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Sean Saves the World Series Premiere Preview [PHOTOS, VIDEO + Sean Hayes Interview] 

Sean Saves the World - Season Pilot
Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

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.  Sean was able to talk to a bunch of media outlets –including TV Goodness — about 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, 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, it’s about timing, and so all these things just came in line.  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, I’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 haven’t seen and relationships you haven’t seen. And this one I haven’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 you’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 I’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 to Sean Saves the World because that sounded too dirty. Landing Linda is actually a great title. [Linda Lavin] is a living legend. She is – a lot of people don’t know her extensive success on stage and Broadway. We’ve got a lot of theater folks on the show which I think is a huge factor in cultivating a hit sitcom. Sitcoms are multi-cams, I should say, are the closest things related to theater. And so in that sense, we are so fortunate to get Linda onboard. Tony Award-winning Linda Lavin who you could give literally any line to and she would get a huge laugh. So aside from being incredibly talented and gifted in zingers and playing the truth of scenes, she is also an incredibly warm, down-to-earth person and we’ve developed this wonderful working relationship where I actually do feel like it’s my real mom, you know. Of course, nobody can 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. I’m excited for our viewers who are fans of hers from either Smash or Broadway or anywhere, to see on a large scale her comedy chops which are brilliant.  And she is just a delight to have around and adds so much comedy to the team. So we’re very lucky to get her. Megan Hilty is phenomenal. Of course working with her on Smash was amazing and a wonderful fulfilling opportunity for me.  And I knew that she was hilarious. I don’t know that America knows that yet because Smash was a drama. So I’m excited that America gets to see Megan be funny and hilarious and in a way they’ve never seen her be before. There were many talented girls that read for the part. But when she came in she just nailed it; she just was it. And as they often say, a lot of people don’t have it and she does.  She actually auditioned for me when I produced another show for the CW so I knew of her talent. But we didn’t know each other very well, but in-school friends, I would say. But now we’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 for me and a very healthy step for me.  So that was a challenge and I’ve overcome it already and so it’s great. In addition to that it’s being funny every week. I don’t know that people really get how hard it is – nor is it their job to get how hard it is. Their job is just to be entertained. But it’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 a day-to-day level in society, dealing with these kinds of issues are within my daughter’s life and my life and our life together and now it’s our life outside of it and at work and all of those things, I’ve never seen that on TV.

About how the TV viewing audience has changed

SEAN: Well they’ve definitely progressed in a great way. I think, you know, with the success of social media, the world is being moved faster than ever and only to benefit the education of America to everything, and the world.      And so I don’t know that this is that shocking of a character anymore as the gay thing goes, but the situations in which a single gay father is in is new.”

Sean Saves the World premieres tonight at 9/8c on NBC.


Photo Credit for Following Images: Justin Lubin/NBC

Sean Saves the World - Season 1 Sean Saves the World - Season 1

Photo Credit for Following Images: Vivian Zink/NBC

Sean Saves the World - Season Pilot Sean Saves the World - Season Pilot Sean Saves the World - Season Pilot Sean Saves the World - Season Pilot Sean Saves the World - Season Pilot

Interview edited for space and content.

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