“The McCarthys” is coming to CBS in the fall after a longer-than-usual life in development.
The started out as a single-camera comedy in 2013, but it wasn’t picked up. The network liked it enough, though, to do another pilot in 2014 — this time as the kind of multi-camera, live-audience show CBS excels in doing.
Creator Brian Gallivan welcomed the change. The former “Happy Endings” writer based the show on his own family and initially did a single-camera show initially because he felt comfortable with the format.
“And then, because my family treats each other — they express love through insulting each other and being hateful — in a single-cam that was a little dark,” Gallivan says at the summer TV press tour. “So in a multicam we found it was more fun to have the audience laughing and enjoying it.”
Three members of the first pilot’s cast — Jack McGee, Joey McIntyre and Jimmy Dunn — returned for the new version, and they say the vibe was decidedly different performing in front of an audience.
“When we did the very first scene and we got to the first laugh with that audience, and it just blew up, and you could just see it in all the actors’ eyes,” Dunn says. “They just went to another level. And it’s just instantaneously rewarding when you get that laugh.”
McGee also says that the multi-camera setup allows the actors to keep jokes fresher, since they don’t have to keep redoing scenes from different camera angles.
“It’s like doing a live show every Friday,” McGee says. “You’d build it up, and then on Thursdays when the crew comes in, and you get some response from the crew, and you’re like, OK. … And we just happened to have a great crowd that night, and I think we’ll have those for the next seven seasons. And as long as Joey McIntyre is there, I think we’ll be fine with the crowds coming in to watch him.”
“The McCarthys” premieres at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT Oct. 30 on CBS.