Growing up in a suburb of Boston, Brian Gallivan committed a huge sin in the eyes of his sports-crazed, Irish-Catholic family. It wasn't that he is gay; it’s that he knows nothing about basketball.
In fact, says Tyler Ritter, who plays Gallivan’s alter-ego Ronny on his new CBS sitcom The McCarthys, “The fact that my character is gay isn’t even a driving characteristic. Our characters are all different but loveable, and the show is about how we learn to get along.”
“The McCarthys is a good combination of traditional family comedy and progressive, edgier stuff,” says former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre, who along with Jimmy Dunn and Kelen Coleman were cast as Ronny’s three siblings. Jack McGee, who plays high school basketball coach and McCarthy patriarch Arthur, speaks from experience when he states that “a lot of Irish families don’t know how to talk to each other – they talk at each other, and it comes out unfiltered.”
It’s that kind of political incorrectness that makes for good comedy, Gallivan says – even if his own real-life family may sometimes bristle at the depiction. Gallivan’s own clan is bigger – he’s one of six – and of course his own mother isn’t TV royalty as is Mrs. McCarthy, aka Laurie Metcalf. “But the show is peppered with details from real life. And so, my family can’t wait to see it,” he explains. “But then again, every time I go home, they all say, ‘Don’t say anything to him – it’ll end up in an episode!’”
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