Sean Saves the World

Sean Saves the World
Genre Sitcom
Created by Victor Fresco
Composer(s) Scott Clausen
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 15 (2 unaired)
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC (episodes 1-13)
iTunes (episodes 14-15)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release October 3, 2013 (2013-10-03) – March 24, 2014 (2014-03-24)
External links
Official website

Sean Saves the World is an American sitcom starring Sean Hayes. The series aired on NBC from October 3, 2013, to March 24, 2014, as part of the 2013–14 American television season.[1][2] It was announced on January 28, 2014, that Sean Saves the World had been canceled after 13 episodes had aired.[3] Of the 18 ordered, only 15 were filmed.[3][4] On March 24, 2014, the last two filmed episodes became available on iTunes.

The entire series is available as a Made-On-Demand DVD set from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.


Sean is a divorced gay father[5] with a successful, yet demanding, career. When his 14-year-old daughter moves in with him full-time, he is forced to juggle his work life, his pushy mom, and trying to be the best father ever. Determined not to give life a half-hearted attempt, he reads up on parenting and about keeping a vibrant family alongside a thriving career. However, sudden work pressures dampen his grand family plans and skew his work/life balance.

Cast and characters

Development and production

The series first appeared as part of the NBC development slate in December 2012, with Sean Hayes attached to star.[6] On January 22, 2013, NBC placed a pilot order under the title Happiness.[7] The pilot was written by Victor Fresco and directed by James Burrows. Burrows had previously worked with Hayes on Will & Grace.

Casting announcements for the remaining series regular roles began in February 2013, with Linda Lavin cast in the role of Lorna, Sean's tough and assertive mother.[8] Echo Kellum was the next actor cast in the series, in the role of Hunter, one of Sean's co-workers, who is very passionate about his music, art, photography and poetry.[9] Thomas Lennon then joined the series in the role of Max, the new owner of the online retail company where Sean works.[10] In late-February, Samantha Isler joined the cast as Ellie, Sean's quick-witted daughter.[11] Shortly after, Lindsay Sloane boarded the series as Liz, Sean's co-worker and best friend, a former therapist.[12] Vik Sahay later signed onto the series in the recurring role of Howard, a slightly aggressive IT guy, who works alongside Sean.[13]

On May 9, 2013, NBC placed a series order, under the new title Sean Saves the World.[14] Two days after the series order, Lindsay Sloane exited the role of Liz: Megan Hilty was cast soon after.[15] On November 8, 2013, NBC ordered an additional five episodes for the first season, bringing the total to 18 episodes.[16]

With few exceptions, Sean Saves the World was shot on a closed set with a laugh track added during post-production, a point several critics have derided.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] Jodi Walker from Entertainment Weekly commented on Hayes' animated performance — dubbing it "flailing" — by saying, "flailing is key to cueing this show’s laugh track."[21] Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe commented, "why would we want their jokes to succeed or fail based on their own merit when a laugh track can tell us what is funny and exactly when to laugh?"[24] Ed Bark of National TV Reviews & News added that "Hayes seems wedded to the old-time sitcom religion, which calls for multiple cameras...and a laugh track...his is the only NBC comedy series with such additives, but Hayes gets a bit snippy when asked if it’s a format he favors."[17] Beginning with Episode 12 ("The Wrath of Sean"), a live studio audience is utilized for scenes taking place in Sean's apartment and workplace.[26]


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"James BurrowsVictor FrescoOctober 3, 2013 (2013-10-03)4.43[27]
Sean Harrison, a single gay father, is now stuck with the task of raising his 14-year-old daughter Ellie. On the night he wants to bond with Ellie at dinner, he and his friends Liz and Hunter are stuck at work by Sean's new boss, Max. After several failed attempts to escape, Sean finally does, but Max finds out, leaving Sean at risk of being fired.
2"Busted"James BurrowsClaudia LonowOctober 10, 2013 (2013-10-10)3.26[28]
When Ellie needs a bra, Liz offers to take. But, when the bra Liz got Ellie is inappropriate, Lorna takes her only to creep Ellie out. Liz and Lorna end up finding out, Sean is left to clear the air. Meanwhile, Max bans Sean from the break room after he overhears him talking to Liz about Ellie's problem.
3"Date Expectations"Marc BucklandMichael A. RossOctober 17, 2013 (2013-10-17)3.36[29]
4"Shut Your Parent Trap"Marc BucklandRick Wiener & Kenny SchwartzOctober 24, 2013 (2013-10-24)3.96[30]
5"Nobody Puts Sean in a Corner"Marc BucklandAseem BatraOctober 31, 2013 (2013-10-31)3.72[31]
6"Sean Comes Clean"Marc BucklandMatt WardNovember 7, 2013 (2013-11-07)4.55[32]
7"The Good, the Bad and the Sean"Marc BucklandMike RosolioNovember 14, 2013 (2013-11-14)2.64[33]
8"Of Moles and Men"Marc BucklandJoe KeenanNovember 21, 2013 (2013-11-21)2.99[34]
9"Best Friends for Never"Marc BucklandSeth Raab & Nicholas DarrowDecember 12, 2013 (2013-12-12)3.40[35]
10"Sean the Fabulous"Marc BucklandClaudia LonowJanuary 2, 2014 (2014-01-02)2.79[36]
11"Trapped in the Closet (Part 2)"Marc BucklandMichael A. RossJanuary 9, 2014 (2014-01-09)3.12[37]
12"The Wrath of Sean"Marc BucklandMatt WardJanuary 16, 2014 (2014-01-16)2.67[38]
13"I Know Why the Caged Bird Zings"Marc BucklandJoe KeenanJanuary 23, 2014 (2014-01-23)2.58[39]
14"The Joy of Ex"Marc BucklandMatt WardMarch 24, 2014 (2014-03-24) (online)N/A
Sean's ex-wife Jill (played by Portia de Rossi) returns on a political campaign with her new partner. Both Jill and Sean compete to win over Ellie. Lorna and Lee meet up in the same hotel that Jill booked, and Sean continually interrupts them to help Jill smooth things over with her partner, who has a nervous breakdown after getting drunk.
15"The Dark Sean Rises"Marc BucklandSeth Raab & Nicholas DarrowMarch 24, 2014 (2014-03-24) (online)N/A
Sean meets Max's fencing coach, Liam (played by Guy Pearce), who secretly likes being a superhero. Sean tries to meet his every demand, which often ends up with him being hurt, and Lorna becomes vocal in trying to stop the two of them. Meanwhile, Liz gets mad at Sean for stealing her man and tries to sabotage their relationship.


The show has received mixed reviews from critics. Glenn Garvin of The Miami Herald gave the series critical acclaim saying "Sean Saves the World is like a comedy cruise to self-discovery, with both Sean and his daughter learning of strengths and weaknesses they didn't know they had, the process punctuated with keenly funny dialogue and precision timing". David Hinckley of the New York Daily News gave the show 2 out of 5 stars.[40]


  1. Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2013). "NBC New Series Pickups: Sean Hayes, DJ Nash, 'Crisis', 'About A Boy', 'Believe'". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  2. "NBC Announces Fall Premiere Dates for New Season". The Futon Critic (Press release). June 21, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  3. 1 2 Lesley Goldberg; Michael O'Connell (January 28, 2014). "NBC Cancels 'Sean Saves the World'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  4. Nilles, Billy (January 28, 2014). "'Sean Saves the World' shuts down Season 1 production early". Zap2it. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  5. Rudolph, Christoper (May 10, 2013). "Sean Hayes To Star In 'Sean Saves The World,' As NBC Picks Up Gay Actor's New Sitcom". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  6. "Development Update: Wednesday, December 19". The Futon Critic. December 19, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  7. "Development Update: Tuesday, January 22". The Futon Critic. January 22, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  8. Andreeva, Nellie (February 4, 2013). "Linda Lavin To Co-Star In NBC's Sean Hayes Pilot, Ann Dowd Recurs On 'Masters Of Sex'". Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  9. Andreeva, Nellie (February 6, 2013). "Dave Annable To Star In NBC's 'Joe, Joe & Jane', Echo Kellum Joins Sean Hayes' Pilot". Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  10. Goldberg, Lesley (February 18, 2013). "'Reno 911's' Thomas Lennon Joins NBC's Sean Hayes Comedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  11. "Development Update: Monday, February 25". The Futon Critic. February 25, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  12. Ausiello, Michael (February 26, 2013). "Exclusive: Lindsay Sloane Finds Happiness, Joins Sean Hayes' NBC Comedy Pilot". TV Line. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (April 8, 2013). "Amy Aquino To Co-Star In ABC's 'Divorce', Seaton Smith Cast In NBC's John Mulaney Project & More Pilot Castings". Retrieved September 28, 2013.
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  15. Goldberg, Lesley (June 13, 2013). "'Smash' Reunion: Megan Hilty to Co-Star in 'Sean Saves the World'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  16. Andreeva, Nellie (November 8, 2013). "NBC's 'Sean Saves The World' Gets Order For Five More Episodes". Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  17. 1 2 Bark, Ed (October 3, 2013). "Hayes ride: NBC's Sean Saves the World is exactly what he wants it to be". National TV Reviews & News. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
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  21. 1 2 Walker, Jodi (October 4, 2013). "'Sean Saves the World' premiere: Not exactly world-changing". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  22. Roberts, Kayleigh (October 4, 2013). "'Sean Saves the World' Series Premiere: 12 Things It Could Do to Suck Less". Bustle. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  23. Seitz, Matt Zoller (October 3, 2013). "Seitz on Sean Saves the World: Winning Cast, Serviceable Sitcom". Vulture. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  24. 1 2 Gilbert, Matthew (October 2, 2013). "'Sean,' 'Millers' come through loud, unclear". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  25. Aquino, Tara (November 4, 2013). "Cancellation Watch". Retrieved January 17, 2014.
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  33. Bibel, Sara (November 15, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up; 'The X Factor', 'Parks and Recreation', 'The Millers', 'Sean Saves the World', 'Glee', 'The Michael J. Fox Show' & 'Parenthood' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
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  38. Kondolojy, Amanda (January 17, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol' Adjusted Up; No Adjustment for 'The Michael J. Fox Show' or 'Community'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
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