Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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2001: Will & Grace

Will & Grace was groundbreaking when it first aired back in 1998, and it was a hit almost instantly. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with problems.

The idea of a major network producing a show about an openly gay character was still pretty unheard of by the late 90s, but the creators of Will & Grace were ready to explore new territory. The show was about the complex relationship between a gay man and his straight female best friend. Despite reservations about the LGBTQ focus of the show, Will & Grace went on to become one of the most successful television series with a gay protagonist, and became a staple on NBC, along with the likes of Friends (but more on that sitcom later).

The show has also been credited with helping educate the American public on LGBTQ issues, with former Vice President Joe Biden stating, “I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public more than almost anything anybody has done so far.”

The show was highly rated for its entire original run, but it was the highest rated sitcom among adults from 2001 until 2005. Throughout the show’s original eight seasons, each of the four main actors earned an Emmy Award, and the show earned a whopping 16 Emmys for a total of 83 nominations.