LOS ANGELES (AP) — After the sitcom "Happy Endings" was, ironically, abruptly canceled, writer Brian Gallivan looked close to home for his next gig: His own family inspired "The McCarthys," a new CBS comedy about sports-obsessed brood with one gay son.
Fiction, he says, is funnier than fact.
For one, the son, Ronny, played by Tyler Ritter, "is better at being gay than I am," Gallivan said. "He's dated, like, four guys in the first batch of episodes. I feel like it took me 15 years to date four guys."
The show, which premieres at 9:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, is, Gallivan said, "sort of like a 'Modern Family,' but with a Boston (setting)."
If the pilot is any indication, it differs from "Modern Family" in two other, and perhaps more significant, ways. While "Family" spreads its story lines evenly over members of three distinct households, "The McCarthys" has one central character, Ronny, around whom his family of loveable lunatics revolves.
In creating Ronny, Gallivan said he was adamant about avoiding gay-character stereotypes.
"I didn't write it with, 'I want him to be this way or that way,'" Gallivan said. "But I just wanted him to represent the type of gay man that I am."
And there's another departure from real life: Ronny's mother, Marjorie McCarthy, played by a show-stealing Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne"), is nothing like the creator's real-life mom.
"The mother is definitely not my mother, and (she) wants me to just proclaim this to anyone who will listen, that she is not as meddling and overbearing as Laurie's character, though she loves Laurie." Gallivan said. "She's very excited that Sheldon's mother from 'The Big Bang (Theory)' is playing her."