Karen Walker, the self-proclaimed “pill-popping, jet fuel sniffing, gin-soaked narcissist,” and her cadre of friends are coming back.
“Will & Grace” will return to NBC for a 10-episode revival in the 2017-2018 television season. The show will feature the main four members of the original cast: Debra Messing as interior designer Grace Adler; Eric McCormack as gay attorney Will Truman and Grace’s best friend; Megan Mullally as the often inebriated socialite Karen Walker; and Sean Hayes as Will’s gay best friend. The show’s creators, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, will executive produce the episodes. The original series ran on NBC CMCSA, +0.60% from 1998 to 2006 and was widely heralded as one of the most successful sitcoms with gay people as the main characters.
This is just the latest in a series of television shows, videogames, movies and other products that have gotten a reboot in the past few years. Among them: The movie “Star Wars,” the Nintendo 7974, +1.43% NES gaming console, and Coke SurgeKO, -0.39% Crystal Pepsi PEP, -0.34% — all of which were hits for the companies that made them. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” released in 2015, made more than $930 million domestically in its first 16 weeks in the theater — the most money a movie has ever made in the U.S. and Canada.
The classic Nintendo NES Classic Edition sold out in almost every brick-and-mortar retailer this holiday season — and commanded online prices that were triple or more the $60 asking price. And soda reboots typically sell well too, says Matthew Barry, beverages analyst at market research group Euromonitor — though exact figures typically for the most recent ones aren’t always publicly released.
Why consumers are gaga for product reboots
In today’s high-tech, fast-paced world, consumers feel like they can’t keep up-to-date all the new options and changes be they technological, entertainment or otherwise. “We’re living in a time of rapid change — people feel like they don’t have power in preventing or dealing with this change,” says Brittany Chozinski, an assistant professor of sociology at Northeast Lakeview College in San Antonio, who studies nostalgia. “They’re trying to find an anchoring point, to slow down.” And nostalgic products seem like they can do this, as people often see them — rightly or wrongly — as things from a simpler time, she says.
Plus, studies show that experiencing nostalgic memories helps us feel more socially connected — a compelling prospect today because research shows that many of us are profoundly lonely. Indeed, Americans today have fewer close friends — people they can discuss important issues with — than in the past: They have an average of two, down from three just 25 years ago, according to research from sociology professor Matthew Brashears, who now works at the University of South Carolina; and roughly one in four people says they have no one with whom they can discuss important issues with.