5 Insights With Sean Hayes of NBC’s New Show “Sean Saves the World”

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It’s been seven years since Sean Hayes starred in a TV comedy, but this fall, Sean returns in his own sitcom titled, “Sean Saves the World” where he plays a single dad trying to balance his career and family. Though he wasn’t in front of the camera, the former “Will & Grace” star, best known for playing Jack McFarland, has been busy producing shows such as “Grimm,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “The Soul Man” and “Hollywood Game Night.” But Sean Hayes is back in this NBC sitcom and discussed playing his new character, being a producer and coming back to TV.

5 Playing a New Character

While most people might associate Sean Hayes with his old TV character, Jack McFarland, Sean said to love his new character, Sean, because it is very close to him as far as the maturity of him over time- describing himself as very quiet, grounded and being a private person in life and liking that part. Though the two characters are both gay, Sean says they are nothing alike.

“It’s a 180 from Jack McFarland from “Will & Grace” and that Jack was irresponsible, flighty, flakey, promiscuous, all those things that this character isn’t. This character is responsible, grounded, has a job, goal-oriented—all those things. And it’s fun to be the one to put out the fires, and be the character with the voice of reason.”

4 From “Will & Grace” to Hazy Mills Productions

Explaining how he got his ambition from his mother, who raised five kids on her own, Sean said he never imagined to be at the place where he is now but always said to himself that if his mother, who raised five kids on her own with a paycheck of barely anything, he could accomplish so much.

“When I got “Will & Grace” I was just happy to get a pilot, but now that we live in 2013-2014, in this business and the business has changed so much, and Tom Hanks told me a long time ago, the business is always changing, you must change with it. And because that stuck in my head, it’s better to control your own destiny, than to let it be controlled, so why not do as much work as you can, to reach that point where you can guide your own career.

3 Double Duty: Actor and Producer

Not only is this Sean’s first starring role on a sitcom after “Will & Grace” but it will also be the first time he will take on the double-duty of being in front of the camera in addition to being behind it as well. Sean said a lot of times people think that he produces “Grimm” and “Hot in Cleveland” on his own but that while he would love to, it is not always the case.

“Yes, my company produces all of that, I can’t be everywhere, I’m not Santa Claus—but I’d like to be. For this show in particular, I’m involved in different levels for different shows, this one obviously, I’m most involved and invested in since I’m on it. But I definitely pulled back. I think the smartest thing you can do is let people do their jobs that you’ve hired [them] to do. Victor Fresco is an incredible writer and has an incredible vision for the creative part of the show. You had to let them do their job and take a step back. On other shows that maybe has new people come on board, you might have to guide them and help them as much as you can. It might be right or wrong, but it’s fun working with people on all different levels. “

2 Sean Saves the World

Airing Thursdays on NBC, “Sean Saves the World” focuses on a single gay dad who goes from a fun, weekend dad, to a full-time father who will try and find balance in his career and work. While Sean is of course, the single dad, he will have various inputs from his mother, Lorna (Linda Lavin) and his best friend Liz, played by Megan Hilty from “Smash” who tries to help his daughter, Ellie, played by Samantha Isler.

“Like everything in life there is supposed to be balance. “Sean Saves the World” is obviously a metaphor for balancing his home life and his work life, and that’s his world. And he does this with the help of Liz (Megan Hilty), his best friend who is kinda trying to be a mother-figure to Elli (Samantha Isler) my daughter and then Max, my boss, played by Tom Lennon, is always kind of there to screw with things and everybody’s head and he finds such joy in doing that. Hunter (Echo Kellum) always seems to get pulled in different directions he is there to help whenever and as best he can but doesn’t end up quite doing either.”

1 Coming Back to TV

Having been away from the full-time TV world, Sean had a few guest spots and smaller roles on TV shows such as “30 Rock” and “Portlandia” as well as living as a producer on some very successful shows. That in turn led to the actor wondering when the right time to return to TV full-time would be.

“Some of my favorite guest spots were on “30 Rock” and “Portlandia” and hanging out with those kinds of funny people really got me thinking “when is the right time?” Like anything, this show can be a huge success or a huge failure and if it’s a huge failure people will forget in five minutes and if it’s a huge success, we all win. That was the plan. But I don’t know what long enough is, specifically, but you just do what feels right in your gut and the rest isn’t up to you.

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