Despite garnering a solid fanbase, ABC’s The Real O’Neals has struggled in the ratings since it premiered last year. And while the show scored a second season this year, it doesn’t look good for Season 3.
Matt Shively, who plays older O’Neal son, Jimmy, has been cast in ABC’s new space-travel comedy pilot Spaced Out, TV Line reports.
Shively will play Peter Gibbons, a working-class genius who struggles to fit in with a team tasked with building a rocket to Mars. While Spaced Out is technically secondary to Real O’Neals, Deadline reports the sitcom is bottoming out in the ratings—Averaging less than 3.1 million total viewers with a 0.9 demographic rating, ABC’s least watched sitcom and tying with Dr. Ken as its lowest rated.
Based loosely on the childhood of columnist Dan Savage, Real O’Neals made headlines even before its premiere, as anti-LGBT activists protested the inclusion of a young gay protagonist Kenny O’Neal, played by out actor Noah Galvin.
Galvin then generated controversy himself with a Vulture interview in which he slammed Colton Haynes and ABC’s Modern Family. (He called Eric Stonestreet’s representation of a gay man “a caricature of a caricature.”) Rumors even circulated the network was considering canceling the show over Galvin’s misstep, but it was renewed.
Just when things settled down, the show came under attack again for what actress Sara Ramirez and others perceived as an insulting joke about bisexuals.
While we hate to see less LGBT representation on the small screen, the show’s demise would at least give ABC publicists a chance to catch their breath,