Sean Hayes returns to television this fall playing a gay dad in a new NBC sitcom tiled Sean Saves the World.

At a Television Critics Association (TCA) panel to promote the series, Hayes said that his character's sexuality was an “afterthought.”

Television has progressed to the point where a character's “gayness”, Hayes said, can be incidental.

“It's an afterthought just like any other character or minority now. Which is how it should be. It's even sad that it's a question, really,” Hayes said.

In the series, Hayes plays a divorced gay dad who has his hands full juggling work and a teenage daughter. Linda Lavin (Barney Miller, Alice) plays his overbearing mother.

Hayes is best known for playing Jack McFarland for 8 seasons on NBC's groundbreaking sitcom Will & Grace. His portrayal of Jack, Will Truman's campy gay best friend, won him an Emmy Award, four SAG Awards and one American Comedy Award.

“I was 26. It was a job. Nothing more,” Hayes said of the role, then added that the show “had a big influence on the gay movement in America.”