ABC Picks Up Dan Savage Series

All that foot-stomping by One Million Moms and the rest of Teabagistan was for naught, as ABC has ordered the first season of The Real O’Neals. Via Deadline:

Along with the six drama series pickups, ABC has ordered its first new comedy series for next season: single-camera The Muppets, from The Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady & Bob Kushell; and The Real O’Neals, executive produced by Dan Savage; as well as Ken Jeong’s multi-camera Dr. Ken. The Real O’Neals, about a family in the aftermath of a son comes out, had been an internal ABC favorite. Its fate was put into question when religious and conservative organizations started a campaign against the project over the involvement of outspoken gay activist Savage. The comedy was originally going to be based on his life growing up but that changed during the development of the pilot, with the story evolving in a different direction. The Real O’Neals marks the return of Raising Hope‘s Martha Plimpton with another comedy starring role. The Real O’Neals was written by David Windsor and Casey Johnson. Executive producers are David Windsor, Casey Johnson, Brian Pines, Dan McDermott and Dan Savage. “The Real O’Neals” is produced by ABC Studios.

Oh yes, there will be more sadz.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Give up rabid mom, you’re just gonna have to throw your TV out the window now.

    • Reality.Bites

      These flatscreens are so much easier to lift than the old-fashioned ones with a picture tube.

      Nowadays to get the same exercise value you need to throw an air conditioner out the window.

    • Maybe its finally time for them to totally disconnect from society. No tv, no internet, no magazines, no pop music, no shopping malls. They can just sit in their quiet houses and pray for the second coming. Oh, and leave us the fuck alone.

  • Reality.Bites

    The guy whose life Fresh off the Boat is based on has had a lot of issues with the way his life has been sanitized and sitcommed. I wonder if Dan Savage will have a similar reaction.

    • Roy Wilson Jr.

      Unfortunately, some things don’t translate well to a television audience. I mean if he wanted his story told in his exact vision, one might suggest he write or produce a biography as opposed to letting a network produce it as a comedy, in which a lot of detail is going to get lost in the production of punch lines.

      • Octavio

        Among his bigger issues is they cast a Korean as the Chinese father. This may not seem a big deal. But if you’re Chinese it stings. Same thing happened to Margaret Cho. They cast Chinese and Japanese actors to play her Korean family. There IS a difference. Just because someone is Asian does not mean they are all the same.

  • TommyTune

    I hope Dan Savage can elevate the quality of the writing, because it’s been literally decades since anything on any of the old three major networks has attracted my attention. Well, not quite – “Desperate Housewives” lured me for a little while.

    • Reality.Bites

      There’s virtually no chance he’s doing any of the writing.

    • Chuck in NYC

      Well, I think the CBS comedies are pretty good, but they’re multi-camera with a live audience. The Middle is about the best there is on ABC right now, but I want this to be even better than that. They’ve got to hire some great writers, maybe grabbing some who’ve been working on hits — and not just recycle people from sitcoms on TBS, TV Land, or no longer on the air.

  • sherman

    Too bad they didn’t pick up Martha’s Raising Hope husband, Garret Dillahunt.

    • Bj Lincoln

      He is very funny

    • ChadSF

      What a total DILF! 😉

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    So, what’s the new direction? “A family in the aftermath of a son’s coming out”. Is that all we know?

  • bkmn

    I guess OneMassiveMom is not so powerful after all.

    • JJS_prime

      One Massive Mom? Is that Maggie’s new nickname?

  • LDinMN

    Martha Plimpton is so awesome. She was so great in Raising Hope.

  • StraightGrandmother

    oops, wrong article for my comment

  • I’m old enough to remember when these “family” groups could get advertisers to pull out of a program. This happened to an episode of thirtysomething. But that was 25 years ago. When was the last time one of these right wing groups called for a boycott that had any demonstrable negative impact on the company? They can safely be ignored at this point and yet network execs still seem to shake in their boots. Oh well. I’m looking forward to this show. The track record of gay-themed shows lately has not been good. (Most of them just weren’t very good using tired sitcom formulas.) I’m hoping this is a fresh take and honestly it’s a story that hasn’t been told that often and usually only at the periphery of other stories. (Ugly Betty, etc.)

    • MarkOH

      And didn’t the get the “Adult Warning” or something like that, that appeared before “Ellen” episodes?

    • Reality.Bites

      Track record of sitcoms in general hasn’t been very good. In recent years we’ve had the monster success of the Big Bang Theory, (classic multi-cam sitcom format) the success of Modern Family (docu-com format) and a whole string of modest-at-best successes.

      In the end, this will come down to the writing and the acting, more than the actual theme. And also the timeslot.

      • The last time sitcoms had sunk this low was the late 70s to early 80s. And just when everyone was about to declare the genre dead the Cosby Show became a huge hit and suddenly it was sitcoms everywhere for the next 15 years or so.

    • Roy Wilson Jr.

      As someone who works for the media industry, these “special interest” groups have 0 – 0.00001% influence on the decision to pull/cancel a program. As they say, it’s all about the ratings and viewership to meet the advertisers guaranteed impressions by demographic.

      • There was a time when these groups could scare off advertisers. Of course that misfired almost as often as it hit. Such groups were protesting the sitcom “Soap” in the 70s and even in that era the publicity was a ratings bonanza and for every advertiser that bailed there were several more vying for the airtime.

        But you are right, and it’s funny that right-wingers don’t get this. In capitalism there’s only one sin…losing money. If it’s profitable it’s good; otherwise it’s bad. And there’s no publicity like free publicity. Obviously you have to be giving the free publicity to something people will want to watch or buy and might not otherwise have heard about, but many an entertainment phenomenon has been built on these “controversies”. In fact that’s pretty much Madonna’s entire career path!

    • Do you remember the sitcom, Dharma and Greg? Even though they were a legally married couple, the right pitched a fit over the fact they were sexual. Once the network backed down and dialed back the sex, the show began a slow decent into death.

      If the network is smart they will offer this show only to companies with good LGBT track records, who wont care about whiny xtian mummies.

      • I mostly watched D&G in reruns. It was funny, especially the parents. The real problem for that show was that some moron at ABC decided to program it opposite Frasier and the ratings went into a tailspin and never recovered. Now that wouldn’t matter so much. Does anyone still watch “live” tv? I haven’t for a long time. It doesn’t matter when a show airs so long as it shows up in my hulu queue!

        • I’m a Netflix-er myself.
          But there was a terrible outcry about that show and two of the couples being so openly sexual. But you’re right, putting it against Frasier was beyond the level of bone headedness.

          • I have Netflix too. Mostly for movies but also the occasional tv series. (btw, hulu has some indy movies that Netflix doesn’t have, not even on DVD.)

            Anyway, it’s typical of the religious right to have no sense of humor about themselves. Most of us laugh when our own social customs are mocked, which was the whole point of D&G. Greg’s parents were every bit as strange and ridiculous as Dharma’s, just in a different way. And culture clashes are always a goldmine for comedy.

          • SilasMarner

            I LOVED Susan Sullivan as Greg’s mom.

          • YES! That’s a character type that’s usually two-dimensional. A strawman, if you will, just there as a foil. But Sullivan made Kitty sympathetic. That’s a mark of first rate acting. She’s not the first person to make an unlikeable type an audience favorite, but it’s rare enough to be noteworthy. (The writing helped a great deal.) Sheldon Cooper, Lilith Sternin-Crane and others come to mind. All played by first-rate actors who found the humanity in characters that it might be easy not to like.

          • Thanks for the info about Hulu! I’ll have to rejoin as I’m a huge indie movie fan.

            D&G had great writing, and did a marvelous job at pointing up the silliness of the mores of society. I loved how Dharma just sailed thru life ignoring all the stupidity that goes along with society, and just lived in the moment.

        • Bj Lincoln

          We record everything and watch it later. I am a Netflix fan and just got Hulu Plus.

    • Bj Lincoln

      I liked “The New Normal”

      • GreatLakeSailor

        I liked the characters; I liked setting. The plot stalled. They really needed to fast-forward past the pregnancy, do one eppy on the birth, and get on with it.

  • Ninja0980

    Bring on the SADZ!

  • lymis

    I just hope that the writing is good, the characters are 3-D, and the actors are up to the challenge, because this sort of sitcom doesn’t really have a good track record, and if it gets cancelled because it sucks, the Moms will take credit.

    • Reality.Bites

      And no one but JMG readers will know they will have taken credit.

  • Happy Dance

    Advertisers, get ready for the flooding of mommy hate mail!

    • Soren456

      And I can smell the Cheerios burning.

  • Octavio

    Too bad they are not going with the original plan to use Savage’s real-life experience as a kid dealing with coming out. That would be significant.

    • BGKev

      Yeah, but IIRC Dan Savage has talked about stuff like sleeping with a 30 year old when he was 15. That’s going to bug more than just the “family values” crowd.

  • Yay! But what’s with the name? “The Millers” was cancelled before it finished a season, and “The Goldbergs” hasn’t done very well. It seems like the last show named after the characters’ last name that had legs was “The Simpsons.”

    • barracks9

      The Sopranos?

    • KT

      Actually, The Goldbergs was just renewed for its third season so its seems to be doing alright.

      • It’s ratings aren’t what anyone would aim for—third place in its time slot, and a drop from it’s lead-in (“The Middle”).

  • Rillion

    Hopefully it doesn’t use a laugh track. I can no longer watch any show with a laugh track. It’s like trying to sit through a half hour of nails on a chalk board.

  • Bj Lincoln

    I just love Martha Plimpton and “Raising Hope”. This just gives me more reason to watch.

  • TheManicMechanic

    You could base another series simply on the sadz.

  • Toasterlad

    Not to bash Savage, but I have serious doubts that he was that cute as a teenager.

  • KT

    Kudos on the casting – those kids look like they totally could be siblings!

  • Talisman

    More sadz, or more histrionics?

  • Cherry

    ABC cancelled my new favorite show, “Forever”. BOOOOOooo

  • Zenith

    PRAISE LORD JESUS BUDDHA

    MARTHA PLIMPTON IS BACK IN MY LIFE ALL IS WELL.