Brian Gallivan began a Q&A for his semi-autobiographical CBS sitcom The McCarthys by announcing his family never actually had a DUI, and never carried a dead man’s baby. Addressing TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014, Gallivan said he’d explained to his family that a TV comedy requires the characters have flaws – so he had to add them, and “that sitcoms also require heartwarming moments so I had to add those.” His family has not yet seen the pilot, and won’t until the series debuts on CBS because, he said, he’d like to continue his relationship with his family until then.
The McCarthys revolves around a big, sports-crazed Irish Catholic family in Boston, and the gay son (Tyler Ritter) who is anxious to spend less time with them.
The series was first shot as a single-camera pilot for the season previous to the one that just wrapped, Gallivan said “because my family expresses love through insulting each other and being hateful….” The single-cam format wound up being too dark.
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HBO ran the first season of its dark comedy series Getting On in November. It’s about nurses working in the women’s extended-care facility of a Long Beach hospital and stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash. You may have missed it; the premium network only aired six episodes, with no big promotional push – not even a Q&A session at a TCA Press Tour. The cast and creators finally got that Q&A time today – and immediately got asked if they were miffed at the way HBO has handled, or not handled, their series.
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Exec producer Mark V. Olsen responded diplomatically that they felt they’d delivered a great product and ended the first season “with a sense of satisfaction.” He and EP Will Scheffer — they created HBO’s polygamy drama Big Love together — acknowledged that the scheduling and lack of promotional push “created a narrative we were being dumped there.” But they insisted the show never was planned to get a big promotional push. “We’re a … tiny show, unlike any other show on HBO,” Olsen said. “We’re a guerrilla show. We were always going to come in under the radar.”
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