"Just Jack" is back… sort of. NBC announced that Sean Hayes, who won two Emmys portraying irrepressible gay sidekick Jack MacFarland on Will and Grace, will star in a new sitcom about two men raising a 12-year-old boy. The twist: The men are a couple, and the boy is their son. While shows like Modern Family and Glee have featured similar story lines, the new series will be the first network effort to make gay parenting its focus. NBC is reportedly fast-tracking the show which would likely begin airing next year. Will audiences tune in?
It's a gamble, but the time may be right: With the high-profile passing of the gay marriage bill in New York and a focus on the issue of gay marriage in the GOP presidential nomination race, the subject of gay parenting is a hot topic right now, says Andy Neuenschwander at Yidio. The proposed series is still a risky move for a network — but NBC wouldn't roll the dice on such a potentially controversial series if it didn't think there was an audience.
"Will and Grace star Sean Hayes developing sitcom about gay parents raising a child"
And Hayes could make this a success: It's a good thing that a recognizable star like Sean Hayes is the face of this series, says Chris Eggertsen at After Elton. He's one of the few openly gay actors with the "cache" and popularity to get it produced and draw in a wide audience. Thanks to Glee and Modern Family, network television has come a long way in its portrayal of gay characters. But this sitcom will be "unprecedented," and needs all the prestige it can muster to succeed.
"This just in: Sean Hayes to play a gay dad on new NBC comedy series"
Unprecedented? This show is predictable: Seeing Sean Hayes on this new series shouldn't exactly be jarring for anybody, says Eliot Glazer at Best Week Ever. He's "going from playing fey nancy Jack on Will and Grace to…another gay guy on a new sitcom about being a gay dad." Remember, Jack had a son on Will and Grace, too. The concept of two men raising a 12-year-old kid? It's called My Two Dads, and it's been done. "Brand! New! Ideas!"
"Exclusive: A clip from Sean Hayes' new sitcom"