On the lookout for a new hit sitcom, CBS decided to take a risk and go where they have never gone before: Ordering, developing and airing a sitcom that has an openly gay man as the main character of the show, thereby shocking the old folks still watching CBS, who are too conservative to even know that openly gay men exist in this world. THE MCCARTHYS was certainly a very nice idea for a sitcom (and so was THE NEW NORMAL, but sometimes gay stereotypes are simply too much for me to handle on network television – if all gay characters could be like Max on HAPPY ENDINGS, I’d be happy), but the viewers weren’t jumping on that show, and CBS was quickly thinking about canning the show, before it’s too late. Premiering a day before Halloween, thanks to the first year of the CBS/NFL package of Thursday Night Football that occupied Thursday nights during September and October, THE MCCARTHYS was not able to capture an audience large enough to warrant a long survival.
A premiere rating in the demo of only 1.7 was already weak enough for CBS to think about cancellation, but the next few weeks didn’t make it easier for the show. Even though THE MCCARTHYS never crashed and burned (with the exception of the Thanksgiving episode), CBS was anything but happy with the show and prematurely sent it to the grave of TV shows after eleven episodes. During the summer months, the remaining four episodes were burned off. And as it is normal for broadcast networks to do so, CBS burned off half of the burn-off episodes during another big US holiday.