CBS’s ‘McCarthys’ Is Keeping the Gay Stuff Upbeat — at Least for Season 1

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TCA 2014: Creator Brian Gallivan doesn’t plan to feature the dark side of the experience

CBS’s “The McCarthys” won’t be showing the darker side of the gay experience — at least not in its first season.

“I don’t think we’ll hit the dark in the first 13 episodes,” show creator Brian Gallivan told reporters at Thursday’s Television Critics Association press tour. “I think it’s probably going to be pretty light, probably.”

He then said as the audience laughed, “My life is just always fun as a gay man. So, that’s what I’ll reflect.”

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Gallivan based “The McCarthys” after his own experience as a gay man living with his family in Boston. On the multi-cam comedy, Ronny (Tyler Ritter), isn’t as athletically inclined as the rest of his family. His father, a basketball coach, chooses Ronny to be his assistant high school basketball coach. Touched by his father’s choice, Ronny steps up to the task no matter what the rest of his family thinks.

The producer said, “I know there are dark sides of that, but I feel like dramas and other shows can handle that better than we can.”

Gallivan said that he previously wrote the show as a single camera comedy, something he carried over from his time as a writer on ABC’s “Happy Endings,” and realized the format inadvertently opened the show up to darker tones.

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“And so that was sort of the mode I was in and I thought that would work best for this show,” he explained. “And then, because my family, they express love through insulting each other and being hateful, in a single cam that was a little dark. So in a multi-cam, we found it was more fun to have the audience laughing and enjoying it.”