Jennifer Lopez Returning to 'Will & Grace' to Play Two Characters

Jennifer Lopez is making a return to Will and Grace, but she won't just be playing herself this time. Lopez will also make an appearance in character as Harlee Santos, the lead detective on NBC's Shades of Blue.

For those that may not remember, Lopez appeared in three episodes of Will and Grace's original run as herself. She was in the final two episodes of the sixth season, when Karen (Megan Mullally) married Lyle Finster (John Cleese.) In the story, Lopez had grown up with Karen's maid, Rosario (Shelley Morrison) back in the Bronx. At the wedding, she ended up singing "Waiting for Tonight," giving Jack (Sean Hayes) a chance to fill in for one of her back-up dancers.

Lopez came back for the season 7 premiere. Her performance on the sitcom was positively received, filled with self-deprecating gags and tricky comedic timing.

Now that NBC has Lopez in another full-time role on the network, they can't pass up the opportunity for some synergy. According to Vanity Fair, Lopez will be back in Will and Grace this season, maintaining her existing rapport with the cast, but Harlee Santos will step in as well.

No further details have been released, so it's unclear whether Santos will be portrayed as some sort of alter ego of Lopez's or if she'll be an entirely separate character.

If Shades of Blue truly crosses over with Will and Grace, it wouldn't be the first time NBC implied their shows all existed within a shared universe.

In the '90s and early 2000s, sitcoms characters often crossed paths. The most consistent example was Ursula Buffay, Phoebe Buffay's evil twin on Friends. Ursula worked as an inattentive waitress at the favorite restaurant of Paul and Jamie Buchman, of Mad About You. Characters from each show made their way back and forth between sets several times.