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Why 'Roseanne' and 'Will & Grace' are returning: TV networks playing it safe in a risky market

Why 'Roseanne' and 'Will & Grace' are returning: TV networks playing it safe in a risky market

Network television wants to be America’s security blanket.

That was the underlying message in this week’s advertiser upfront sales presentations during which TV networks are vying for more than $18 billion in revenue for commercials on their fall schedules.

In the face of an increasingly risky and competitive market, where the costs of failure are higher than ever, TV networks are once again opting for shows that are safe and familiar to viewers. Much like their movie studio counterparts, who have relied heavily on reboots of old movies, network executives are reviving old shows at a rapid clip.

NBC is bringing back “Will & Grace,” one of its top comedies from 1998...

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