Like father, like son
Tyler Ritter is following in his late dad’s footsteps as the lead in The McCarthys.
JOHN Ritter would be chuffed to see that his 31-year-old son Tyler has scored the lead role in US sitcom The McCarthys.
John was best known for his starring roles as Jack Tripper in Three’s Company and Paul Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter.
John died from heart complications – a torn aorta – at the age of 54 in September 2003 shortly after filming an episode of 8 Simple Rules.
His sudden death shocked Hollywood, but Tyler and brother Jason ( Joan of Arcadia, Gravity Falls) are continuing his legacy. Tyler has guest starred on Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy, and has just appeared in NCIS, but playing the lead on The McCarthys has been a big step forward.
“It is a great opportunity to get to play Ronny,” Tyler says. “It is a huge get for any actor. I know that my dad is proud and I’ve got the rest of my family here showing their support.
“I got to grow up and see my dad in this (sitcom) format and then my brother in this format, and both of them overwhelmed with the joy of making a live audience laugh over and over all night.”
Tyler plays Ronny McCarthy, the gay son of a sports-loving Boston family headed by outspoken father Arthur (Jack McGee) and overly protective mother Marjorie (Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf).
Ronny wants nothing more than to move from Boston, join the singles scene and find a partner, but events conspire against him.
The series is based on the real-life experiences of creator Brian Gallivan whose TV credits include Happy Endings and Are You There, Chelsea? “Ronny is a high-school guidance counsellor who is two years coming out of the closet to his family,” Tyler explains.
“Ronny and his mum are best friends. She is upset that he is thinking about moving more than two blocks away from her or spending a night watching The Good Wife without her.
“It creates a really fun bond. Ronny knows it (friendship with his mother) is not going to help him find a boyfriend, but they share so many interests.
“Ronny is the youngest of four and I am the youngest of three in real life. Being the last one to leave the nest can be difficult for both (child and mother).”
Tyler is married to Argentinian director Lelia Parma and spent time in South America teaching and studying psychology before returning to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
“I stumbled into the audition for Ronny and here we are,” Tyler says. “Brian has been an amazing asset to keep Ronny real and grounded.
“At the core of this show is a family that, even though you don’t see it at first, really love and support each other.
“From the time I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to make people laugh and tell a story. My family paved the way for me.”
ONE, TUESDAY, 8PM
Time out: Tyler Ritter (middle) and the cast of TheMcCarthys.