Will & Grace alum Sean Hayes has moved closer to returning to NBC‘s primetime as the star of a comedy series. NBC has given the green light to a comedy pilot starring Hayes and written by Better Off Ted creator Victor Fresco. The untitled multi-camera comedy, from Universal TV and Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills, centers on Sean (Hayes), who must figure out how to parent his 14-year-old daughter, who just moved in, while navigating a temperamental new boss at work. Fresco, Hayes and Milliner executive produce.
Launching a comedy series toplined by Emmy winner Hayes has been a priority for NBC. “Sean is a friend, and I think it’s time for him to star in a comedy again,” NBC topper Bob Greenblatt said at last year’s summer TCA, when he announced a deal to develop a half-hour starring vehicle for the actor-producer. It resulted in a Peter Tolan-written project about a gay couple raising a 12-year-old, which didn’t make the cut to pilot last season. Developing a comedy for Hayes to star has also been a top goal for Universal TV-based Hazy Mills. “We’ve got to get Sean Hayes back on television and out of the office,” Milliner quipped when Hazy Mills signed a new deal with the studio in April. “It’s great having him in the office but he is a sitcom star.” On screen, WME-repped Hayes next recurs on the upcoming second season of NBC’s Smash, reuniting with former Will & Grace co-star and Smash leading lady Debra Messing.