In the upcoming Sean Saves the World, Sean Hayes plays a divorced dad with a demanding career. He has a lot to juggle when it comes to dealing with his work, his eccentric employees, his mom and his daughter, who he only sees on weekends. When his carefully balanced life is thrown off by his daughter coming to live with him, and his maniacal boss making his work-life even more difficult, Sean has to figure out a way to make it all function.
While Sean Hayes' character has a lot to deal with on the show, Sean Hayes himself juggles a lot in real-life as he stars in the show and executive produces it as well.
"I enjoy challenges, and I enjoy lots of challenges at the same time," said Hayes, when ET visited the set. "So I love the kinds of different parts of the brain that exercises producing and acting and maybe directing one day. I just love the entertainment business. I've always loved it since I was a kid so I like being as immersed as possible."
And apparently the work is paying off. The multi-cam sitcom has attracted a wildly-talented cast. From Smash's Megan Hilty, who plays Sean's long-time best friend, to celebrated actress Linda Lavin, who plays Sean's opinionated mother.
One cast member who brings a long resume of hilarity to the show is Reno 911!'s Thomas Lennon, who plays Sean's evil boss.
"Here's the thing, normally I do TV shows that I make up myself. Those, no one watches. Culty little TV shows no one watches. All been cancelled," whispered Lennon, jokingly confessing the truth about why he joined the show. "I was like, 'What if I hitched myself on the wagon of someone that everybody loves, like Sean Hayes?'"
One thing that drew Lennon to the role was the fact that he gets to play the show's antagonist.
"I get to play the villain, which is really fun for me. In the show… I'm playing sort of Richard the Third meets Pepé Le Pew."
Sean Hayes' previous major foray into the sitcom world was the hit comedy Will & Grace, in which Hayes starred as the flamboyantly gay best friend Jack McFarland. In Sean Saves the World, Hayes plays a gay single father. However, he says that his character being gay won't be the point of the show.
"The fact that my character is playing a gay dad should be… as exciting as he has two feet," says Hayes. "It's the fifth most interesting thing about the character, as it should always be. Nobody leads with their sexuality or the color of their skin or their nationality or their religion. You always lead with who you are, first. And these are just a bunch of characteristics that make up somebody."
"This is a family show that looks at a family that is a very contemporary family," said Linda Lavin, "A lot of people will identify with it, and it's come just at the right time."
Sean Saves the World premieres November 3 at 9/8 p.m. on NBC.