Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
For his first comedy series role since Will & Grace left the air in 2006, Sean Hayes was insistent that it be on a multicamera show, he said today at a TCA session promoting his new NBC offering Sean Saves the World. Created by Victor Fresco, the show centers on his character’s figuring out how to parent a 14-year-old daughter (Samantha Isler) who just moved in with him. It co-stars Linda Lavin of Alice fame as his mother as well as Megan Hilty — late of Smash — as his longtime friend. One of the keys to Hayes’ character is that, like his Will & Grace alter ego, he’s gay. And Fresco believes that show’s impact was to help open up network primetime to embrace gay characters on shows like Modern Family and now Sean Saves the World. “Without Will & Grace, we would not be here right now,” Fresco stressed. “But I think of this as a post-gay show where there is a gay man at the center but it’s not about his being gay.” Indeed, for his part, Hayes is proud of the fact that primetime has now progressed to the point where a gay character’s “gayness” can be incidental. “It’s an afterthought just like any other character or minority now,” he emphasized, “which is how it should be. It’s even sad that it’s a question, really.” Hayes admitted that he would like that his previous show “had a big influence on the gay movement in America.” (more…)