October 05, 2013

TV: Sean Saves the World (Thu 9, NBC)

Thursday night seems to be this year's designated night for returning comic TV stars -- Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams premiered last week, and now Sean Hayes is back in Sean Saves the World. He plays Sean, a single father whose 14-year-old daughter (Samantha Isler) has just moved in with him after his ex-wife has moved out of town; he gets child care help from his hyper-critical mother (Linda Lavin).

Half the show is set in Sean's office, where he and his co-workers (Megan Hilty and Echo Kellum) are coping with an eccentric new boss (Thomas Lennon, giving the most uncomfortably creepy performance I've ever seen in a sitcom).

The workplace stuff is better than the home stuff, but neither is very good, and Hayes is the weak link in the show; the loud, broad comedy that worked for him as a supporting character on Will & Grace is overbearing and abrasive from a leading man. There's an occasional funny line from Kellum or Lavin, but they can't make up for the awfulness of Hayes.

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