Debra Messing: I regret that ‘Will & Grace’ didn’t last longer

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Debra Messing has said that she regrets the fact that trailblazing sitcom Will & Grace wrapped up when it did.

The show – one of the first mainstream sitcoms to focus on gay life – aired 194 episodes across eight seasons between 1998 and 2006, and has been credited with helping to change public perceptions on LGBT issues.

However, Debra Messing – who played lead Grace Adler on the show for all eight seasons – says she regrets that the show did not go on for longer.

When asked what she would change about the show by Huffington Post, she said: “I guess I would change the fact that we stopped [the show] after eight years

“It was such a happy time, and we were all really exhausted by that point and it was the right thing to do at that time, but now obviously time has passed, and I watch the show with my son who laughs at it and I think it would’ve been really great to do it a few more years.”

She added: “Will & Grace came at a time when television didn’t know if it was okay to have a leading character be gay and be comfortable, and be portrayed as well-rounded and complete as the heterosexual characters we were used to seeing.

“Over the eight years it really did have a big impact… that is what I am most proud of.

“I am so glad that we made people laugh every week, but that people still say ‘your show helped me come out to my parents’, and ‘your show made me feel okay about who I was’… it had a powerful social and political impact.

“It’s something I’m proud of, and it’s great to see that now… of course there’s gay people on TV! There’s gay people in life, that’s just what life is.”

Will & Grace star Sean Hayes – who played Jack on the show – married his partner in real life last year.

Props and memorabilia from the long-running show were recently added to a new LGBT history collection at the Smithsonian museum.