Once network television channels get through the pilot stage and announce what is moving forward and what is not, it often marks the end for the lengthy list of pilots that don’t get picked up, unless a cable station randomly has interest. However, sometimes a network will opt to retool a pilot they think has merit, rather than totally leaving it in the TV abyss. On Monday, it was determined that CBS is reworking its pilot The McCarthys, hoping to find a reason to bring it to air in the future.
The McCarthys was conceived by Brian Gallivan and Will Gluck as a single-camera comedy following a big and boisterous Bostonian family. The pilot would have followed a young man who came out to his parents a few years before the start date of the series. His Irish family is super into sports and super into each other’s business and the young gay man is eager to begin a new life quite apart from the family who raised him. Regardless, his family is not ready to let him go so easily.
According to Deadline, the biggest change during the retooling will be moving from a single-camera comedy format to a mutil-camera comedy. Additionally, I get the feeling that a few cast members may change before filming on the retooled pilot gets underway.
The Office’s Jake Lacy was initially signed on to star in the program as the young man hoping to get away from his family. Later on, New Kids on The Block singer and Boston Public actor Joey McIntyre signed on for the comedy, along with Silver Linings Playbook’s Jacki Weaver, The Fighter’s Jack McGee, Jessica Chaffin, and Jimmy Dunn.
Most of those actors don’t seem to really have trouble finding work, but it remains to be seen whether their schedules will allow them to return for the pilot. It doesn’t seem to be a question of whether or not most of the parts were in capable hands, however. Deadline is also noting that the cast members are in talks to return for the retooled pilot. Still, if I were a cast member on this program, I’m not certain I would want to take on a retooled pilot instead of a new project if other work was coming my way.
The McCarthys was initially in strong contention for a pick-up this season. However, CBS has picked up a bunch of brand new comedies for the fall, including Mom, We Are Men, The Millers, and The Crazy Ones. Between all of that new programming (some of which features big names), The McCarthys just didn’t make the cut. On top of this, single camera comedies have begin to fall out of fashion, thanks to the clunkiness of the camera work and other problems. Single-camera comedies were super hot for a long period of time, but it's only natural their popularity would drop at some point, leaving room for multi-camera comedies to make a comeback.
We’ll let you know if The McCarthys moves forward next season. In the meantime, you can check out CBS’ fall schedule and see what made the lineup and what didn’t.