemed like it had run out of gas.

When cancellation occurred, there was a void. People nowadays may not see it as such back then but there was nevertheless. For gay audiences, there was nothing to hold onto. No sitcoms had any major or recurring character that was comfortable with his or her sexuality. If they were around, it had been up until then as a sight gag -- something to be laughed at and dismissed.

And then came the partnership of David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. They had had a situation comedy in which the supporting characters were a gay man and his straight best friend. Somehow the network execs decided that the secondary characters were the ones that caught their attention and wanted to go with them instead. And so, the comedy that became "Will and Grace" was born.

The pilot, I recall, tested not well, but through the roof. There was this overwhelming response to the set-up, in which Will Truman, a successful lawyer living in 155 Riverside Drive in Manhattan had a friendship with a female interior designer, Grace Adler, and who was best friends with Jack McFarland. It was as if the show everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived, and people were more than willing to accept it for what it was: a great show with not one, but two gay leading men.

The runaway bride plot that opened a show had been done successfully in "Friends" and was a success here as well, providing a near identical solution that integrated the leads within one apartment. While their living situation would become less believable as the show evolved -- particularly dealing with the events following Grace's divorce from Leo Markus -- it provided a way to blend both highly flammable personalities under one roof and see what would happen when a creative and neurotic designer and the male counterpart to Bree Van De Kamp collided under one roof.

Watching the very first episode there's a novelty in the air. It's as if everyone were experimenting with their roles and their purpose in being there. No one could guess the explosion the presentation would create. But there it was, with lines that crackled, wit that was bursting out of the TV screen, and attitude to pack.

(One of the interesting notes was that Megan Mullaly was sort of there to bring cattiness, as if the creators weren't sure where to take her character, but that proved to be quite the opposite when Karen Walker was given a whole new dimension within oncoming episodes in the First season and beyond.)

A great beginning to an excellent show that garnered not only a multitude of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations during its eight-year run but critical acclaim at a National level, and opened the doors for gay-themed shows like "Queer as Folk", "The L Word," and "Boy Meets Boy".

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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