NBCUniversal's "2013 Summer TCA Tour" - ArrivalsActor Sean Hayes has already played on gay character on television and believes that role is what opened the door for many gay characters on television reports the Hollywood Reporter on July 27. Hayes says his character on “Will & Grace” helped pave the way for his newest character on the fall comedy “Sean Saves the World”, which is set to premiere on NBC his fall.

Hayes plays an openly gay man adapting to the role of fatherhood in the show. He hopes to have more success than NBC’s last attempt at a gay focused comedy show. Ryan Murphy’s “The New Normal” was canceled after just one season. The cancelation marked a decline in gay characters on television before the new Sean Hayes sitcom was announced.

Hayes, who made a name for himself in popular 1990s comedy series, told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour that his previous role on “Will & Grace” was influential.

Sean Hayes arrives at the NBCUniversal’s ‘2013 Summer TCA Tour’ at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 27, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.
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(Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

“I would like to believe it had a big influence on the gay movement in America. According to Joe Biden it did!”

He also believes gay characters on TV are more accepted. It is more important how those characters are portrayed on TV, especially since they are being exposed more to a wider audience. Despite the failure of shows like “The New Normal”, Hayes believes gay is more “normal to everybody.”

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said at the TCA conference that “The New Normal” failed because the theme of the show may have been ahead of its time. The storyline about a same-sex couple having a baby via a surrogate was something mainstream America wasn’t ready for yet.

“We think the country is moving in the right direction; the Supreme Court made the right decision. It may have been ahead of its time.”

Unlike “The New Normal”, “Sean Saves the World” doesn’t really focus on issues. It will definitely deal with some of the issues surrounding the gay community, but its focus is more on the daughter of the show and Sean’s character will be a single parent dealt with the challenge of raising a teenage daughter.

“Sean Saves the World” premieres on NBC on Oct. 3.