Actor Eric McCormack reveals it during his new podcast with Sean Hayes.
Although 25 years have passed since the first time of Will & Grace in tv and its characters have kept us company for nearly 250 episodes, there’s a lot of things about the popular NBC sitcom that we still don’t know. Like the rather sensational one that the first version of the pilot episode included a fifth protagonist, played by the future star of Black Lightning Cress Williams!
Will & Grace: Cress Williams was supposed to be the fifth lead
The star revealed it Eric McCormack during episode 0 of the podcast that he and the former co-star Sean Hayes have just launched for Wondery, titled Just Jack & Will. The actor said that in the beginning “there were five main characters, and the fifth was my partner in my small law firm”, a “straight guy” and friend of Will who would serve as the “opposite” of Jack by Hayes. “I think they probably thought of him as a Jew, but in the end he was entrusted to Cress Williams.”
However, not long after filming the episode, the esteemed sitcom director James Burrows he realized that five was too much. “It was one of those things where, two days later – and I’m not talking about it polemically – Jimmy went to the boys (presumably the creators of Will & Grace Max Mutchnick e david kohan) and said, ‘There are too many. There is one too many. These four are the series.'” McCormack shared that he was disappointed, noting that “there was nothing he (Williams) did or didn’t do” to deserve it. “The same thing happened that happened to my character on Jenny McCarthy’s show the year before (the actor had been cast as the male lead of an NBC sitcom, but was cut after filming the pilot). It just didn’t fit into what the series was supposed to be.”