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“Real O’Neals” Showrunners Talk Brett and Kenny, Tough Episodes, And Renewal Chances In AMA

"We know [ABC execs] understand how much good we're doing for the community."

The Real O’Neals, the show about a gay teenage boy growing up in an Irish Catholic family, had its season two finale this week, and the future is now uncertain for the ABC sitcom. In honor of the last episode, showrunners Casey Johnson, David Windsor and Stacy Traub decided to do an Ask Me Anything on Reddit to answer some of your burning questions and to try to put fans’ minds at ease about their chances of returning.

When asked about the breakup between Noah Galvin’s character, Kenny, and his boyfriend Brett, the writers revealed that things were originally planned to go a little differently in the finale before ABC decided to shorten their season.

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“Actually, Brett and Kenny were supposed to get back together on Valentine’s Day and we were toying with the idea of meeting Brett’s family and of Jimmy dating Brett’s BFF Christi,” they shared. “We didn’t feel like we had enough time to tell the stories in a fully realized way, and we wanted to see Kenny go through his first breakup. There’s always a chance in season three that Kenny and Brett could get back together!”

They also revealed that the most difficult episode to write was “The Real Match,” in which Kenny joins the wrestling team, because of its themes of bigotry and discrimination.

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“It started off as a story about a homophobic baker who wouldn’t sell a cake to a gay couple who was getting married,” they wrote. “We wanted to do a story about homophobia, but we realized the baker wasn’t enough about Kenny’s life, so we had to come up with a whole new story.”

But the question on everybody’s mind is whether or not the show has a chance of returning for a third season.

The showrunners said they hope ABC considers how important the show can be for LGBT youth when making their decision, adding that the network definitely understands the good that they’re doing for the community.

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But the site TV By The Numbers is not very optimistic about the show’s chances of survival. Their researchers are reporting that the sitcom has fallen too far behind the other shows on ABC’s Tuesday and Wednesday night comedy blocks, suggesting that the network will likely cancel it in favor of a testing out a new series.

Even still, the showrunners aren’t giving up hope.

“We haven’t heard anything yet, but ABC loves our show,” they said. “You normally don’t find out about pickups until early May. We feel positive that we have a good shot, and we are already thinking of stories for season three.”

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra