Sean Hayes on new 'post-gay' role: It's more real than 'Will & Grace' part

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By Ree Hines

It's been seven years since Sean Hayes played the part of Jack McFarland on the hit sitcom "Will & Grace," and while he's had plenty to keep him busy in the meantime, he hasn't had a major role on another sitcom since. That is, until now.

Soon Hayes will return to primetime with his new show, "Sean Saves the World." But why did he wait so long?

"Why not? Because I just waited for the right thing and the right time," he told Matt Lauer during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY. "You have to go away long enough for people to miss you. If you just did show after show after show, it would get annoying."

And if actors just played the same sort of parts time and time again, that would get boring. According to Hayes, he's certainly not playing Jack this time around. His new character is a dad to a teenage daughter, and while he's also gay, Hayes refers to the show as "post-gay."

"Yeah, because (being gay), it's the fifth most interesting thing about the character," he explained. "Just like it always should be, you know. It's not about your sexual orientation or the color of your skin or whatever. There are many aspects to the character. It's a much more grounded, real person than the other character I played on 'Will & Grace.'"

Fans will get a chance to see the difference when the series premiere of "Sean Saves the World" airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on NBC.