Don't expect to see the second coming of Jack Mcfarland if you tune in to Sean Hayes' new sitcom when it premieres on Thursday (4 October).
The Emmy Award-winning actor is playing gay again on NBC's Sean Saves the World, his first series since Will & Grace left the air in 2006. But his new TV character will not be near as over-the-top as his Will & Grace alter ego was for eight seasons.
'There are many aspects to the character,' Hayes tells The Today Show. 'It's a much more grounded, real person than the other character I played on Will & Grace.'
This time around, Hayes is playing a gay man juggling raising a teenaged daughter with his demanding job and dealing with an outspoken mother played by Tony winner Linda Lavin.
Hayes says being gay is 'the fifth most interesting thing about the character. Just like it always should be, you know. It's not about your sexual orientation or the color of your skin or whatever.'
While Hayes has remained busy in movies (The Three Stooges, The Bucket List), on Broadway (Promises, Promises) and on television (Smash, Up All Night), he deliberately took his time before returning in another sitcom full time.
'You have to go away long enough for people to miss you,' he says. 'If you just did show after show after show, it would get annoying.;