Fall TV First Impression: Sean Saves the World

Sean Saves the World PreviewThe broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall, including a futuristic tale from the Fringe team, a new Michael J. Fox sitcom and Marvel-ous adventures for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | NBC’s Sean Saves the World (Thursdays at 9/8c; premieres Oct. 3)

THE COMPETITION | ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s Glee, CBS’ The Crazy Ones (new) and The CW’s Reign (new)

THE CAST | Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Linda Lavin (Alice), Megan Hilty (Smash), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate) and Samantha Isler

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Grid Showing What’s On When and Versus What!

THE SET-UP | Hayes stars as Sean, a divorced gay dad whose teen daughter (played by Isler) comes to live with him just as the online retailer he manages is dealing with a demanding new boss (Lennon). “Helping” Sean with the transition is his sassy mother (Lavin), while Hilty and Kellum play his coworkers.

RELATED | TVLine’s Guide to All the New Fall Shows

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | It’s tricky (and perhaps unfair) to make a call on this one, having not yet had a chance to see Sean Saves the World - Season Pilotthe reshot pilot that costars Hilty instead of Weeds‘ Lindsay Sloane. But first impressions are first impressions, and the original pilot was often sitcommy in its plotting (see: the washroom “escape” in the trailer below), with some of the supporting performances (including Lennon’s unrealistically demanding boss man) reading a bit OTT. Lavin brings her Emmy-nominated chops to the role of the caustic, quippy mom/grandmother, yet is at times weighed down by TV’s go-to trope of the Overt Sexually Awakened Elder. Kellum, meanwhile, is a standout as Sean’s desperate-to-stay-employed yes-man colleague.

RELATED | More First Impressions: ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CBS’ Mom, ABC’s Wonderland,  NBC’s The BlacklistThe CW’s ReignABC’s Trophy Wife, Fox’s Sleepy HollowCBS’ Hostages, NBC’s  IronsideABC’s Super Fun NightThe CW’s The Tomorrow PeopleFox’s Almost HumanCBS’ The Crazy Ones

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | As alluded to above, I’m highly curious to see what added energy Hilty brings to Sean, as well as what other noodling might have been done as they reshot those large swaths of the pilot. NBC is surely glad to have landed Hayes’ new showcase (he’s also an EP), and surely will shuffle it around (as easily as swapping it with Michael J. Fox at 9:30) if it struggles against vets Grey’s and Glee — especially since Parks and Rec, while excellent, won’t exactly provide a boffo lead-in.

Watch a video preview for Sean Saves the World, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Diogo says:

    Going to watch because of Sean.

  2. marie says:

    Are you going to give us your(!) first impression on The Orginals? I would really like to read your opinion on that show

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      The first new episode has not been sent out yet, wouldn’t do one based solely on the planted pilot.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I have high hopes for NBC Thursdays. I plan to be there the entire 8-11 and once February comes around – 8-1:35 for Jimmy and Seth!

  4. Jeff says:

    I think the name should be “Megan Hilty saves this show” but it might be a bit premature to say that — the promo material has felt a little bland… glad to see her get another gig so quickly

  5. Couldn’t stop laughing by watching the trailer but I’m going to tune in for the pilot as a “one night only” when it debuts on October 3rd and then we’ll see how the rest of the episodes would fare if it means getting a full season pick up by NBC but it’s going to be tough going up against The Crazy Ones, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee in the 9 p.m. Thursday night time slot.

  6. Cherry says:

    This surprised me, it seemed funny. Mostly because of Linda Lavin. It seems a lot like “Mom” the other new show. But this by far looks better. I hope this does well, Sean deserves it.

  7. person says:

    I wonder whether this will be pulled from the schedule or allowed to be burned off through the fall. NBC does poorly enough that they may give this the Guys With Kids treatment instead of the Animal Practice treatment. I still expect Community to find its way to either the 8:30 or 9:00 PM slot eventually. Look for the Crazy Ones to absolutely destroy Sean Saves the World in the ratings.

  8. Jack says:

    I wish “The New Normal” had been given a second season :-/

  9. Carly says:

    After watching the pilot, I actually was pleasently surprised. The laugh track is horrible and it is very genericy sitcomy but sometimes that can be a good thing. I think audience should give it a chance, it might surprise them.

  10. Brock says:

    Anyone know why the recast to Hilty? Not complaining, her and Hayes had great interactions on Smash, jut curious why Sloane left/ditched…

  11. murley says:

    I’ll check it out for the cast. Love Echo Kellum! And Sean Hayes, Thomas Lennon and Megan Hilty are all quality.

  12. Zach says:

    Thomas Lennon was hilarious in the preview, but he basically played the same version of the boss from most Victor Freaco shows (most notably Maz Jobrani’s Mr. Hut from the underrated Life on a Stick). And Echo Kellum plays the usual male friend role, and Megan Hilty plays the usual female friend role, and Sean Hayes plays the main Everyman role. Yah, I love Victor Fresco’s works but his shows all have basically the same characters.

  13. Hey, this was actually FUNNY, unlike some recent sitcoms. Yeah okay there’re some sitcom tropes in there, but I’m grateful it is coming from Sean, as I thought he was fabulous (if a tad bit underutilized IMO) on Will & Grace, so I am looking very much forward to this!

  14. Jon says:

    Ouch, that was painful to watch. I might watch one episode with the new cast, but unless they are fantastic, this one will not be on my Must Watch/DVR list. And what’s with the clapping? Partners was completely ruined by using the clapping when transitioning between scenes.

    • Dave says:

      In our home we said the same thing about the clapping. We hated the transitional clapping in the cancelled “Partners” and here they’re using it again and we don’t like it any better. It might cause us not to watch more episodes.

  15. DavidSask says:

    What the show is delivering and who it competes with this show is DOA!

    • shump says:

      It’s competing with a considerably declined Grey’s and Glee and immediate flops The Crazy Ones and Reign, with a sure to be highly sampled leadout with Michael J. Fox. So, no!

      • Matthew says:

        Judging by the above comment, I think “chump” is a more apt name for you than “shump.” Glee’s ratings will sky-rocket for all the wrong reasons (“no news is bad news!”), and Crazy Ones looks a million times better than this show… which isn’t to say it looks any good, it’s just that Sean Saves the World looks THAT BAD. Reign, I have no idea, nor do I care; it’s on a network that doesn’t really matter anyway.

  16. Nancy says:

    I LOVE SEAN! Been waiting for him to come back to TV since the ending of WILL & GRACE! And where the heck is MEGHAN MULLALLY????????

  17. asd123 says:

    When are executives going to learn that there are some actors that are excellent supporting characters but cannot be the lead in a show?

  18. Bob says:

    “The broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall…” It’s called the “Let’s throw a whole bunch of crap against the wall and see what sticks” approach to TV programming.

  19. red says:

    Sean kills NBC

  20. red says:

    the two least funny and pathetic sitcoms Will & Grace and Seinfeld

    • Trent says:

      Yes, I’m sure everyone involved in them is just crying over their money, awards, and syndication deals because someone on the internet doesn’t like them. At least try to stay on topic.

  21. Larc says:

    I hope Sean’s acting in this series is less shallow than it was in his stint on Smash. He practically usurped Elliott Gould’s title as King of Two-dimensional Acting.

  22. Oliver says:

    Its lead-in isn’t Parks & Recreation, it’s Welcome to the Family.

    …which is unlikely to be an improvement.

  23. TV God says:

    I can’t wait for this show, I’ve been waiting for this show for a long time!! I love Sean and Megan, this show will be great!!!! I hope it lasts a long time (like 8 seasons).