Will and Grace celebrate
Will and Grace celebrate
Title “Pilot”
Episode # 1.01 (1)
Season # 1
Original Airdate 21-Sep-1998
Writers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
Producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
Director James Burrows

Plot Synopsis

Will's poker night with his buddies gets interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Grace, who has once again broken up with her boyfriend and arrives to spend the night—much to the displeasure of Will's friend Jack, who was planning to move in temporarily while his own apartment has new flooring put in. Will talks Grace into finally leaving her boyfriend for good, she marches off to confront him, but when she returns to announce that she has accepted a marriage proposal, Will risks their friendship by telling her what he thinks.


  • Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
  • Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
  • Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
  • Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)

Guest Cast

  • Gary Grubbs (Harlin Polk)
  • Tom Gallop (Rob)
  • Leigh-Allyn Baker (Ellen)
  • Todd Eckert (Jurgen Franzblau)
  • Will Radford (Patron #1)
  • Jimm Giannini (Gino)


  • "Will & Grace" is rated TVPG and airs on NBC Monday at 9:30, after "Caroline in the City."
  • The "Pilot" episode is also known as "Love & Marriage".
  • The series takes place in New York City, Upper West Side Manhattan. Will's apartment building is located at 155 Riverside Drive, Apt. 9C. Grace's office is located in the Puck Building at 295 Lafayette St., south of Houston St.
  • The pilot was shot on 3/12/1998.
  • Creator/Producer/Writer Max Mutchnick is gay; the show is based in large part on his own experience as a gay man.
  • Grace's ex-boyfriend is Danny. Will's ex-boyfriend is Michael.
  • Jack and Karen have no interaction in this episode (they meet in Episode 2).
  • Will originally had a law partner, Higgins, but his scenes were deleted in the final draft of the script.
  • Gino is credited, but his scene was deleted during editing. He is Grace's builder, who created an over-stuffed chair for her.
  • Staff writer Ellen Idelson supplied the voice of Will's secretary, Ellen (no relation to the character Ellen played by Leigh-Allyn Baker).
  • Syndication began on 9/23/2002. For syndication, scenes I and VII were deleted; the opening credits began after Scene III.
  • Season 1-4 were released on digital platforms on 8/18/2017. "Pilot" features an alternate opening sequence. Grace is in her bed with Danny laying next to her. In the original airing, she is sitting in a chair.
  • Jack's pet parrot Guapo is in his cage, but doesn't actually make an appearance.




Viewer Rating


Airdates & Ratings

09/21/19989:30 PM9.2/13%#41Monday 9:30
10/22/19989:30 PM12.3/19%#07Special Thursday 9:30 airing
12/07/19989:30 PM7.4/11%
06/22/19999:30 PM8.3/12%#36Tuesday 9:30 special airing
07/18/20009:30 PM9.1/14%#09Marathon #3
04/12/20018:30 PM7.3/12%#35Special Time 8:30
09/23/20027:00 PM3.9#12Syndication run begins