The Real O'Neals

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The Real O'Neals
The Real ONeals abc logo.png
Created by
Developed by
  • David Windsor
  • Casey Johnson
Narrated byNoah Galvin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes29 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Pixie Wespiser
  • Kent Zbornak
  • Joaquin Sedillo
  • Walt Fraser
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Windsor & Johnson Productions
  • di Bonaventura Television
  • ABC Studios
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Original networkABC
Picture format720p (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseMarch 2, 2016 (2016-03-02) –
March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)
External links

The Real O'Neals is an American single-camera sitcom that aired on ABC from March 2, 2016 to March 14, 2017. The series, based on an idea by Dan Savage (who also serves as executive producer), was picked up to series on May 7, 2015.[1][2][3] The series was renewed for a second season on May 12, 2016,[4] which premiered on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

On May 11, 2017, ABC cancelled the series after two seasons.[5]


The series chronicles the lives of a close-knit, Irish-American Chicago Catholic family whose matriarch takes their reputation in the community very seriously. In the pilot episode, their perfect image is shattered when each family member has a secret revealed to the community: middle child Kenny is gay, oldest child Jimmy is anorexic, youngest child Shannon is running a money scam and might be atheist, and parents Eileen and Pat are no longer in love and wish to divorce. Subsequent episodes explore the new family dynamic as Pat and Eileen separate and everyone reconciles Kenny's sexuality with their faith.

Cast and characters[edit]


  • Martha Plimpton as Eileen O'Neal, the Catholic matriarch
  • Jay R. Ferguson as Pat O'Neal, a Chicago Police Department officer who is secretly contemplating divorce
  • Noah Galvin as Kenneth "Kenny" Christopher Sebastian O'Neal, the 16-year-old middle child who comes out to his family as gay
  • Matthew Shively as James "Jimmy" O'Neal, the athletic 17-year-old oldest child who learns he is anorexic
  • Bebe Wood as Shannon O'Neal, the 14-year-old youngest child who is questioning her faith
  • Mary Hollis Inboden as Jodi O'Neal, Pat's ex-sister-in-law


  • Matt Oberg as Vice Principal Clive Murray, Eileen's boyfriend and Pat's friend
  • Ramona Young as Allison Adler-Wong, Kenny's lesbian friend and the other member of the school's LGBT club
  • Hannah Marks as Mimi Waxberg, Kenny's ex-girlfriend
  • Sean Grandillo as Brett Young, Kenny's first boyfriend
  • Sarayu Blue as Marcia Worthman
  • Brian Huskey as Father Phil
  • Caleb Pierce as Stuart
  • Madison Iseman as Madison
  • Kaylee Bryant as Lacey
  • Jeremy Lawson as Jesus (Kenny's "shoulder angel")
  • Angela Kinsey as Sheila DeMars, Eileen's rival
  • Jessica-Snow Wilson as Gloria, Pat's colleague and love interest
  • Christopher Avila as Ethan, Shannon's boyfriend
  • Ray Ford as Steve the Colorist, Jodi's colleague
  • Lizzie White as Claire, Shannon's friend



Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113March 2, 2016 (2016-03-02)May 24, 2016 (2016-05-24)
216October 11, 2016 (2016-10-11)March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Todd HollandStory by: Joshua Sternin & Jennifer Ventimilia
Teleplay by: Casey Johnson & David Windsor and
Joshua Sternin & Jennifer Ventimilia
March 2, 2016 (2016-03-02)1016.33[8]
Things in the O'Neal household take an unexpected turn when Kenny comes out to his family, and everyone stops pretending to be perfect.
22"The Real Papaya"Todd HollandCasey Johnson & David WindsorMarch 2, 2016 (2016-03-02)1026.01[8]
Following the "coming out" confessions made by everyone in the O'Neal family, Eileen is desperate to control the situation and tries to make Kenny "un-gay." Meanwhile, Kenny tries to find the right time to break up with his girlfriend and has a heart-to-heart with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.
33"The Real Lent"Todd HollandScott KingMarch 8, 2016 (2016-03-08)1063.99[9]
Eileen reminds her family that it's Lent and asks them to give up things they really love. In a chance meeting, Kenny meets his first gay crush, and Pat discovers his little girl, Shannon, is all grown up.
44"The Real F Word"Christine GernonStacy TraubMarch 15, 2016 (2016-03-15)1033.47[10]
Kenny faces his first day at school after coming out.
55"The Real Spring Fever"Phil TraillKristin NewmanMarch 22, 2016 (2016-03-22)1053.75[11]
Eileen decides it's time to get a fresh start in her life by applying for her first job since her kids were born. Meanwhile, Pat realizes he might not be ready for the single life just yet, even though his patrol partner, Archie, thinks otherwise. And as Kenny wonders who he will date next, Jimmy takes it upon himself to help him explore the newfound world of online dating.
66"The Real Man"Elliot HegartyAdam RobertsMarch 29, 2016 (2016-03-29)1113.67[12]
When Pat plans a camping trip to enjoy some father-and-son bonding time with Jimmy, Kenny joins them to prove that even though he's gay he can still be manly. Meanwhile, after Eileen discovers Shannon has been skipping her classes and refuses confirmation, she invites Father Phil over to help answer Shannon's challenging questions about Catholicism.
77"The Real Grandma"Silver TreeCheryl HollidayApril 5, 2016 (2016-04-05)1083.65[13]
When Eileen's strict, Catholic-abiding mother arrives unannounced at the O'Neals' home, Eileen has her family cover up both her and Pat's divorce and Kenny's sexuality, but Kenny tries to convince his mother to come out to Grandma Agnes.
88"The Real Book Club"Victor Nelli, Jr.Sonny LeeApril 19, 2016 (2016-04-19)1042.98[14]
Eileen faces her book club for the first time since her family's issues have come to light. Kenny's first trip to the "gayborhood" coffee shop is everything he'd hoped for, until Pat tags along with him to a gay dodgeball match.
99"The Real Wedding"Rebecca AsherBecky Mann & Audra SielafApril 26, 2016 (2016-04-26)1093.46[15]
Kenny auditions for the school play and Eileen volunteers to help out. Kenny receives the role of Romeo, but is dismayed to learn his ex-girlfriend Mimi is playing Juliet. Things get more awkward when Eileen treats the play's wedding scene like an actual wedding.
1010"The Real Retreat"Todd HollandLewaa NasserdeenMay 3, 2016 (2016-05-03)1103.29[16]
When Jimmy is named Faith Leader for the weekend at the Catholic Youth Retreat, a jealous Kenny takes on his older brother's role as ring leader of the bad kids. Home alone without the kids, Pat invites a new lady friend over, and Eileen enlists Jodi to spy on them.
1111"The Real Other Woman"Rebecca AsherKevin BiegelMay 10, 2016 (2016-05-10)1073.15[17]
After Eileen pushes Kenny to get a job, she feels jealous when he starts to work as a tutor and bonds with the student's mom. Meanwhile, Pat wants to bond more with the kids but makes questionable choices in trying to become the fun parent.
1212"The Real Rules"Eyal GordinKristin NewmanMay 17, 2016 (2016-05-17)1123.25[18]
After realizing Pat left his police badge at home, Jimmy convinces Kenny and Shannon that he should use the badge to pretend he's a police officer in order to get free perks around town. Meanwhile, when Pat tells Eileen about an upcoming date he's going on, she takes matters into her own hands when it comes to a potential suitor in her dating life.
1313"The Real Prom"Todd HollandStory by: Stacy Traub
Teleplay by: Casey Johnson & David Windsor
May 24, 2016 (2016-05-24)1134.21[19]
As the school prom approaches, Kenny and Jimmy try to come up with the perfect prom-posal for the classmates (who already have dates) they each have set their sights on. Shannon thinks prom is a scam and would rather stay at home, but once Pat discovers she was asked to attend, he tries to convince her to go.

Season 2 (2016–17)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
141"The Real Thang"Todd HollandCasey Johnson & David WindsorOctober 11, 2016 (2016-10-11)2013.76[20]
For National Coming Out Day, Kenny starts an LGBT club at school; but the only other members are Jimmy and shy lesbian student Allison. Kenny stridently insists that Allison mark the day by coming out to her parents, but after learning that they are openly hostile to the LGBT community he reconsiders and tells her to come out when she's ready. Eileen has secretly been meeting Clive over the summer, but after she rejects him he befriends Pat. A jealous Eileen finally goes on a real date with Clive. Jodi is invited to represent a local clothing store in a fashion show; she backs out after learning that the store is for plus-size women, but Eileen convinces her to participate and "come out" as a woman who is proud of her body.
152"The Real Dates"Eyal GordinKristin NewmanOctober 18, 2016 (2016-10-18)2022.91[21]
Eileen and VP Murray's secret dating life is about to be unraveled, Kenny jumps into the world of gay dating apps but feels discouraged after not getting enough swipes to the right, and Jimmy goes too far to declare his love for Lacey.
163"The Real Halloween"Silver TreeStacy TraubOctober 25, 2016 (2016-10-25)2033.22[22]
Eileen's tolerance is tested when she allows Kenny to throw his own Halloween party to stop him from going to Boystown to watch the costume parade.
174"The Real Move"Jaffar MahmoodBecky Mann & Audra SielaffNovember 1, 2016 (2016-11-01)2042.73[23]
When VP Murray starts spending time around the house, Pat realizes it's time to move out. Meanwhile, Eileen starts her new job at Aunt Jodi's salon, and when the kids discover how unhappy their parents were during their 18 years of marriage, they stage a celebratory "divorce ceremony."
185"The Real Tradition"Rebecca AsherSteve JoeNovember 15, 2016 (2016-11-15)2053.56[24]
Pat and Eileen invite Gloria and VP Murray as their dates to the O'Neals' Thanksgiving dinner, changing their tradition.
196"The Real Fit"Elliot HegartySam LaybourneNovember 29, 2016 (2016-11-29)2063.29[25]
Pat's brother Dwayne comes to town to help Pat build his new tiny house in the garage. Meanwhile, when Eileen becomes addicted to a CrossFit class she's taking with Kenny, he must find a way to break the cult-like hold it has over her.
207"The Real Match"Todd HollandAdam RobertsDecember 6, 2016 (2016-12-06)2073.05[26]
Kenny has a surprise victory after reluctantly joining Jimmy's wrestling team for a one-time match. Pat hurts his back when he tries to help Eileen get ready for a weekend getaway.
218"The Real Christmas"Rebecca AsherRob SudduthDecember 13, 2016 (2016-12-13)2083.06[27]
Determined to win the Christmas choir competition, Eileen gives the solo to the newest member. Jimmy spies on a rival choir. Shannon asks Pat about a present she wants to give to Ethan.
229"The Real Sin"Jude WengCheryl HollidayJanuary 3, 2017 (2017-01-03)2093.29[28]
With the divorce final, Eileen faces other obstacles to being with VP Murray that make her doubt her desires. Kenny gets a tattoo to impress Brett. Shannon protests the dissection of frogs at school.
2310"The Real Acceptance"Victor Nelli, Jr.Josh Kirby & Jon VelesJanuary 17, 2017 (2017-01-17)2102.81[29]
Jimmy does well on his SATs and is rewarded by going car shopping with Eileen. Meanwhile, Kenny struggles to find a way to tell his parents that he and Brett are officially a couple.
2411"The Real Third Wheel"Todd HollandBecky Mann & Audra SielaffFebruary 7, 2017 (2017-02-07)2112.79[30]
Kenny's jealousy over Brett's relationship with his best girl friend leads Kenny to realize he's been a bad friend to Allison. Jimmy and Shannon start their own transportation network company; meanwhile, Eileen and Pat are shocked to catch Clive "cheating" on them, but ultimately discover that the three of them make a pretty good "throuple."
2512"The Real Brother's Keeper"Eyal GordinSteve JoeFebruary 14, 2017 (2017-02-14)2122.87[31]
Jimmy wants to teach his younger brother the rite of passage of drinking. When Shannon gets a comp hotel room, Jimmy thinks this is the perfect time to teach Kenny how to drink, but it all goes awry when Kenny invites Brett to join in. Meanwhile, Eileen discovers that Pat has a new girlfriend.
2613"The Real Confirmation"Todd HollandBilly FinneganFebruary 21, 2017 (2017-02-21)2132.93[32]
When Shannon asks VP Murray to be her godfather leading up to her confirmation, Eileen fears her own relationship with him might be moving too fast. Meanwhile, Brett says, "I love you," sending Kenny into a tailspin.
2714"The Real Heartbreak"Kevin BrayRob SudduthFebruary 28, 2017 (2017-02-28)2143.34[33]
It is Valentine's Day and Kenny is depressed since his break up with Brett. During their Lonely Hearts happy hour, Pat and Jimmy use him to get whatever they want from women. However, everything goes wrong when Kenny disappears. Meanwhile, Eileen refuses to do Valentine's Day, arguing it is a commercial ploy.
2815"The Real Mr. Nice Guy"Jaffar MahmoodAdam RobertsMarch 7, 2017 (2017-03-07)2152.87[34]
Kenny convinces VP Murray to hire a gay teacher, but Kenny's loyalties are tested when the teachers starts to make Jimmy's life miserable; Pat's courteous nature robs him of a winning lottery ticket.
2916"The Real Secrets"Todd HollandStory by : Stacy Traub
Written by : Casey Johnson & David Windsor
March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)2162.67[35]
VP Murray talks to Pat about his plans to propose to Eileen; Eileen and Kenny help Allison deal with her close-minded parents; Shannon and Jimmy find a pregnancy test.


Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Pilot" March 2, 2016 (2016-03-02) 1.8/6[8] 6.33[8] TBA TBA TBA TBA
2 "The Real Papaya" March 2, 2016 (2016-03-02) 1.9/6[8] 6.01[8] TBA TBA TBA TBA
3 "The Real Lent" March 8, 2016 (2016-03-08) 1.1/4[9] 3.99[9] TBA TBA TBA TBA
4 "The Real F Word" March 15, 2016 (2016-03-15) 1.0/4[10] 3.47[10] TBA TBA TBA TBA
5 "The Real Spring Fever" March 22, 2016 (2016-03-22) 1.0/4[11] 3.75[11] TBA TBA TBA TBA
6 "The Real Man" March 29, 2016 (2016-03-29) 1.0/4[12] 3.67[12] TBA TBA TBA TBA
7 "The Real Grandma" April 5, 2016 (2016-04-05) 1.0/4[13] 3.65[13] TBA TBA TBA TBA
8 "The Real Book Club" April 19, 2016 (2016-04-19) 0.8/3[14] 2.98[14] TBA TBA TBA TBA
9 "The Real Wedding" April 26, 2016 (2016-04-26) 1.0/4[15] 3.46[15] TBA TBA TBA TBA
10 "The Real Retreat" May 3, 2016 (2016-05-03) 0.9/3[16] 3.29[16] TBA TBA TBA TBA
11 "The Real Other Woman" May 10, 2016 (2016-05-10) 0.9/3[17] 3.15[17] TBA TBA TBA TBA
12 "The Real Rules" May 17, 2016 (2016-05-17) 0.9/3[18] 3.25[18] TBA TBA TBA TBA
13 "The Real Prom" May 24, 2016 (2016-05-24) 1.1/4[19] 4.21[19] TBA TBA TBA TBA

Season 2 (2016–17)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "The Real Thang" October 11, 2016 1.2/4 3.76[20] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "The Real Dates" October 18, 2016 0.9/3 2.91[21] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "The Real Halloween" October 25, 2016 1.0/3 3.22[22] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "The Real Move" November 1, 2016 0.8/3 2.73[23] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "The Real Tradition" November 15, 2016 1.1/4 3.56[24] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "The Real Fit" November 29, 2016 1.0/3 3.29[25] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "The Real Match" December 6, 2016 0.8/3 3.05[36] TBD TBD TBD TBD
8 "The Real Christmas" December 13, 2016 0.9/4 3.06[27] TBD TBD TBD TBD
9 "The Real Sin" January 3, 2017 1.0/4 3.29[28] TBD TBD TBD TBD
10 "The Real Acceptance" January 17, 2017 0.8/3 2.81[29] TBD TBD TBD TBD
11 "The Real Third Wheel" February 7, 2017 0.9/3 2.79[30] TBD TBD TBD TBD
12 "The Real Brother's Keeper" February 14, 2017 0.8/3 2.87[31] TBD TBD TBD TBD
13 "The Real Confirmation" February 21, 2017 0.9/3 2.93[32] TBD TBD TBD TBD
14 "The Real Heartbreak" February 28, 2017 1.0/4 3.34[33] TBD TBD TBD TBD
15 "The Real Mr. Nice Guy" March 7, 2017 0.9/3 2.87[34] TBD TBD TBD TBD
16 "The Real Secrets" March 14, 2017 0.8/3 2.67[35] TBD TBD TBD TBD



Season Time slot (ET/PT) Episodes Season premiere Season finale TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Viewers
(in millions)
Date Viewers
(in millions)
1 Wednesday 8:30 pm (episode 1)
Wednesday 9:30 pm (episode 2)
Tuesday 8:30 pm (episodes 3–13)
13 March 2, 2016 6.33[8] May 24, 2016 4.21[19] 2015–16 #106 4.46[37]
2 Tuesday 9:30 pm 16 October 11, 2016 3.76[20] March 14, 2017 2.67[35] 2016–17 #118 3.71[38]

Critical reception[edit]

The series received a generally favorable response from critics. On review aggregator site Metacritic, The Real O'Neals has a metascore of 62 out of 100 based on 22 critics signifying "generally favorable reviews".[39] On another review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a 67% approval rating, based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critical consensus: "Funny writing and a solid cast save The Real O'Neals from traditional sitcom perils."[40]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Outcome
2016 Dorian Awards[41] LGBTQ Show of the Year The Real O'Neals Nominated
Unsung TV Show of the Year The Real O'Neals Won
2017 Humanitas Prize 30 Minute Network or Syndicated Television Episode: "The Real Grandma" Nominated


News of the series' pickup[edit]

The news of the series' pick-up attracted attention and controversy before its debut. On May 12, 2015, the day it was announced that the series had been added to the ABC network schedule, Christian right groups such as the American Family Association and the Family Research Council called for a boycott and petitioned to prevent the series from airing. They also cited Savage's views on religion, sexuality, and same-sex marriage, which they believed had been infused into the series due to it being based on his life, but Savage claimed that the concept went in a different direction since he was not involved in the writing.[42]

Bisexual joke[edit]

The second-season episode "The Real Acceptance" featured a joke regarding bisexuals, in which Kenny, who is openly gay, compared being bisexual to having "webbed toes" or "money problems". Bisexual actress Sara Ramirez, who played the bisexual character Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy, criticized ABC and the series, finding the joke offensive.[43]


  1. ^ "Development Update: Thursday, May 7 – Three New Comedies Heading to Series at ABC". The Futon Critic. May 7, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 7, 2015). "'The Muppets', Comedy from 'Community' Star Ken Jeong Among ABC Orders". Variety. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Porter, Rick (November 16, 2015). "ABC winter/spring 2016 premieres: 'The Family' to Sundays, long breaks for 'Scandal,' 'OUAT'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Welch, Alex (May 12, 2016). "'The Real O'Neals' renewed for season 2 at ABC for 2016–17". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Snierson, Dan (May 11, 2017). "Dr. Ken and two more comedies canceled by ABC". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2017. ABC also took out sophomore sitcom The Real O'Neals and freshman comedy Imaginary Mary.
  6. ^
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External links[edit]