End of era for ‘Will & Grace’

As “Will & Grace” enters its final season, even its most loyal fans can be heard breathing sighs of relief and waiting for the curtain to come down. The show has been coasting for years, relying on guest stars to maintain flagging interest. On tonight’s three consecutive episodes (NBC), viewers can look for Lily Tomlin (8:30 p.m.), Jeff Goldblum (9 p.m.), and Chita Rivera and Michelle Lee (9:30 p.m.). With the exception of Abe Vigoda, every working member of the Screen Actors Guild has been a guest star on “Will & Grace.”

But don’t tell Emmy voters about the power outage at this comedy – “Will & Grace” just received 15 nominations. To put that in perspective, the entire PBS network received just 23 nominations. With 15 nods, “Will & Grace” got as many nods as the network totals for UPN (3), The WB (2), MTV (1), Lifetime (3), Disney (1) and Discovery (5) combined. Just what are they smoking up there in Emmy land? I haven’t been so confused since Emmy fell in love with “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

On the other hand, the Emmys have to honor some comedy, and with the exception of the now-departed “Everybody Loves Raymond” the pickings aren’t especially lush. Could that be why they included “Desperate Housewives” in the comedy category? As a campy soap, it could just as easily have been considered drama. Funny, I don’t remember “Dynasty” being nominated as a comedy. Then again, I don’t remember “Dynasty” being nominated at all.

Tonight’s other highlights

¢ The documentary news series “Hooking Up” (8 p.m., ABC) follows the ups and downs of the online dating scene in and around Manhattan. Apparently, one of the cultural developments of the new century is the ability to dump somebody (or get dumped by somebody) via e-mail. Ah, progress.

¢ Julie Chen is host to “Big Brother 6” (8 p.m., CBS)

¢ Scheduled on “Primetime” (9 p.m., ABC): how children recover from trauma; an interview with Elizabeth Smart.

Series notes

¢ On back-to-back episodes of “That ’70s Show” (Fox), Kelso tutors Eric (7 p.m.), Jackie’s web of deception (7:30 p.m.)