Much like McDonald's, NBC has done away with "super-sizing" its products recently. But come sweeps, big will be back.
Episodes of "Will & Grace," "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office" -- the latter two are season finales -- will all get the pumped-up treatment on Thursday, May 11. Each show will run 40 minutes that night, reviving a ratings-grabbing gambit that has been missing from NBC this season.
The theory is that viewers will get some extra chuckles (and an extra commercial break) with each show, and the odd running times may make them less inclined to switch channels at a half-hour break.
The next-to-last episode of "Will & Grace" will lead off the night, with Tony winner Bernadette Peters guest-starring as Karen's (Megan Mullally) long-lost sister, Gin. The episode will also feature Josh Lucas ("Poseidon") playing himself and offering career advice to Jack (Sean Hayes), and a bit of baby drama between Grace (Debra Messing) and Will (Eric McCormack), courtesy of Will's boyfriend, Vince (Bobby Cannavale).
Earl (Jason Lee) will hit a rough patch on the season finale of "My Name Is Earl" when he decides to cross off the No. 1 item on his list: "Stole $10 from a guy at the Camden Market." Easy enough, but Earl then realizes he owes the guy all of his lottery winnings, leaving him broke and in need of a whole lot of karma.
"Office" star Steve Carell wrote the script for his show's season finale, in which Michael (Carell) organizes a charity casino night for the employees of Dunder Mifflin. The festive atmosphere leads some of the staff to take other kinds of gambles.