Sean Saves the World Series Premiere Preview [PHOTOS, VIDEO + Sean Hayes Interview]
Raise your hand if you are so excited for Sean Hayes to be back on television on a weekly basis. Yeah, me too! I, along with many of you, have been a fan since Will and Grace.Â Sean was able to talk to a bunch of media outlets –including TV Goodness — aboutÂ Sean Saves the World.
Sean Saves the World is about a gay single dad who’s trying to juggle it all. From his overbearing boss and offbeat employees at work – to his pushy mom and weekends with his teenage daughter at home – handling it all is no easy task. So when Ellie — his 14-year-old bundle of joy — moves in full-time, it’s a whole new challenge.
Since his legendary role of Jack from Will & Grace,Â Sean has been producing as well as acting. But in his own words he shares about the new show that is bringing him back to our screens every week:
About his new show and why he is back on television now.
SEAN HAYES: Well, everything is about timing. And I know a lot of friends and fans had been saying, ‘When are you coming back to TV? When are you coming back to TV?’ Which is a wonderful thing to hear. And then the network asked, ‘When are you coming back to TV?’ And like everything, itâ€™s about timing, and so all these things just came in line. Â And when I met with Victor Fresco, the creator of this show, we were tossing around ideas and we landed on this one. And I was like, ‘Yes, Iâ€™ve never seen that character on TV before, a single gay dad raising a family,’ or raising his daughter actually. And so to me, television is all about characters you havenâ€™t seen and relationships you havenâ€™t seen. And this one I havenâ€™t seen yet so I thought that was interesting.
Sean Saves the World/The Michael J. Fox Show Promo
How becoming a successful producer affects him as an actor and the choices he makes:
SEAN: I think in order to be a better anything, you must be educated. So as an actor, to be a better actor, I think you should just know a little bit about as much as you can. If I knew a little bit about directing and acting and producing and writing and line producing and craft services and all of it, I think it makes you, first of all, appreciate how lucky you are and appreciate, more importantly, the people who work around you. I think a lot of the times when youâ€™re a young actor like I was, I was dumb and a lot of people still believe. And I should say maybe naive in that I was unaware of my surroundings and what made – what went in to making a machine of a show, because I believe every show is a machine that you build by hiring the right people and all the parts have to work together. So I think Iâ€™m more self-aware now of what goes into making a good machine.
Landing Linda Lavin, who plays Sean’s mom
SEAN: That was actually the title we had at first, Landing Linda. And then we just switched it toÂ Sean Saves the World because that sounded too dirty. Landing Linda is actually a greatÂ title. [Linda Lavin] is a living legend. She is – a lot of people donâ€™t know her extensive success on stageÂ and Broadway. Weâ€™ve got a lot of theater folks on the show which I think is a huge factor inÂ cultivating a hit sitcom. Sitcoms are multi-cams, I should say, are the closest things related toÂ theater. And so in that sense, we are so fortunate to get Linda onboard. Tony Award-winningÂ Linda Lavin who you could give literally any line to and she would get a huge laugh. So asideÂ from being incredibly talented and gifted in zingers and playing the truth of scenes, she is also anÂ incredibly warm, down-to-earth person and weâ€™ve developed this wonderful workingÂ relationship where I actually do feel like itâ€™s my real mom, you know. Of course, nobody canÂ take the place of my real mom but she certainly comes close.
Clip of Sean and Linda on Sean Saves the World
Casting Megan Hilty:
SEAN: I mean we were so fortunate to get her and to have her come on board to share her talent. Iâ€™m excited for our viewers who are fans of hers from either Smash or Broadway orÂ anywhere, to see on a large scale her comedy chops which are brilliant.Â And she is just a delightÂ to have around and adds so much comedy to the team. So weâ€™re very lucky to get her. MeganÂ Hilty is phenomenal. Of course working with her on Smash was amazing and a wonderfulÂ fulfilling opportunity for me.Â And I knew that she was hilarious. I donâ€™t know that AmericaÂ knows that yet because Smash was a drama. So Iâ€™m excited that America gets to see Megan beÂ funny and hilarious and in a way theyâ€™ve never seen her be before. There were many talented girlsÂ that read for the part. But when she came in she just nailed it; she just was it. And as they oftenÂ say, a lot of people donâ€™t have it and she does.Â She actually auditioned for me when I producedÂ another show for the CW so I knew of her talent. But we didnâ€™t know each other very well, butÂ in-school friends, I would say. But now weâ€™re out-of-school friends as well.
Clip of Sean and Megan from Sean Saves the World
What he finds most challenging part of the show
SEAN: I have a little bit of a control factor going on, and for me to release the control is a big step forÂ me and a very healthy step for me. Â So that was a challenge and Iâ€™ve overcome it already and soÂ itâ€™s great. In addition to that itâ€™s being funny every week. IÂ donâ€™t know that people really get how hard it is – nor is it their job to get how hard it is. TheirÂ job is just to be entertained. But itâ€™s a lot of work to be funny.
About the character being a gay man
SEAN: Just to clarify, the characteristic of the man being gay is the fifth most interesting thing. But on aÂ day-to-day level in society, dealing with these kinds of issues are within my daughterâ€™s lifeÂ and my life and our life together and now itâ€™s our life outside of it and at work and all of thoseÂ things, Iâ€™ve never seen that on TV.
About how the TV viewing audience has changed
SEAN: Well theyâ€™ve definitely progressed in a great way. I think, you know, with the success of socialÂ media, the world is being moved faster than ever and only to benefit the education of America toÂ everything, and the world.Â Â Â Â Â And so I donâ€™t know that this is that shocking of a characterÂ anymore as the gay thing goes, but the situations in which a single gay father is in is new.â€
Sean Saves the World premieres tonight at 9/8c on NBC.
Photo Credit for Following Images: Justin Lubin/NBC
Photo Credit for Following Images:Â Vivian Zink/NBC
Interview edited for space and content.
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