‘Will & Grace’ creator Max Mutchnick talks about ... failure

Max Mutchnick knows something about success. He and David Kohan were the creators of “Will & Grace,” the enormously popluar NBC sitcom that won 16 Emmys in its eight seasons. But Mutchnick believes he’s learned more from his failures, and he just had an epic one of those. He and Kohan created “Partners,” which was mostly trashed by critics before being quickly yanked off the air by CBS last fall. Friday, Mutchnick was at Emerson — his alma mater — sharing a few of the lessons he learned from that unhappy experience with students. “It’s important to pass along the message to these kids that they’re a work in progress even after they leave these hallowed halls,” he told us. “You’ll go to the grave unhealed, but every day to that end you need to do your best. I’m not a guy who’s a positive thinker, believe me. There’s no Tony Robbins in me” So what was one of the lessons he learned from the “Partners” debacle? “Casting is everything,” Mutchnick said. “I should have gone with my gut, but when you work at a place like CBS, they’re clear about who and what they want.” The short-lived show starred David Krumholtz, Michael Urie, Sophia Bush, and Brandon Routh. “I’m not saying anything negative about who was in the show,” said Mutchnick. “I’m just not sure it was the best fit.”

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